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Post Info TOPIC: January 14 - Hope for Today - Boundaries


~*Service Worker*~

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January 14 - Hope for Today - Boundaries


Today's reading in Hope for Today  takes a look at setting limits -- boundaries -- around unacceptable behavior. 

The author sometimes fears that if they set a limit with someone, they will be abandoned. Sometimes they set rigid boundaries in hopes of eliminating the problem forever. Their most successful approach has been to set limits one day at a time.  

For example, instead of always going to sleep in the guest room whenever their spouse puts the TV on at night, they gently ask the spouse if he is planning to keep watching that show, and depending on the answer, decides what to do.  If it is yes, they say a polite good-night and go to the guest room. By not having an all-or-nothing approach, resentment is avoided.

Thought for the day: Boundaries don't help me when they are too loose or too rigid. If I set them flexibly -- one instance at a time -- they can help improve my relationships. 

Quote from Courage to Change, page 201, "Al-Anon taught me the difference between walls and boundaries."

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I'm still reflecting on boundaries.  I understand now that they are for me -- and this reading helps me understand they can be flexible.  I understand they are not a weapon, but a tool for living my life. 

This boundary business is tricky.  I am working on my own boundaries to avoid over-committing, for example to volunteer work or service work, but without shutting myself off from experiences that might bring me joy.

MIP friends, how do you use boundaries? 

 



-- Edited by Freetime on Thursday 13th of January 2022 11:27:44 PM

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Senior Member

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Good Morning Freetime. Thank you for your service and thought provoking share. The T.V. limit was easy. NO T.V. in the bedroom and it is non-negotiable. The bedroom is my sanctuary . My spouse tried unsuccessfully to change that however in recent times he's admitted to liking a quiet zone. lol As you stated, other boundaries are tricky. Currently I'm exploring whether to walk away from my best friend. Last year I made amends to her for distancing myself for a number of years. Since then, she rarely initiates contact and bails on dates. I set a boundary to stop chasing her but I acknowledge birthdays, holidays etc and don't press for more intimacy. When I focus on dignity/respect for self and others, it's easier to let go of expectations and do what's right for me without having to complain and/or explain. Have a fantastic Friday.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you FT for your service and share. This lesson took me years, but now I love to have this ability to set (flexible) boundaries. My A says alanon wrecked me lol! Not only was I afraid of being abandoned if I set a boundary, but sometimes I was ridiculed. That was a controlling and self-esteem wrecking behavior that both of my spouses used. It worked very well to keep me in line with their addicted behaviors and desires. NO MORE! Even if I am wrong or not understood, I dont allow others to steam-roll me anymore. If I miss my opportunity in the moment to set a good boundary, it is never too late to let someone know that something is not or was not OK for me. As I say all the time, I have resigned from the doormat club!

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Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

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Thank your Freetime for your service and the daily. For me, I'm of an age/stage where I practice unconditional acceptance of all where they are and how they are. I practice unconditional love of my 'people' with the same intent. Because of how this disease has affected me, when I feel disappointment or unease, I truly need to examine me first to check my spiritual condition and the validity of my feeling(s).

If they appear realistic and sound, I take a look at how I am doing with my self-care. This is the point at which I might need to explore adding or changing a boundary. I've been told that boundaries are all for me - protection. If any element of a boundary feels punitive, mean or ego-driven, it's a hard no for me.

As I work this program and strive to be more responsive vs. reactive, the Pause to Pray before I Proceed is such a lovely gift/tool. I still marvel that it's taken me more than 40 adulting years to figure out I don't have to engage with another and most often, no response to this disease is the best response for me.

Happy Friday all - today is the last 'mild' day before winter returns. I'm headed out to golf one more day before snow falls tonight. Make it a great day!!

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



Veteran Member

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Thanks, Freetime.
Boundaries are a hot topic for me at the moment as my daughter keeps bringing home pets, and then not being here to care for them. I'm thinking of that specifically because aren't boundaries so tricky to maintain when it's not possible to ignore the consequences?
For example, we have chickens now (not of my choosing) and if I don't get up at 6 am and let them out of their roost, they are trapped and could overheat. If I am not here to lock them in their little roost at night, a fox will likely get them. That consequence isn't acceptable to me, but neither is being a slave to pets I didn't ask for. Daughter now works and contributes to the household expenses so she has some rights when it comes to making choices like having pets, but to bring them home and then not care for them because she knows I couldn't tolerate seeing them suffer is manipulative and also not something I should tolerate! I've been struggling with anger about this.

I appreciate the reminder that it's OK to be flexible and not expect a boundary to eliminate a behaviour or fix a situation- boundaries are for me. I do have the option of just accepting them as my pets or drawing a line and have them removed. The point is, I can't set a boundary here that forces someone else to change their behaviour. An angry voice inside me says but she SHOULD care for her pets like she promised! But another voice says I like these clucky little new friends, I enjoy sitting outside in the sun with them and feeding them fruit etc and I would be very sad to send them away.

Boundaries are not a weapon- definitely something I need to keep in mind at the moment. I also don't want to set a boundary that hurts me, just to prove a point.

Much to think on here!



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~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you FT as well!! Such a great topic and question concern personal, flexible, reasonable boundaries.

My issue is the monthly tirades I get subjected to by AH. I take each occurrence differently, depending on

how nasty and combative he is. My first reaction is to detach and defuse. If that is not possible then I

establish where to draw the line and deal with it in an appropriate/compassionate way. Sometimes there

is no way I can be compassionate, just straight forward and call it like it is.

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"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



Senior Member

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Thanks freetime for your service and to all for the shares. The people pleasing behavior spoken about in this reading is something I remember well as a newcomer to Alanon. I often threw myself under the bus to keep others close. I abandoned myself so others wouldn't abandon me. I'm so grateful for the Alanon tools that have shown me how to love and accept myself and others without compromising my sanity and serenity. One of my favorite Alanon tools is say what you mean, mean what you say but don't say it mean. TT



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Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

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