Boundaries Not Limits – a Story of Unconditional Love

“I don’t know what’s up with him lately,” she said. “He always has lots of stress at work, but he’s never acted the way he has this last week. We had a fight like we have never had before.” She went on, “sure we have times that we disagree and little tiffs about things” she added, “but we’ve never yelled at each other. By the time we were done, I was in tears. I just looked at him and told him, ‘I spent almost 20 years in a relationship like this, and I’ll never do it again’”.

I can hear the struggle to choke back tears in her voice, as she told me about their fight.

She said she told him she loved him unconditionally, but that didn’t make him yelling at her ok. At that time, her Spirit reminded her that unconditional love has no limits, but it does have boundaries.

There is nothing more glorious than the love we have for our partners and spouses, and children. Love truly makes all things in life brighter and happier. It makes the day to day compromises and sacrifices completely worth it.

Love brings amazing gifts to our life, there is no doubt about that. But sometimes people speak in terms of unconditional love, and what they really mean is “I have no sense of boundaries for myself.”

That my friends is never what unconditional love is intended to be.

The greatest example of unconditional love, of course is that of the Universe or Spirit, or God, call it whatever you will. That is the true source of love without limits. But an infinite source has no need to protect itself as it is the source of all things.

However, in the human realm, we have an ego mind and accordingly, we must learn that unconditional love, that ability to love someone no matter what, must also have boundaries. It is not “unconditionally loving” if you allow yourself to be mistreated by someone else, that’s just a lack of boundaries. In order to give true healthy love, we must first have love for ourselves.

Then, and only then, are we able to give healthy boundaries with unconditional love to someone else.

The gift to this entire story is that my client had learned to love herself unconditionally. Not that she came to that easily:  It came from challenges, and a previous relationship that did not love and honor her. She has earned her stripes. The greatest reward for that comes in her ability to have healthy boundaries for herself and her spouse now. Those boundaries allow her an element of self-love so that she can truly love him.

In the end, of course there was a kiss and make up, which is lovely. There will be conversations to follow about how to handle stress, about how to handle work/life balance, and all of the things that have brought her spouse to a place of getting angry. The ability to manage ourselves amidst adversity is a key component to being able to love ourselves and those around us. It’s a continual practice and no one is perfect. And a good apology is only as qualitative as the shift in behavior that follows it.

Remember this, unconditionally, loving someone does not mean tolerating whatever behavior, they decide to shell out.

Unconditional love is limitless…and it also has boundaries.

Forever the journey, Anne

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