Posted on 14 Comments


NEWS FLASH>>>>>>>  we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…


Its not just that we get to choose the terms of our relationships.  We definitely have the gift of choice when it comes to making the terms in our relationships.  But even if we don’t  consciously “choose”our boundaries, we have chosen them by default.  Do you know what I mean?

we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

It’s not the same thing as dictating the outcome of every relationship we have, or controlling the arc of the relationship.  Those are very different things.  Those things are dependent on the behavior of the other person or entity in our relationship, or they are dependent on nature or other external events.


we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

What I’m saying is that internally, in our soul, our spirit, our consciousness (or unconsciousness) we absolutely positively unequivocally dictate our terms for our relationships.  All our relationships, how we feel about them, think about them, describe them, whatever — all those things that make up “a relationship”, those are all internal for us.

I love this quote by R. Buckminster Fuller, one of my personal heroes:  

“Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.” 


we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

I can’t think of a relationship that this does not apply to.  In the extreme, even someone physically controlled or hurt by another person (kidnap victim, abuse victim, prisoner of war) dictates the terms of their relationship with their captors.  Their internal relationship.  Their soul’s relationship.  These are our boundaries.

we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

Many of us get trapped by the belief that another person’s troubling behavior toward us is somehow our responsibility, our fault.  If we let someone in too close and feel hurt or smothered or judged or criticized, we then might feel bad about ourselves.  If someone dear to us behaves irresponsibly or self-destructively, it can be difficult to not feel that if we could only do more, or do things differently, then we could help them.  It gets particularly tricky when we feel that we could save them, that we should save them.  Or when the memories of abuse or betrayal prevent us from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, to be open to new relationships.


we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

How we see our reflection through someone else’s observation of us, good or bad, can influence our feelings about ourselves.  It can be intoxicating.  It can also be very destructive.  Either way, it is giving away our power to someone else’s mirror of us.  Our feelings are ours, and only ours.  No one can make us feel anything, unless we have given them that power.  Unless those are the terms we have made for that relationship.

we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

Think about it.  Even a baby, with its lack of self-consciousness, its purity of feelings, all of that is completely internal.  Perhaps when we are newborn is when we have our most powerful boundaries!  Before we have let the influence of others, due to our need for warmth and love and security, before we have started to put two and two together.  When we just are.


we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

As a recovering co-dependent, I can tell you that the practice of conscious boundary-making is a struggle for me.  And probably a lifelong conscious practice.  But I am making strides.  Leaps even, with a step or two backward now and then.  My friend (and yours) Melody Ross posted this link today which pretty much contains the prescription for all that ails us boundary-challenged folk:

we dictate the terms of every relationship we have…

This is hard stuff.  Not fun.  But not nearly as not-fun as having weak boundaries.  Weak boundaries = depression = lack of personal power and belief in one’s self.  Being conscious and strong in our boundaries is probably the most liberating thing we can do for ourselves.  And by extension, for the world.  It empowers ourselves, our children, and everyone with whom we have relationships.  It allows us to thrive and fulfill our highest purpose.


Shall we celebrate being the dictators of our souls?

14 thoughts on “Boundaries

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  13. What if the boundary is set by the other person and we find it unfair? My boyfriend decided to go away to his home country for one month, without consulting me first, when he had half baked plans to go somewhere together that time. He sees it as a practical no- nonsense choice (his work offered him a trip home to which he can add 2 weeks holidays with his family and friends) while I see it as a lack of commitment to us. He has been there already 3 weeks 3 months ago and 5 weeks 6 months ago. I have a feeling that the man who loves me and says he is happy with me, should prefer to spend these weeks of holidays with me instead of his family of origin and old friends. Or at least he should ask if I am all right with him leaving for a month, right now when we had other plans. Am I overstepping his boundaries by asking for more consideration, or is he being insensitive and rough towards the relationship? On one side I want to be loving and open and say “you go my beloved, I will be waiting for you”, and on the other side I feel walked all over and I want to run away, I feel he is not really committed. How to respect myself, and to respect him as well?

    1. Dear Rose,
      We all have to decide what is acceptable to us and what is not — that’s the biggest boundary. Instead of characterizing things as unfair or inconsiderate or insensitive or all the other negatives, how about looking at it as “What does love feel like to me? What is important to me? What will I accept and what will I not accept?” And so you ask, how does one respect oneself. I believe it is by figuring out our own unique answers to the questions I just posed, believing that we are precious and worth the work to be honest with ourselves and strong for ourselves. Once we have those strong boundaries, once we don’t let anyone come into our Soul House and mess it up and make us to feel bad about ourselves, then every relationship works itself out. According to our terms. Does that make sense?

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