A lack of boundaries invite a lack of respect.” – AlAnonish pin on Pinterest
Before AlAnon, I had no idea how important boundaries in relationships were. Actually, I didn’t fully understand what they were, or how I could utilize them to create healthy relationships. Even after I started learning about them, I misused them, and created even more problems for myself and others. Thankfully, through reading and a lot of sponsor direction, I began to understand the three important things I needed to know in order to utilize the boundary concept to make every relationship in my life healthy.
First, I learned that boundaries are for me to discover what’s comfortable and what’s not, with regard to behavior exhibited by myself and others. Through reading, contemplation, help from others in the program and extensive writing, I was able to figure that out.
Next, I accepted that, if I were ever to really love myself I would need to risk losing relationships with others who, after understanding my boundaries, were unwilling to respect them. This meant coming to terms, and being both ready and ok with losing a job, a romantic relationship, a long-term friendship, or even relationships with family members. I wanted only healthy relationships, so I was willing to take that risk.
And finally, I worked diligently with my sponsor to discover my part, check my motives, and determine exactly how to explain what’s no longer acceptable to the other party, possible solutions to the situation, what I’m willing to do to help, and the actions I intended to take in the event that the boundaries I explained continued to be disregarded.
Some of those relationships improved. Some ended. With the ones that ended, I sometimes felt sad, sometimes relieved. More often than not, I felt both.
A bit of caution ( in my humble opinion):
Attempting to set boundaries without guidance from someone who has consistently used this technique successfully in their lives will likely result in creating more drama, chaos and misery. Boundary setting may sound like an easy thing to do, but believe me when I say that, from my experience, it’s about the easiest tool you can misuse.
However, with the help and guidance of my loving sponsor, I’ve became a Master Jedi III at boundary setting, both for myself and others, and through the consistent application of this technique in all my relationships… ILML!