“The most boundaried people are the most compassionate, and the most compassionate are the most boundaried.” – Brene Brown
It took me a long time to wrap my mind around this. What the hell does that even mean? Many of us go through life believing that if we put up boundaries we are putting up razor wire, moats with alligators, and unbreakable brick walls. It creates this internal fear of “by holding my boundaries I will lose connection from those I love and care about.”
So what happens? We allow others to walk over, push and break our boundaries so we can feed not only our desire but our intrinsic need for connection with others. We say “It’s ok that so-and-so broke this boundary. I’m going to love them through it so I don’t push them away.” We believe we are being loving, connected and inclusive, but in reality we’re not loving ourselves to see the true, objective perspective as to what’s going on.
But the truth about boundaries is that they are like a cell – a semi-permeable membrane. They move, change and flow with where you are at in life. They have openings – the same boundary may look different for different relationships in your life. For example, it may be ok for your intimate partner to braid your hair, but it sure is not ok for a co-worker to do the same.
(And remember, your boundaries are your own. I talk about this a lot in my 5 Day Course. There is a structure, a method, a formula to creating YOUR OWN boundaries, and it’s CRITICAL to know what YOUR boundaries are.)
When you allow others to step on your boundaries, they are actually stepping on your Compassion Container. This ability to be loving in the way that the other individual needs to be loved as a result of how they’re showing up in your world. The inner fortitude to love yourself enough to maintain your boundaries.
So when others are taking advantage of your lack of clear, consistent, communicated boundaries, it takes away from YOUR ability to be loving in the way that the other individual needs to be loved with how they are showing up to you in the moment. Are YOU respecting yourself and your boundaries enough to ensure that others are respecting them, too?
You need and must OWN your boundaries so you can have a strong Compassion Container to be able to engage with others at the level that they have engaged with and respected you.
If you are inconsistent, unclear or non-communicative about your boundaries, how can you expect anyone to respect them? This takes work from both parties. You have to have to fortitude to maintain your Compassion Container boundaries ALL. THE. TIME. Over and over until it is a part of your character. Someone who holds healthy boundaries LOVES THEMSELVES ENOUGH TO PROTECT THEIR COMPASSION CONTAINER AT ALL COSTS.