Boundaries vs. Expectations

One of my guiding phrases these days is “let go of expectations but be wide open to possibility”.  However, a dear friend suggested  to me today that boundaries are expectations and boundaries are healthy.  Her comment made me consider if I believed that to be true and, if so, what impact that has on my view of the world.  I think there is a difference between letting go of expectations and not having any.  I believe the concepts of boundaries and setting expectations are complimentary.

For instance, I expect my friends to treat me with kindness, consideration and unconditional love.  I only share the depths of my soul with other human beings who are loving and dependable.  I need to be able to speak freely, even if my words are not perfect.  I expect myself to be kind with pure intentions but there is room for error.  If I sense within myself that my intentions are not pure, I observe them and address them.  I expect my closest friends to do the same.

I no longer expect every single person I meet to be capable of loving me the way I want.  I let go of the expectation that anyone owes me something because of our relationship.  People are either present in my life or they are not.  I have learned the world is big enough to let go of relationships that do not meet my needs to make room for those that do.

This past year has been an incredible testament to that belief.  I have gotten braver about speaking my truth and bringing my true self to social situations.  I have a better concept of what loving myself and accepting myself unconditionally looks like.  People don’t have to agree with me for something to be true for me.

The result is some relationships have grown apart but others have grown closer to me than I ever could have imagined!  It is possible to fall in love with multiple people without possessing them, feeling like they owe me anything or taking responsibility for their emotional baggage!  I have many loves in my life now, including myself.

I have learned to love freely and take love freely without losing my sense of self.  It helps me to understand that I am made of light.  Everything I think I know is “light perceiving light” (Ruiz, 1997).  I am living a dream that I create with my thoughts, beliefs and intentions.  Awareness of them is key.  I do not deserve to be punished repeatedly for anything I’ve done.  When I error, I can adjust course and still speak lovingly to myself.  This opens the door to a level of intimacy that is only possible when one is free of fear.

If I find that someone can not be trusted with my heart either due to his or her own unresolved issues or the fact we are on different wavelengths, my boundaries come in to play.  It doesn’t mean I no longer love him or her.  It doesn’t mean that we can’t have a relationship.  It does mean he or she may not get to experience all of me right now and that is okay.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

References

Ruiz, D. M. (2003). The four agreements: A practical guide to personal freedom. Amber-Allen Publishing.

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