Post by crimsonsnow on Jul 5, 2016 14:22:45 GMT -7
In the organisation unhealthy boundaries mean that most relationships that we have within are dysfunctional. Snooping, reporting, harsh judgement, shaming and shunning are common methods used to control members to be in servitude to the organisation. Relationships are unhealthy when we behave from a place of fear rather than love. Acting from a motivation of fear prevents us from doing what is best for ourselves, and damages our relationships. The problem with weak boundaries is that we become overwhelmed. It can be difficult to know how we actually feel when our lives are dominated by guilt and fear.
As Witnesses we are taught that Jehovah can see us at all times. This perceived invasion of privacy has hideous and lasting effects. Personally, born in the organisation and indoctrinated since birth, it has taken me decades to shake off this feeling of constantly be watched and judged.
Unhealthy boundaries in relationships lead to:
• A lack of a sense of identity
• Over-responsibility and guilt
• Inability to differentiate between loving and rescuing
• Inability to perceive our reality from another’s fantasy
Setting healthy boundaries provides the opportunity to expand our capacity to love (ourselves and others). We can let go of fear. In doing so we can also release our anger and resentment. Energy that was previously consumed in maintaining the charade, governed by manipulation and fear, can now be put to better use. We can choose fear or we can choose love. Fear is not “real”, it is something we learn from social conditioning. Instead of believing in manipulative fears we can choose to have faith in loving perceptions, and begin to experience significant changes in our lives.
Put simply, boundaries in relationships are what set the space between where you and the other person begins. By setting boundaries you command respect for your feelings and values. Healthy boundaries operate from a place of love, respect and trust.
In evaluating your own boundaries the following guidelines may be helpful:
Recognise and acknowledge your feelings
Feelings are not “good” or “bad”. Feelings are indicators that alert us to pay attention to what we value.
Acknowledge how your boundaries have been violated
Honest evaluation and critical thinking help us recognise past behaviours and move toward more helpful behaviours for ourselves.
Recognise how to set boundaries
Once you are able to understand what is causing you to feel overwhelmed, drained or bad, then decide how you would like to respond.
Validate your feelings
What often happens in relationships where boundaries are weak is that there is backlash from the other person. This in turn induces feelings of guilt. Emotions are valid. By taking care of yourself you are acting from a place of love, not fear. By respecting yourself you will be more able to give. Fear is a vacuum. No-one can truly give and receive from a place that is bankrupt. Fear is a black hole, consuming all our energy and stripping away our ability to reason.
Make your boundaries known
Communicate clearly. Be specific and direct. Be clear about your needs. Be self-aware.
Examples are – “I want to listen. I’ll be able to give you my full attention in 10 minutes.”
“Do not read my emails – I feel violated when my privacy is disrespected.”
Any backlash is an indication that your boundary is not respected. If we engage in arguing, we weaken our boundary. We give the impression that we are not confident in what we expect.
Take care of yourself
If, in setting boundaries, any feelings of guilt, or past behaviours resurface, then be sure to be gentle and take care of yourself. Healthy boundaries are based upon love and respect, and that includes love and respect for ourselves.
Do not engage in the drama and fear induced behaviour that the organisation endorses.
When we give ourselves the love and acceptance we desire, we no longer seek approval from external sources. The benefits are liberty for ourselves, but also a new way of being that will resonate throughout our lives. We are liberated from the guilt and obligation and can be free to create relationships that are based on love, trust and respect. We break free from the destruction of fear and obligation.
Here's a poem that reflects upon boundaries -
Mending Wall, Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'