You’ll know that an Apple phone is just a computer between 2 pieces of glass right? The minute it slips from your pocket under the car in the parking lot it shatters…unless you have a case.
It is frustrating to have to buy one more thing for that crazy expensive iPhone. But a case is a necessary item, right?
My husband, sitting down for dinner, puts his iPhone on the counter and his case is missing. The case that formerly enclosed the two fragile sheets of glass on his iPhone broke and got tossed in the trash.
“So you are going to order a new one tonight right?” I stated as a veiled command.
“Nope,” he said, “the battery is dying and I really don’t like this phone anymore. I am thinking of switching to an android.”
“You, what? How could you betray me with an android, when you have a perfectly good, albeit a little old and slow, iPhone? What are you thinking?” my mind screamed.
What Are the Boundaries?
Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. If I know where my yard begins and ends, I am free to do with it what I like. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. However, if I do not “own” my life, my choices and options become very limited.
What Do You Mean “Boundaries”? by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend https://www.cloudtownsend.com
Let’s make it really simple. Boundaries are only things I can control. I want Jerry to get a new cell phone case for his delicate iPhone. Can I set a boundary that he gets a new case? I could, but… could I enforce it?
Freedom and Responsibility In Boundaries
In Genesis, God creates some boundaries.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Ok, great, Adam is responsible for the Garden and has free rein to eat from any tree except one–and why not that one? Because he will die.
Of course, we know what happened. God not being a codependent, wishy-washy God gave consequences to Adam and Eve when they crossed His boundaries.
Just like a loving parent, putting a fence around the yard so their toddler will not play in the street, God set up a fence for us.
He also gave us responsibility for our choices, not from a do this so I can punish you stance, but from a freedom to choose for ourselves understanding–free will. God gave us ownership of our actions and choices.
And just as quickly we started the blame game. There is only one problem with that.
If I don’t own the problem, I can’t solve it.
Uncle Jake, Warrior Kids by Jocko Willink, former Navy Seal
Although God gave the first man clear boundaries the truly dangerous ones are hidden like landmines. Crossing a hidden boundary often explodes in your face.
If anger suddenly flares in a friend or loved one’s face after you have cracked a joke, taken the car without permission or shown up to an event late, you may have crossed a hidden boundary.
My hidden boundary with the iPhone lay buried deep inside my fear.
Boundary: An iPhone should never be out of its case except for maintenance in a safe area where it can’t fall.
Why, because it will break and cost a bundle of money to replace. Sounds super reasonable right? I think so.
Problem: Who did the iPhone belong to?
I could try to force my boundary on my husband verbally or physically. Which actually, I did. I expressed my concern and asked him to get a new case so it would not cost me any more money to replace it.
By the end of dinner, I convinced myself that he was not going to do what I asked and I needed to fix the situation.
Running Over Someone’s Boundaries
Jerry did not ask for my help. Nor did he really want it, but seeing my distress he accepted the gift of the iPhone case I was currently using for my iPhone. Problem solved, right?
Sigh, all was well. Snapping Jerry’s iPhone into my case felt very satisfying. My boundary needs were met. No outlay of $1000 for a new iPhone X would happen on my watch!
Remember I told you that iPhones are 2 sheets of glass with a computer in the middle. Well, without a case they are as slippery as a wet fish.
Within a week, my uncased iPhone skittered out of my hand onto the pavement shattering the new screen I just paid $150 for 2 months prior!
Jerry had not wanted my iPhone case, in fact, he refused it completely until I insisted. Until I took over the responsibility for his issues.
By doing that, I also took away his freedom of choice.
And, I stepped on one of my own personal boundaries of providing unhelpful help.
1) Doing for someone what they can clearly do for themselves, robs them of the opportunity to take responsibility for their own outcomes.
2) Doing something for someone against their will, because I believe it is in their or my best interest.
Here is a simple checklist to see if you are setting healthy boundaries. If you are feeling anger, frustration or resentment towards a person or institution, it is most likely time to set a boundary.
As you review a boundary, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Does it empower me to take care of my self and my needs?
2) Can I control the boundary?
3) Does it create a safe environment for me physically or emotionally?
4) Am I taking responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires which may be different from other peoples?
Whose Boundary is it?
My dear blog reader, it should now be abundantly clear that not only did I cross over Jerry’s boundaries, I also broke my own.
By forcing my solution on Jerry, I became the loser with the cracked screen. His iPhone is perfectly fine nestled in my case.
AND… Jerry already had a better solution in mind from the start. As soon as this iPhone dies he is going back to a $100 android. Who lost more money in this situation?
I owned a problem that was not mine. Fixed it my way and still came out worse. Can you look back on your life and see times this may have happened? Come on over to a place where people like us discuss this and get better for it. See you in the www.facebook.com/soberonpurpose group.
This is such a big topic! Please share your thoughts!