Boundaries, Vulnerability and Identity

Funny how our boundaries are rarely celebrated.

Gosh they can be hard, sometimes messy work. I’m not a specialist on them, just a traveller like you. 

The thing about boundaries is experiencing push back, consequence and even that 2nd most avoided emotion we all dread, grief. 

Growth is a costly business. Doesn’t matter what is the nature of growth. It costs. Anyone is business knows that!

I’ve been pondering how in society it is common and somewhat “ok” to punish and shame when boundaries, especially new boundaries are communicated. It confronts our entitlement and some other dysfunctions. 

When the love level in us is low, the Bible says we reach for punishment. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, so the one who is afraid is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”

Many social scientists, civil authorities and Christian leaders have been growing more noisy in their concern around the wave of hatred crashing across the nation’s. 

It’s a fearful thing to be around hate. Hate drains out love. Punishment is hate and fear’s management tool and it has an array of overt and subtle options from rolling the eyes to outright displays of harm. 

So what’s the blessing of a boundary? How we respond to that can reveal our need for an upgrade in God’s love! 

Boundaries can define us. They are vulnerable because it shows what is really important to us. They reveal what we care about in our heart, and what we value. 

It takes courage to show up. But that is the kindest thing we can do. Clear is kind.

Being clear with our boundaries, is where I see some of our greatest challenges and growth points are currently in the Western World. And I wonder how much of that is because really we are in one huge rumble with identity?

Our boundaries are not walls we hit people with but a statement of what’s ok and what’s not around what we treasure, what we identify with. 

Boundaries are more than what’s not ok, they are a communication of what’s ok too! Boundaries keep value on us and on what we are doing. That’s our responsibility.

But it’s vulnerable to do that. And here is a lesson we learn over and over, vulnerability and learning how to do that, is so much of the story of our lives! 

So next time you see your teenager, spouse or work colleague trying to practice boundaries, celebrate their courage and get curious about who they are trying to define themselves as. 

Let’s be honest with our need for more of God’s love and turn the tide of hate and negativity. It’s not who we really are. It’s not what we want in the world we are building for our children. 

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Chat Along with Helen through Living Courage #1

We have entered a new world this year. Whether we saw it coming or not, wanted it or not, we are in it. 

If you’ve been feeling the challenge like many others, facing the realities of getting back into life, experiencing the uncertainty of how to live and lead, needing to show up in courage and confidence to walk out what God has spoken over our lives, maybe wondering what do I need to stay connected and to stay human?

We think Chat Along with Helen workshop would be a big help.

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What Others Are Saying..

“Unpacking the ideas in this course is dynamite! As a result of this course I have made a life decision to come out of my little hidy corner and face up to vulnerability courageously. To not give into fear anymore. This has been tremendously insightful for me.”  – Liz, Community Leader