Fences – Keeping Things In, Keeping Things Out

Recently, a friend of ours put a fence up in their yard. It was something they thought about, wanted and planned. They had their reasons. They wanted to keep certain things contained in a specific area. But they also wanted to keep certain things out of this specific area.

While planning, they made sure they kept this fence on *their* property. In fact, they put it a few feet away from their property line, closer to their home, ensuring that this fence, was in fact on their property.

Because no one puts a fence on someone else’s property. You only put a fence on your own property.

It brings security, provides clear definition of what’s a free area and what is not. It speaks to others as to what is allowed in and what’s not. It is in fact, a boundary.

And just like fences go up in yards and properties, boundaries are healthy in needed in relationships and life. Boundaries draw the lines of what I am able to do for you and what I am not. Boundaries define what I will allow of you and what I will not. Like a line in the sand or fence in the yard, a boundary is a clear marking of different zones. It provides security, definition and I believe, mental, emotional and physical health.

Boundaries are good for us to think about, to be intentional in our choosing of them.

I have been studying boundaries for some time now, from various sources and have gathered many thoughts and benefits.

Boundaries serve you. They protect you. They allow you freedom even though they may appear to constrict. They allow focus on what one is called to rather to what is calling at you in the moment. They keep you on task. They allow confidence to grow and thrive as one realizes they are worthy to have boundaries. They allow for respect of others and for oneself.  Boundaries teach us to say no and that no can be good. Boundaries can teach us to say yes, but only this much yes. Boundaries force us to communicate when we would rather not, even though the end result is for our benefit.

It’s ok to make them. And then it’s important to stand by them and uphold them. The only way they won’t work is if you don’t work them. People may push the boundaries, situations arise that cause one to move the fence. And there may be seasons of change, emergencies that require those boundaries to change. But, it’s up to the one who created the boundary to enforce it if that’s what is necessary.

It’s ok to say I cannot do something because it violates my boundary. If we people please, we are lying to people. We are saying we are ok with something, when we are not. And *that* is not ok. It doesn’t matter if someone likes our fence, agrees in the way we have arranged it. It’s ours. On our property. And others need to abide by it.

The only way people take advantage, make choices for us, or invade our property is if we let them. So find your voice, speak up and draw your boundary lines. Often times, they will be respected and valued as we clearly communicate and define them. They will provide security and clarity for ourselves and others involved. Don’t be afraid! Just do it! You will be thankful you did!

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