Relationships, Risky Business

Welcome Back! 

Last week we started our discussion on boundaries. We focused on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of these misunderstood gifts. If you missed it, or if you just need a refresher, make sure you click here to catch up before you dive into this week’s conversation. 

The truth is, our values influence the boundaries we set. Because of this, we finished our conversation with a challenge to write down 3-5 things you value. Did you do it? Did you spend some time this week thinking about why you value those things? If you did, pull out that list so we can discuss it today. If you haven’t yet, pull out a sheet of paper and jot down your values before reading on. 

The Value System

This system is an intricate part of your emotional makeup. Honestly, it's like the server that every interaction and word runs through. So it is imperative to locate your value system and start to explore its ins and outs. 

What we value helps us to determine what is and is not allowed in our world. It is a huge contributor when it comes to living well and thriving. If you value peace you may be less apt to engage in a confrontation. If you value hard work then you probably won’t look for a partner who is not employed. If you value relationships you might struggle to set boundaries with certain people. 

Our value systems are delicate yet sturdy and, until we acknowledge their place in our internal home, we will be frustrated and live in a reactionary place instead of a responsive place. 

Response says, "I am gathering information, pulling from data in my head and heart so I am able to acknowledge, access, accept, and reply appropriately."  

Reaction says, “I am frantically going from event to event, from sensation to sensation, without the time to consult my head or heart with my actions or words."

When we’re living reactionary lives, we’re not acting like us, at least not our true selves. Our character is put on display when we are living from a value-driven, responsive place—and that is a powerful way to live. No matter our level of discomfort in various situations, we can still rise above them because our values drive us, not our reactions. We no longer have to be blown around by the waves of circumstance, but we can take ownership of the only thing we actually own: ourselves! 

And this, tribe, is a lifelong lesson which takes place in every type of classroom—home, work, synagogue, church, etc.  

I Value Vulnerability

I have a tendency to live out loud and I have found myself letting people into areas of my world that are tender. I think this has unintentionally served as my relational barometer. To see the response from another when they gain access to information has taught me a lot about humanity.

Because vulnerability levels the playing field, I value it in relationships almost above anything else. There’s no hierarchy in vulnerability. The positions become null and it puts our humanity, our reality of limitation, back on the table. It causes both parties to lay down any dagger they were wielding, and raise their hands in surrender.  There is something about a fellow human willingly exposing to me their struggle or weakness that melts my heart and grows my empathy. And I think it's that way for all us. What do you think?

Boundaries in Relationships

I hear a lot of people, including my husband, say, “That’s why I don’t let people in, I don't want to get hurt”. If you’ve found yourself uttering a phrase like that, I would challenge you to broaden your scope. If you are alive and breathing you will get hurt by a relationship. That is never in question. The real challenge is what you do with the pain. 

The truth is, boundaries won’t keep you from getting hurt but neither will isolation. By isolating, you're simply trying to control all the variables around you. Isolation brings a false sense of safety but can be incredibly damaging in the end. Boundaries are the best way to stay “safe” in relationships. 

There will always be risk when it comes to people, there is no way around it. Why? Because you cannot control others (no matter how hard you try) you can only be in charge of you! And if you are pursuing health in every relationship and learning to set up proper boundaries—not walls—then love, joy, and fullness will be the result. 

Tribe is about living well in all areas and so much of it happens in the context of relationship. 

If you would, please take a moment and share with the tribe your thoughts on boundaries. Do you use them? Do you believe they are helpful? 

I am so excited to hear your thoughts. You are the best! 

~ Carrie  

Carrie AlfordComment