I was once willing to do nearly anything to keep people close to me. I would flip over backwards in order to feel as if I belonged and fit with someone. To be honest, there is still a part of me that is willing to do these things, but another part now runs clear away not to do them, and thankfully I’m aware of both and try to keep them in check. But that leads me to the question, who should we allow close to us, and who should we keep at a distance?
The answer isn’t as easy as it seems because life happens and things get messy. Of utter importance is having God as your center because you can trust Him, you want to take your heart to Him first, and you want to give Him power over the rest of your life. Through Him are we able to love the unlovable and live in a peaceful manner. Outside of that you want to “keep things that nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside our fences.” (Dr. Townsend, Boundaries)
Of course, this will fluctuate some, but as a whole it’s easy to see why this makes sense. We want to keep those closest to us who love us, support us, encourage us, and hold us dear. If someone is looking for our faults, thinks ill of us, or is hoping we fail we don’t want them to be our secret keepers or heart protectors. It is illogical.
So, as we begin to set up boundaries you have to not worry about what people think, they probably won’t know anyway. It’s not like you will be handing out cards which tells people where they fit in your life. This is for YOU and so you must be the one to decide these things. Is that friend someone you can confide in, or have you seen her talk about others in details she shouldn’t share? Does that family member look for the best in you, or are they waiting for you to fall and make their predictions come true? You have looked at each relationship closely, so now you have to start setting the boundaries around them and you so you can keep those who cheer you on close to your heart. And those who are trying to trip you up? Keep them at enough distance where they simply can’t reach you to do that.
The list of all the posts for this series can be found in the Table of Contents.