Respecting the Boundaries of Others

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Respecting the Boundaries of Others | Everyone is unique and has their own body, mind, and spirit. Each of us has the responsibility for setting our own boundaries in these areas | #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #TipsforConnection #OpennesswithGod #KnowingGod #Body #Mind #Spirit #RespectingtheBoundariesofOthers #Bound #RespectingBound #BoundariesofOthersRespecting the Boundaries of Others

Everyone is unique and has their own body, mind, and spirit. Each of us has the responsibility for setting our own boundaries in these areas. We all are required to obey the laws set out by rightful authority (not going against our informed consciences). Within those parameters, we are all called to be good stewards. Our first duty of stewardship is to honor the gift of self that God has given to each of us. Each of us has a different personality, temperament, and life experiences that come together to form who we are in the present moment. Since we are endowed with the dignity of being made in God’s image and likeness, each one of us is deserving of respect.  We must regard others with the honor with which they are divinely endowed.

Boundaries provide us a sense of self and safety. Simply put, there’s a place where we stop and another starts. We don’t have the right to cross any lines in regard to another person’s body, emotions, or spiritual life. Each person has the indwelling presence of the Blessed Trinity and so is sacred. We need to be invited in by the other person. One lesson I’ve learned as a therapist is that people are not able to hear answers to questions they haven’t yet asked. Trying to force them to do so can do personal and relational damage. The same way we would not desecrate the Eucharist, we ought not violate the boundaries of another, since each person is made in God’s own image and likeness and is precious to him.

There are two fundamental emotions: love and fear. Scripture tells us that love drives away fear (1 John 4:18). As we respect the boundaries of others, what they need to feel safe, we are behaving toward that person in a loving way. Even with the best of intentions, we can cross another’s boundaries. Unfortunately, this can easily happen in the name of religion. It’s easy to convince ourselves that our expression of zeal is for the other person’s good. We actually work contrary to his grace in another when we try to force, manipulate, coerce, or guilt them into something. Doing so, especially in God’s name, can cause another person to shut down, build walls, or make vows against the godly message or even toward God himself.

It actually makes the most sense to be grateful to others when they have clear boundaries. It lets us know what they need in order to feel safe, respected, and loved, and isn’t that how we are called to treat them? It can often be humbling to accept another person’s boundaries, but it isn’t our job to change them. When we do respect the boundaries another person has set, we are truly valuing that person and not making their worth about our desired result.  This fosters true connection and allows us to remain an incarnation of God’s love for them, and as such, a vehicle of his grace. It can be difficult to grant each other free will, but in his infinite wisdom that is what God has given each of us. And are we not called to imitate the Lord?

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