Shyleswari Mohan

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Good Boundaries make Good Relationships

A boundary is a limit or space between

You and the other person. A clear space,

 Where you begin and the other person ends.

It is to protect and take good care of you.

Today, I took a phone call that I did not intend to. I had just returned home after a long travel. I made my first cup of coffee and sat down, to relax and unwind.

When the phone rang and I answered, it was from a bank, she said perkily “I’m  in your apartment complex and can I drop in?”. I was constricted for a second , and no sooner than I had said “Yes!” The doorbell rang. The young manager of early thirty and another younger man stepped in and she said chirpily, “Hi Ma’am, so pleased to meet you” etc. I was annoyed at her nonchalance and decided to take the gauntlet head on. I said “Yes, March is nearing and I’m sure you’d like to meet your targets, I’m very sorry I have no interest in insurance or investments”. There was an awkward silence.

I invited them for a cup of coffee and spoke about inane stuff and then they left.

Now they were offended and ruffled, they were the injured party.

The question I’m left with is, Have we forgotten to respect a client’s time and space? When I said I could have appreciated an appointment request, she says you could have said “No”, “I would have gone to the next client”.

Something within me left me jolted at this careless approach. It then seems a logical step to create boundaries. Boundaries, which help in safe guarding one’s own time and space.

In our country, which is by and large a collective, community living and saying No! is a deeply difficult task (no it’s not that we lack Self-Esteem, it’s a cultural DNA). Boundaries are a healthy way of taking care of oneself. It facilitates a space of our own and a way to tell our self that “I matter”.

When I set a boundary, I am telling the world the truth about myself. I take responsibility for how I feel, what I want and who I am right now.

A  boundary gives me a chance to hold a transparent communication, with myself and then with others.

No! No! I’m not setting a boundary because you are wrong or you are to blame , but that I would like to  take responsibility to keep myself in care . To listen to oneself instead of somebody else.

In a nutshell, it is a transparent declaration that you are unable or unwilling to go any further, at this time. This concept of “Boundary setting” is a relatively new one we were not taught to take care of ourselves  first, we were told to obey our parents, teachers, then bosses and so on. This is no longer a privilege it is about autonomy and choice.

Deciding to create your own choice and learning to deepen your relationship with yourself is a primary task of spirituality.

Imagine “Freedom” to be a space where you do not agree/obey to do something because you are “supposed” to or because of how others will perceive you. But because you want to. Do you savour the difference? That’s the taste of autonomy.

Never having to feel bad about yourself or your choices instead, accounting to yourself first, before you do it to someone else.

Most importantly, setting boundaries honors and recognizes you as a living, breathing human being. It frees you and acknowledges that you were born and your are worthy, because are alive.  


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