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BOUNDARIES, CHAPTER 5
January 31, 2010
9:39 pm
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mamacinnamon
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CHAPTER 5 – TEN LAWS OF BOUNDARIES

This is the first five of ten.

Law 1 – The Law of Sewing and Reaping

This is the law of cause and effect. If you smoke you will develop a smoker's cough. If you exercise you will have less colds. Sometimes folks don't reap what they sew. Someone will step in and take the consequences for them. The person protects you from the natural consequences. Rescuing someone from their natural consequences makes irresponsible adults. Someone who always steps in and rescues another from their consequences is called “codependent.” This person usually ends up paying emotionally, spiritually, and physically while the other has no consequences and therefore continues the behavior. Boundaries forces the person doing the sewing to also do the reaping. Confronting an irresponsible person is not painful to him/her but consequences are. The person will not change without consequences.

Law 2 – The Law of Responsibility

The law of responsibility includes loving one another. Problems arise when the boundaries of responsibility are confused. We are to love one another; not BE one another. You cannot feel, think or behave for another person. You are responsible for yourself and the other person responsible for him/herself. We are also to treat one another as we want to be treated. If we are down and out, helpless, without hope we would want to be helped. This is an important side of being responsible “to.” Another aspect of being responsible “to” is not only in giving but also in setting limits on another's destructive and irresponsible behavior. When you keep rescuing someone you are reinforcing the pattern.

Law 3 – The Law of Power

Alcoholics are powerless over alcohol. This is one example the book gives. We all strive to do what is best for us but we tend to fall short of that. It is a natural occurrence. Though you do not have the power to overcome the patterns you fall into there are some things you can do to empower yourself. First, you have the power to agree with the truth about your problems. You can admit that yes, this is you and your problem. Second, you have the power to submit the inability to God or whomever. You always have the power to ask for help. Third, you are always able to ask God or whomever to reveal more about what is within your boundaries. Fourth, you have the power to turn from the evil (problem) that is within you. This does not make you perfect but lets you see the parts of you that you want to change. Fifth, you have the power to humble yourself to God or whomever and and ask for help with your developmental injuries and leftover childhood needs. Sixth, you have the power to seek out those you have hurt and make amends. You need to do this to be responsible to yourself and to be responsible to those you have hurt.

On the other side of the coin your boundaries help define what you do not have the power, which is everything else. The serenity prayer reads: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. This helps you clarify boundaries. You cannot change others. More folks suffer from trying to change others than any other illness. You can influence others by changing yourself. When you change so their destructive behavior no longer works on you then a lot of times they will change those behaviors. When you let go of others you will begin to get healthy and happy. They may envy this and change because they want the health and happiness you have. You need to know what is and what is not you. You need to know the wisdom of what you can change and what you cannot.

Law 4 – The Law of Respect

One word comes up when folks describe their problems. That word is “they”. They did this, they did that, they will not speak to me if I... We focus on others and lose clarity about ourselves. We fear others will not respect us. We need to not judge others' boundaries. We cannot force folks to treat or do the things for us that we think they should do. We need to respect and honor others' boundaries as we want them to respect and honor our boundaries. If we love and respect someone when they tell us no then they will love and respect us when we tell them no. When we respect others' freedom we don't get angry, feel guilty or withdraw. When we accept others' freedom we feel better about our own.

Law 5 – The Law of Motivation

Many of us were taught it is more blessed to give than to receive. This can cause depression and resentment. You can feel that you love to much. If your loving is causing you depression and resentment then it is probably not love. Love brings happiness not depression. Many times our giving is not love but fear of not being loved. For some it can be fear of making another angry.

False motives can keep us from setting boundaries. Some of these false motives can be fear of loss of love or abandonment, fear of other's anger, fear of loneliness, fear of losing the “good me” inside, guilt, payback, approval, and over-identification with the other's loss.

The law of motivation says freedom first, service second. If you serve to get free of your fear you are doomed to fail.

Law six thru ten next week.

February 1, 2010
12:19 am
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_anonymous
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mama- thank u for taking time to post this. a good reminder. helps me keep it together. how are you doing?

February 1, 2010
3:05 am
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mamacinnamon
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Destinystar:

I'm doing well. This last week was my first week of college. It was hard but I made it thru and w/ good grades.

Have had a bit of a hard time this weekend. Guess now that I'm gone hubby is not taking things well emotionally, didn't want the divorce. He's also connecting w/ the kids. I guess better 15 years later that he does than not. I just don't get it. All he had to do was try and I would have gone back, but as my son told me, "mom you cannot go back to him no matter what". Just really bothers me that he now says he never wanted the kids, that he never spent time w/ the kids, and now he's calling them twice a week. Well, the older two. The youngest hasn't heard from him in two weeks. And for not wanting the divorce he sure is bein a shit.

Oh well, I'm not gonna dwell on it. I'm down 65 lbs now, busy w/ school and my daughter, got us a truck this weekend so now we are free to go when and where we want. Things are still looking good for us.

Thanks for asking.

February 1, 2010
7:43 am
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_anonymous
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mama- what are you taking in college? that weight loss is impressive how did you do it? things sound wonderful. i am happy to hear this.

sounds like your X wants the name (being married) but doesnt want the game. wants you back but doesnt want to change his behavior. i agree with your son.

February 2, 2010
11:45 am
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Hepburn
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Thanks MamaC. I think it's awesome you're going to college! And congrats on the weight loss! My 2 cents on your x. He doesn't want to "try". If you went back, it would be up to you to keep the relationship together. See Law 2? You've come so far! And yes, I agree with you about the kids. Better late then never.

I've been grappling with Law 1 AND 2. I'm starting to figure out that people want to solve their own problems. Here I thought I was "doing them a favor", "helping", RESCUING them by taking their burden away. I was not giving them the PRIVILEGE of doing it for themselves. No matter how painful it SEEMED for them.

XO,

Hep

February 2, 2010
1:53 pm
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Lanigirl
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Congratulations on weight loss and going back to school and the divorce. I guess he'll fight you all the way on this one because you're changing the way you live.

These were good reminders. Basically, I'm getting that it comes down to how I live my life. I can't live others for them.

"You need to know what is and what is not you." This is the tricky part for me. I often give so much that I can't see where I start and they end. It does cause anger and resentment which isn't loving to either of us.

February 3, 2010
9:00 am
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darkeyes
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thank you mama c!!! i had no boundaries, so true in all you say now i understand what has been happening, the first law so applies to me.. thank you again!!!

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