Relationships, Risks, and Boundaries

Relationships, Risks, and Boundaries

Pursuing a meaningful life of loving, caring, and giving and receiving in relationship with others, means exposing myself to risk. Reaching out to others always involves some risk of rejection, emotional pain, or misunderstanding. But, living in fear of those risks, and so avoiding all circumstances that might result in risk and/or failure, will only lead to isolation and internal loss. When I do set aside fear and then experience failure or rejection as I reach out, it helps if I embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Stepping outside my comfort zone is the only way I will grow; retreating only to my comfort zone, for me, results in mental, emotional, and spiritual loss.

The counter balance to this is that I must establish and maintain personal boundaries that set limits within relationships regarding other’s behavior towards me, in order to appropriately care for my physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being. And I must, when necessary, make others aware of these boundaries rather than simply withdraw from a person when I experience a painful relational event.

So the challenge is: Opening ourselves up to intimacy and close relationships while practicing self care and practicing care for others. I believe these must exist simultaneously in order to live a meaningful, fulfilling life. To do this, I require help from God.

Thomas Fideler

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