Walls keep me isolated.
Through support groups I am learning the difference between walls and boundaries. Walls keep me isolated and keep me locked inside. Walls are firm and do not move. Boundaries keep me safe. Boundaries are flexible and are made with love for myself and those around me.
I have made walls most my life. That was how I kept myself safe, but they also kept others out and me alone inside. I hide inside walls I build by getting lost in books. Reading about other people and other people’s adventures keeps me from enjoying others and from having my own adventures with others. When I stay at home and don’t go to meetings or out to meet with friends or family I build walls of isolation. I isolate when I keep my emotions and thoughts inside and don’t talk and share and learn from others. When I react with anger or self-righteousness I build walls of bad feelings.
When a loved one does something that does not feel good, I can act with love and create loving boundaries. I can lovingly decide what I am going to do in response to others’ actions and words. I am free to change my boundaries at any time if they don’t work for me any longer or if I find I cannot follow through with what I thought I wanted to do. Boundaries don’t isolate me. They keep me safe spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially. Healthy boundaries give me more self-confidence and help me to be gentle with myself and others.
I have always had trouble knowing how to set boundaries. Love your fellow men meant service, doing things for others above my own needs, but it went too far – to feeling guilty about saying no even to things that were not good for me. I did not want to make people feel bad or not like me. This is my illogical thinking again.
Recently I have been feeling guilty about something and wondering what I needed to do and praying about it. General conference October 2014 really spoke to me, so I started rereading those talks. The 2nd talk was the answer to my prayers – Which Way Do You Face by Lynn G Robbins. This talk speaks about the first 2 great commandments and to be careful not to put them in the wrong order. It also talks about keeping your face towards God. I realized that my guilt was misplaced. I had thought of the commandments as all equal, not in any order or priority or that some were more important than others. Love God, then love your fellow men helped me to see more clearly and put aside my misplaced guilt. I now have another tool to help me set boundaries and to help me know when to say no without feeling guilty.
Support programs have helped me understand more clearly how to love others but to keep my face towards God. When others or even my own faulty thoughts demand approval in defiance of God’s laws, I can remember that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ first.