Boundaries are important, but when they come from fear, they are controlling rather than loving.
We know that one very important aspect of taking loving care of ourselves is to set loving boundaries for ourselves. Whether or not a boundary is loving depends upon which aspect of you is setting the boundary — your ego wounded self or your loving Adult.
The intent of the wounded self in setting a boundary is to have control over not being controlled or rejected by another. The ego wounded self comes from the fear of being invaded, rejected, engulfed, abandoned, seen as wrong, bad or unworthy, and projects these possibilities from the past onto the present moment. Instead of discerning what is actually happening in the moment, the wounded self protects ahead of time, just in case someone may be invading or rejecting. The wounded self enters an interaction already defended against his or her fears.
The intent of the loving adult self in setting a boundary is to take loving care of oneself in the moment. The loving adult discerns whether another is open or closed, loving or unloving. As a loving adult, you are compassionately aware of your feelings in the moment (Step One of Inner Bonding ). If there is anything other than peace within, the loving adult immediately moves into an intent to learn (Step Two of Inner Bonding) to determine what you are reacting to (Step Three) and how to handle it lovingly (Step Four). The loving adult then sets the boundary (Step Five) to take care of yourself. Sometimes the boundary can be set softly, along with an intent to learn with the other: "I don't like being spoken to with this anger (or defensiveness, etc.). Do you want to talk about what is upsetting you?" Other times, when you already know the other will not open, the boundary needs to be set firmly and acted upon immediately, saying something like "This doesn't feel good. Let's talk when you feel open," while disengaging from the conversation.
When being right, or not being rejected or controlled by another, is more important than being loving to yourself and others, your wounded self is in charge. When you find yourself feeling righteous, resistant, judgmental, angry or shut down, notice your intent. What is most important to you in this moment? Are you afraid that opening to learning and loving makes you too vulnerable to being controlled by others? Do you feel that opening your heart is giving in to someone who wants you to be open? Are you afraid that you will not know how to take good care of yourself if someone gets angry, critical, or in some other way invasive or rejecting? If this is what you are experiencing, then you need to look at your relationship with your higher Guidance. Are you shut off from receiving the messages from Spirit regarding loving action? Do you feel that no one is really there to help you, that you have to know what to do and do it all yourself?
It is only when we are open to learning and loving that we can feel, hear, and perceive the messages that are always coming to us from our spiritual Guidance. It is only then that we can know how to take loving care of ourselves in the moment.. When we are afraid to be that open to God/Spirit, then we are stuck doing it all ourselves. When this is the case, it is time to examine our false beliefs about Divine Love.
Life becomes much more peaceful and fun when we do not have to protect ahead of time. We end up with much more energy when we do not have to constantly figure out ahead of time how to be safe, trusting that our loving adult, in co-creation with God, will take the appropriate action to keep us safe.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free! ! Discover SelfQuest®, a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution computer program. Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.