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Do You Set Boundaries From Fear Or Love?

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Do You Set Boundaries From Fear Or Love?

Communication about our boundaries that comes from fear and anxiety leads to conflict. Communication that comes from love leads to intimacy and an open heart.

We know that one very important aspect of being a loving Adult is to set loving boundaries for the Inner Child. Whether or not a boundary is loving depends upon which aspect of you is setting the boundary – the wounded adult or the loving Adult.

The intent of the wounded child-adult in setting a boundary is to have control over not being controlled or rejected by another. The wounded child-adult comes from the fear of being invaded, rejected, engulfed, abandoned, seen as wrong, bad, or unworthy, and projects these possibilities from the past onto the present moment. Instead of discerning what is actually happening in the moment, the wounded adult protects ahead of time, just in case someone may be invading or rejecting. The wounded self enters an interaction already defended against his or her fears.

The intent of the loving Adult in setting a boundary is to take loving care of oneself in the moment. The loving Adult discerns whether another is open or closed, loving or unloving. The loving Adult is compassionately aware of the feelings of the Inner Child in the moment (Step One). If there is anything other than peace within, the loving Adult immediately moves into an intent to learn (Step Two) to determine what the Child is reacting to (Step Three) and how to handle it lovingly (Step Four). The loving Adult then sets the boundary (Step Five) to take care of the Child. Sometimes the boundary can be set softly, along with an intent to learn with the other: “I don’t like being spoken to with this anger (or defensiveness, etc.). Do you want to talk about what is upsetting you?” Other times, when you already know the other will not open, the boundary needs to be set firmly and acted upon immediately, saying something like “This doesn’t feel good. Let’s talk when you feel open,” while disengaging from the conversation.

When being right or not being rejected or controlled by another is more important than being loving to yourself and others, your wounded self is in charge. When you find yourself feeling righteous, resistant, judgmental, angry or shut down, notice your intent. What is most important to you in this moment? Are you afraid that opening to learning and loving makes you too vulnerable to being controlled by others? Do you feel that opening your heart is giving in to someone who wants you to be open? Are you afraid that you will not know how to take good care of yourself if someone gets angry, critical, or in some other way invasive or rejecting? If this is what you are experiencing, then you need to look at your relationship with your higher Guidance. Are you shut off from receiving the messages from Spirit regarding loving action? Do you feel that no one is really there to help you, that you have to know what to do and do it all yourself?

It is only when we are open to learning and loving that we can feel, hear, and perceive the messages that are always coming to us from our spiritual Guidance. It is only then that we can know how to take loving care of ourselves in the moment.. When we are afraid to be that open to God/Spirit, then we are stuck doing it all ourselves. When this is the case, it is time to examine our false beliefs about Divine Love.

Life becomes much more peaceful and fun when we do not have to protect ahead of time. We end up with much more energy when we do not have to constantly figure out ahead of time how to be safe, trusting that our loving Adult, in co-creation with God, will take the appropriate action to keep us safe.

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Find out how Inner Bonding has helped Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love.

Author’s Books

CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING

Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967.

Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world — mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public.

Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.

In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Darlene Lancer, LMFT

    Jan 5, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Dr. Paul’s distinction is difficult to grasp and even harder to differentiate and put into practice. It involves really being in touch with our bodies, being able to identify sensations and emotions, and separating out the present from past or even unconscious forces. Sometimes our gut prompts us to protect ourselves out of fear and that’s appropriate to the present circumstances, and sometimes our fear is from a past violation. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know and trust a person well enough to be as intimate as he or she wants, and that’s okay too. What’s important is not using boundaries to control or punish others and to be clear about our wants and needs.
    Darlene Lancer, LMFT
    Author of “Codependency for Dummies”
    http://www.whatiscodependency.com

  2. Darlene Lancer, LMFT

    Jan 5, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Dr. Paul’s distinction is difficult to grasp and even harder to differentiate and put into practice. It involves really being in touch with our bodies, being able to identify sensations and emotions, and separating out the present from past or even unconscious forces. Sometimes our gut prompts us to protect ourselves out of fear and that’s appropriate to the present circumstances, and sometimes our fear is from a past violation. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know and trust a person well enough to be as intimate as he or she wants, and that’s okay too. What’s important is not using boundaries to control or punish others and to be clear about our wants and needs.
    Darlene Lancer, LMFT
    Author of “Codependency for Dummies”
    http://www.whatiscodependency.com

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