We are at a time now in this world where it is more important than ever for us to unite, in so many ways—in our families and homes, in our communities, in our country, and in our world. There is so much at stake in our world in so many aspects, and we can’t afford to let our differences keep us from acting in the best interests of all.
But what are the best interests of all, really? And if uniting is so important, why am I writing about boundaries today?
I’ve had this thought that’s been running through my head lately. I believe it is only when we are exercising our own most healthy personal boundaries that we are able to actually unite in a larger, collective way.
Let me say that again, because it’s a paradox, and a big one at that.
I believe it is only when we are exercising our own most healthy personal boundaries that we are able to actually unite in a larger, collective way.
Let me break this idea down.
When we create a boundary in our life, whether that be around relationships, career, family, etc., we are in essence making a twofold statement. We are stating what we want in our lives, as well as what we will not allow in our lives.
For instance, let’s say that we choose to set a boundary with our work, so that we reserve certain hours each work night to spend away from work. Here, we are saying the following: “I will work these certain hours of the day. I also will not work these certain hours of the day, because I need to balance work with other areas of my life.”
Let’s say we set a boundary in the relationship area. Maybe we’ve had some challenging relationships. So let’s say we decide that in order for a relationship to work well for us, there must be mutual trust and support. In setting this boundary, we are saying the following: “I want relationships that offer me mutual trust and support. I will not allow in my life any relationships which show me that they cannot offer mutual trust and support.”
Here’s where the uniting part comes in.
In order to unite, we must stop dividing.
Sounds simple, right? Too easy to be possible, perhaps, in our divided world?
Stay with me here. This idea is actually paramount in both unity and boundary setting. Here’s why.
If we acknowledge the universal truth that we are all equal human beings on this planet, we can easily and immediately stop dividing ourselves in oppressive ways.
We will stop dividing as individuals, families, communities, and nations that oppress other individuals, families, communities, or nations.
We will unite under the universal truth that we are all equal and deserve basic human rights, such as nourishing food and water, a roof over our heads, and safety in our neighborhoods, to name a few.
But of course, there will be those who feel the need to continue oppression. They will not be able to unite under this universal truth.
That’s where we set our boundaries. But we do so with love.
Even if we choose not to surround ourselves personally with those who oppress others or who don’t respect our boundaries, they are still in this world and always will be around us in some way.
Yet, we can still choose to send love outwards to those people, even if they are not a direct part of our lives, and especially if they are.
They may not be able to receive the love we send through our kind thoughts and words. But we can send it anyway.
We can know that their choice to oppress others, or even their intentional or unintentional attempts to oppress us, is simply a reflection of the lack of love they feel within their own hearts.
That’s why we can set our healthiest boundaries. But when we are around those who oppress, we can send love and act in kindness.
If more and more of us each day aim to choose love and kindness, to ourselves and to those around us, whether or not they show the same to us, we will actually be much more united as a human people overall.
We may never fully be able to end oppression in this world. There may always be some who will be unable to receive love. But we can certainly get closer and closer.
With every word we say, and with every oppressive word we choose not to say, to and about ourselves, to and about others, we can get closer.
With every act of kindness we practice, with ourselves and with others, we can get closer.
With every healthy boundary we set in our own lives, allowing for our own greater health and potentially greater health for those around us, we can get closer.
With every choice we make not to divide directly but to send love, even if that means choosing to love ourselves over choosing to be in relationship with those who try to oppress us, we can get closer.
In making choices like these, some of them may seem at first to be divisive, especially if we choose not to be in direct relationship with those who try to oppress us. But overall, as a whole, we are actually uniting in a much greater way.
We are uniting because we are choosing love and kindness over hatred and oppression.
We are uniting because we are choosing emotional understanding and honesty over holding in difficult feelings and having them seep out into our lives in harmful ways.
And we are uniting because we are choosing to love ourselves.
In loving ourselves, in setting healthy boundaries in our own lives, we are choosing greater unity and more peace for this one lifetime we have here as ourselves on this planet.
In a world where there is so much talk about building walls to physically shut others out, we must realize that in setting healthy boundaries in our lives, we are not actually building huge emotional walls when we set boundaries out of love.
We may feel an illusion of a wall. We may emotionally and physically separate from others who oppress us. And those others may feel this wall too, and they may try to shame us into unhealthy ways of connection once again.
But when we really consciously choose to set boundaries in love, we will be able to feel that love for those people. And that love will cross any physical or emotional boundary we may have chosen to set.
Yet, it is up to us to discern, in each situation, on a daily basis, whether or not our boundaries are made in love or made in hatred and oppression. Sometimes there can be a very fine line between the two, especially in relationships where we feel challenged.
But we are all filled with such immense, ever-replenishing quantities of love, to offer ourselves and others. As our lives continue and we gain experiences, we can find this discernment process can become easier over time. Taking the action to set a boundary can still be challenging. But discerning whether we are doing so out of love or out of oppression can truly get easier with time and experience.
So that’s why this paradox really works. In setting healthy boundaries, in choosing to love ourselves and to love others in the healthiest, least-oppressive ways, we actually unite in such greater ways.
Let’s choose healthy boundaries.
Let’s choose love and kindness, even in the face of hatred and oppression.
And let’s start with loving ourselves, and sharing that overflowing, ever-replenishing love with all those around us, in the healthiest ways.
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I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a personal note through my Contact page, or leave a comment below. Can you see why setting healthy boundaries in your life can actually help you unite in greater ways with others and be able to offer more love and compassion to yourself and others?
Are you looking to explore more healthy ways you can connect with yourself and learn what you never knew you already know? ;) Check out my first book here. You’re definitely worth connecting with. :)
No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,