Today’s Reminder: 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.”
~ Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend ~
(Authors of Boundaries)
The Ten Laws of Boundaries Series
Law #1: The Law of Sowing and Reaping
When substance use disorder is present in the family system, we find that the law of reaping what we sow is disrupted. Prolonged use of alcohol and drugs correlates often with a host of consequences. Families struggle with the urge to step in and reap the natural consequences of what their loved one has sowed in an attempt to protect them. Stepping into this role enables them to continue in irresponsible behavior. This cycle breeds frustration, fear and resentment to all members of the family. Today we call a person who continually rescues another person a codependent. In effect, the lack of boundaries dictates that the family “cosign the note” of life and pay for it physically, emotionally and spiritually. Establishing clear boundaries assists the family members to stop interfering with the natural order of consequences that is vital to the process of recovery and affords the person struggling an opportunity to face their problems and accept responsibility.
3 C’s of Al-Anon
- We didn’t CAUSE it
- We can’t CONTROL it
- We can’t CURE it
AND WE WON’T CONTRIBUTE TO IT TODAY
Questions to Consider This Week
- Do I often struggle to allow my loved one to face their consequences without my interference? Do I make excuses and cosign their behavior?
- Is it possible that my loved one will never accept responsibility for their behavior as long as I am willing to accept it for them?
- Am I fearful of setting healthy boundaries in my family due to upsetting my loved one? Does the term boundary seem harsh to me?
- Would you consider the possibility that lack of boundaries is likely not only an issue in your family system but in your relationships with colleagues, friends and extended family members?