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The book 'Boundaries' has given me a lot to think about, and these are some notes and thoughts I figured I would share.
Relationship is one of our primary needs. Without boundaries, relationships quickly become dysfunctional.

A great way to understand how boundaries create functional relationships is to look at living organisms - an organization of organs working together to make a functional unified body. Take the human body. The first boundary is the skin which regulates temperature and protects tissue, while allowing bad to exit. Next is the fascia. It encases muscle tissue at every level of division. From the whole thing, to the individual muscle bellies, to the fasiculi, to the sarcemores. The boundary encasing these individual units allows for intricate movement without other muscle fibers causing interference.  Imagine a body with poorly designed boundaries.
Veins leaking old blood into arteries carrying oxygenated blood. The liver leaking bile into the small intestines. The stomach leaking stomach acid all over the abdominal wall, while the spleen is attempting to do the job of the kidneys. Every system would be compromised if there was a breakdown of boundaries in any of the major departments.

The film industry works under this same model, and they get a hell of a lot done. Departments are often butted up against each other, working as a unified team with clearly defined rolls and responsibilities. Without firm boundaries the crew would be an inefficient mess of pissed off individuals.

The same is true in our social relationships.
In the book I'm reading the author gives an example of poor boundaries with two Neighbors who lived side by side.  One guy did all the watering. The guy next door didn't do any watering. The guy who did the watering let his water out all over the other guys lawn, so the guy who didn't do any watering had a green lawn, while the guy who did all the work had a brown lawn.  On top of that, the Neighbor's healthy grass was getting long, so the first guy figured he better cut it too, reasoning that it was the loving thing to do.
Eventually the relationship became strained. The first guy was robbing the guy next door of a responsibility that was rightfully his, then resenting him for not returning the favor.  "Some people are so self centered", he would mutter. The second neighbor was getting annoyed with the first neighbor's interference, and guilt inducing remarks that would come out every now and then.  He was going to be installing a rockery that summer anyway. 
Boundaries is about knowing where you end and others begin. 
"That guy gets under my skin" is an expression that describes two people with poor boundaries. One person isn't setting or enforcing boundaries, the other is crossing them. Any confusion as to ownership and responsibility is a boundary problem, and both parties incur injury.

Releasing ownership, control or agreement over someone else's feelings, and opinions,  is a huge step in regaining ownership and control over yours.
What about help? Does this mean that helping each other is crossing lines?
Of course not. Sometimes we need help or are in the position to help.
But what if they need it and won't listen to me?
Let God deal with you, let God deal with others. That's his domain. The Lord saves, convicts, and works on our hearts.
Demanding help or forcing help on someone that says ,"no thanks" is pushing the limits by disregarding their rights and undermining their free will.
Once you clearly define what is within your jurisdiction of ownership and responsibility, boundaries get easy. If boundaries are defined, tight community is possible.
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:iconhiswarriorchild:
hiswarriorchild Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
"No fences makes for poor neighbors." :)
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:iconkressin23:
Kressin23 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I think you have very refreshing views and opinions and I just want to thank you for sharing then. I also love how you're not afraid to show your love of God. :)
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:iconwolfey6635:
wolfey6635 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just picked this book up the other day, talk about good timing lol. thank you so much for this breakdown I am really looking forward to starting this!
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm barely a quarter of the way through myself. It was a book I had on the shelf that I had looked for many times, but kept passing over because the jacket is gone on it. I read it over 10 years ago, but didn't have a lot to relate it to.
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:iconfootinadream:
footinadream Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:D that will surely come in handy, I'll definitely have to read the book now
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:iconcbrengan:
CBrengan Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
I love that book! I think every Christian would benefit from reading it.(non-Christians too, it's just written for a Christian audience) :)
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Written from a Christian perspective is one of the awesome things about it because so much Christian teaching gets twisted in order to justify the blurring of boundaries, so these guys clear a lot of that stuff up disarming the 'Christian' guilting and bullying in the process. So many people are enslaved to boundary injuries in relationships because they want to do what they think God has taught them to do. Forgive, suffer and submit. To me there is nothing more disgusting than throwing around God and Jesus talk to further manipulative control or personal campaigning.
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:iconcbrengan:
CBrengan Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Agreed!
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:iconcaptain-savvy:
Captain-Savvy Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very true. I have a friendship that is more of a drain on me than anything these days, and I know it's because I didn't set proper boundaries long ago. Now this person expects me to be there for her 24/7 and guilts me when I try to live my own life. I gave in to her extreme neediness way too often without encouraging her to try and do anything for herself and now I'm at a loss about how to fix things.
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Here's my first question to you. Do you have a strong sense of entitlement to feel what you feel, to think what your intuition is telling you, and full freedom to make your choices?

Here's my second question. Do you feel like you can give your friend the freedom to not like some of the choices you are going to make?

If you can answer yes to those, then you can start on fixing you, which is all that will be required.
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:icontape-dispenser:
tape-dispenser Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, all that is so true! What a neat message! :D
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