As seen in today’s edition of the Red Bluff Daily News
One of the interesting things I have noticed about the east coast is people do not ordinarily have fencing around their homes. It is quite common for a neighborhood to have vast open space between houses. You can clearly see into anyone’s yard, even when they have a pool.
Coming from California, this seems virtually unthinkable. We live in a state where privacy is only secondary to preventing a lawsuit. We would never think of having our back yards exposed to everyone’s eye’s or, at a minimum, to everyone’s animals who have no sense of boundaries.
If you don’t set up a perimeter around your property, you know that many things can happen. You could look at the lack of a fence as an opportunity to know your neighbors, really well, maybe too well if you aren’t careful, but mostly, you realize that not setting up a boundary could afford you a lot of pain. If someone came into your yard, uninvited, you may be faced with confronting them to leave. If someone’s animal wasn’t under the owner’s control, you could suffer damage. If you have a pool or other water feature, it could be a hazard to children who do not know how to swim.
Sometimes our lives represent a yard with no fence. People fail to erect proper boundaries and the negativity of their neighbors encroach on them. If you allow your friends, family and workmates into your metaphorical yard, you could have a lot of safety issues on your hands.
Do you find yourself feeling overworked, overused and generally underwhelmed when you see some people? Do you have a hard time saying no to people? Are you always the person who is stepping up to the plate to do whatever someone asks? You may be a really focused person who uses giving back to the world as platform for your self worth, or you may be someone with no boundaries.
Even the most nurturing person on the planet has moments when they feel like a worn out, crusty sponge. A sponge can give and give moisture, but after it has been squeezed too many times, it simply can’t give anymore. Many of you have crusty sponge syndrome. The best way to create a natural giving/take cycle is to have proper boundaries.
People who have developed a helpers mindset (people like me) often times equate their value based on what they do for others. At some point in their life, they were rewarded in some way for doing things for others and it became part of the their love language. They express their love for others by doing things and gain their sense of acceptance by being rewarded for doing things. Perhaps you see this trait in yourself? If you do, you must realize that you have to have boundaries or at some point you will become frustrated with many people in your life. You will begin to feel used instead of appreciated and it will be your own fault. People will come to expect your brand of love and even the most energetic of people can’t manage giving all of the time.
It causes confusion in your world when you try to shut off the giving flow. People think something is wrong or try to push you to do what you always do and you feel even more pressure to please them at your expense.
If you want a life that feels harmonious with your giving nature, create a metaphorical fence around you. Set boundaries and make sure they are clearly marked and you will be able to keep the neighborhood dogs from pooping on your lawn.