Don’t put up walls. Create healthy boundaries instead.

Connect is mostly about people. The way we connect in various realms of life, what is conducive to good connection and what disconnects.

For the longest time I believed in people wholeheartedly. If you smiled at me, put out your hand and looked me in the eye, I was hooked. Naive, they called me. But I didn’t care because that high of connection (at least the one I imagined existed) was all it took for me to want to do it again and again and again. I still believe in people but I find myself more weary as days go by …

It always struck me when I found myself taken advantage of in many ways – financially, professionally, emotionally. It caught me off guard each and every time. And yet I refused for the longest time to turn cynical. I cannot live my life protected from imagined predators at every corner. Connection is a lifeline for me, a life without it will be the end. I have said this before, I will repeat it because it is that important: the answer here is not a wall, it is a boundary.

Through my boundary teacher, Brene Brown, I have come across this post that may be useful to many.

So, let’s define the difference between a boundary and a wall. Think of a boundary as a filter that you create. You decide what kind of energy or interaction is not helpful, and what kind is. The filter you create keeps the unhelpful “stuff” from affecting you, and lets the helpful interaction and energy through, much in the same way a coffee or tea filter keeps the grounds or herbs out of your water, while allowing the desired flavor and nutrients through.

A wall on the other hand, would be like trying to filter that same cup of coffee with a piece of grandma’s quilt; few if any grounds would get through, but neither would any of the desired flavor, nutrients, and maybe even the water itself would be completely absorbed, leaving you with a dry cup. Walls, just like that cup, can leave our hearts and lives feeling dry, unfulfilled, and incomplete.

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