You have to appreciate and love yourself enough to realize that you are significant and that you have to be treated as such. Boundaries are therefore necessary in ensuring that we are clear about what and who we are willing to accommodate in our lives as well as the behaviours of other people towards us that we choose to put up with.
I have realized that working in the industry of the ‘heart’ that is so hugely charged with emotions, can be a test because while I do not want anyone to feel rejected and hurt; not having clear boundaries for me meant I get to be the one who gets hurt. Understanding that it is impossible to be everything to everyone is truly a liberating factor as at some stage you have to seriously consider saying to some people “you can only come this far and not beyond this veil; this fence; or this yellow lane” because if you don’t some people would walk all over you and take advantage of you forgetting that there is a human being with real feelings under “there”.
Boundaries are demarcations that we establish to identify what we regard as our personal space, our territory and our zone. It is your kingdom where you reign as a king and it is your responsibility to establish laws that govern your personal kingdom so that all visitors observe the rules and are aware of the repercussions and consequences of overstepping the boundaries. Your values and your identity will help clarify your rules because it is not possible to go around telling everyone who comes into your life that “hey here are the rules and regulations; you should be the first one to observe them, giving a testimony to all of your expectations.
Immigration: everyone who enters your zone, must state their business at the point of entry. Place immigration officers at the entrance so that people are aware that they have to state why they come and for how long. Some people are in your life for a reason and for a season, on a short assignment, you will do well not to hold on to them, so that when they go, you don’t get stuck because you opened your heart too much to a visitor whose assignment was temporary in your life.
Permanent residents: these are those you deal with you regularly who are close to you, but you don’t have a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship with them. They may trust you, and maybe even regard you as their friend but the sentiment might not be mutual as you might consider them differently, maybe you consider them as potential clients; so having clear boundaries will help you in knowing how to handle relationships when people see you as a friend and you see them differently without hurting them. The truth is, it is impossible to help someone as a client if you have prematurely promoted them to the friendship level too quickly. They might have expectations of free friendship benefits while you expect payment. It is important to qualify friendships, for me it is simply willingness to take a bullet for them and vice versa.
Dual Citizenship– these are those who are your associates, who are privy to you and know a lot about you that other people do not know. You might open up a bit to them, but they might really not like you that much even if they say they do. They are friends with who you consider to be enemies. At some stage one has to choose which country they want to be a citizen of and prove their loyalty. They have to decide which side they want to belong; are they willing to be dedicated to you, cover and be devoted to you and prove their loyalty to you in your absence especially to their friends who are your foes or are they just in it for what they can get from you. Be clear.
Citizens by birth– these are your family, you are stuck with them, but these also cannot break the law and hope not to serve a prison sentence. They have to have to know the laws of the kingdom. Bribery cannot be tolerated. They cannot crush you, reject you, walk all over you and still expect you to welcome them at all times. They also cannot disappear for all hours of the night and come in the morning or 6 years later hoping to pick up where you left off. It should be clear that a verbal apology has to accompany actions. You don’t just expect restoration, but you want restitution and recompense too of all that you lost as a result of their inconveniencing you and wasting your time. You don’t just want to hear that a person is sorry and they have changed, but you want to see that they behaviour has changed too and that they are willing to work hard on building the lost trust.
While it is important to have boundaries to protect your heart; your fences should be reasonable so that you don’t create a prison of Jericho’s magnitude where you are barred inside and outside, and you are not able to let anyone into your life, or that you are not able to come out yourself. You want to be able to understand people and their actions, and identify unacceptable behaviour especially towards you.
Some people will challenge you and throw “low-key” punches at you that are camouflaged behind polite smiles to see how much you can take before you reach a breaking point, and then turn back and say you are taking things too personally when you show that you cannot take it anymore. If it steals your joy, your peace, and undermines you even if they do it with a smile on their faces, it is personal, so take it very personally and give them an immediate notice to vacate your land and your heart. You do not have to continue to tolerate behaviours that undermine you.
You reign in your kingdom. Demote anyone who disobeys your laws, puts you down and dims your light and acts like it is your fault that your light is too bright. Promote anyone who sees your value and is willing to support you to reach your purposeful destination. Place guards at your gate to ensure that peace reigns in your kingdom. Not everyone should be allowed free access. Decline some visa applications.