Loving At A Distance…
I love my family. I love my amazing man. I love myself and who I am to all of these people. Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I get exhausted. Sometimes I simply need space. Sometimes I forget that I can set boundaries and expect them to follow them.
Boundaries… you might ask? Do we get to set boundaries with family? I asked this question to my Pastor once. He looked at me and nodded. This was not a thing in my family.
In fact I didn’t learn a lot about setting boundaries until I was very sick in the mental hospital, when my daughter was young. I then learned even more about it when my daughter as an adult, was learning about it. When you have strong women in your family, who have strong opinions and trust me, between myself, my daughter, my mother and even my sister in law,we are a very strong willed group and we need to know about boundaries.
However as strong as we are together, we are just as strong sometimes against each other and topics and ideas can become very tense.
As a soft, feelings and sensitive type, I struggle HARD with the concept of setting and holding boundaries. I am a people pleaser and as the first born child, the one my younger family members looked up too, the one who would rather smooth things over and just try to help people get along…I take a real beating sometimes.
However I don’t give up. I’m here to say, you can keep setting and returning to those boundaries, even if you have given in before. We are human and sometimes we give in, even when we know we should be stronger. It can take some relearning, some new boundaries created and enforced. However I always remember when I stumble I also don’t need to hold that against myself.
It’s not easy, especially with family. I have needed to turn my phone off for the evening. I’ve needed to not answer that voicemail at that moment, for my own peace of mind. I’ve had to change the conversation and agree to disagree with loved ones because I don’t share the same opinion, and thats a good thing. I’ve had to sit in the uncomfortable space of not giving in and making it better just because.
That’s ok too.
I love my family. We have in the past always voiced our opinions freely to each other, but sometimes what happens in that voicing, is that the expectations become that we take the advice given and when the advise is not taken it can turn ugly. Boundaries are what’s needed. And honest conversation as to why.
I have learned that boundaries are not always welcomed by the other people involved. BE OK WITH THAT. Love them, but love yourself too. I live in my body, and need my peace of mind, and as much as enforcing isn’t fun, it’s needed.
I love my Family.
I also Love Me.
Boundaries allow real love to continue to grow.