Archive for January 27th, 2009

January 27, 2009

Good Boundaries / Good Brakes

by Rod Smith

dsc_0642Many adults (myself, of course, included) struggle with maintaining good and healthy boundaries. It’s part of the human condition. Knowing where I “end” and where you “begin” is not always easy. Knowing what is my responsibility, and what is not my responsibility is often fuzzy and ambiguous. Knowing when and how to draw my “line in the sand” when it comes to loving others and parenting children is certainly not for the faint hearted. Good boundaries – are a life-long challenge.

Another challenge, which seems less frequently addressed, and integral to having good boundaries, is the matter of also having good brakes. It is important to know when to “apply the brakes,” when to slow down, and to know when to stop. Knowing when “enough is enough” would save a lot of heartbreak. Persons with fuzzy boundaries often seem to have no, or at least poor, brakes. They tend to go over-board, to buy too much, to give too much, talk too much, to pursue too much.

Here is the challenge: work as always, on your boundaries. Then, sharpen your awareness of when it is time to apply the brakes. Resist over-giving, over-loving, indulging, chasing, buying, showering with attention — when it comes to those whom you say you love. Sometimes enough really is enough.