Thursday, July 23, 2009

how things are

It's summertime and I spend most of that time recharging for the school year. But this summer was supposed to be different. This summer was supposed to be my first season as a mother, but that turned out not to be the case. And I think I am still mourning from that loss, but ignoring it at the same time, trying to move past it.

Over the past few days I have talked with several friends about how I am good at drawing lines in my life. You know, the lines you won't cross. The deal breakers. The non-negotiable things. I draw those lines because I am selfish about my emotions, my time, my body.

Specifically, we were talking about relationships, and how I drew lines and made choices to protect myself. For example, I didn't have sex until I got married, and that was a line I drew, mostly because that was part of my faith, but also because I felt my emotions and body were precious. Intimacy is just that: intimate. Why share those things with someone I haven't connected with on every other level? When dating, I was up front about my beliefs early on and the few men I dated knew my boundaries. If they weren't okay with my lines, they were shown the door before I even was too far invested. Emotionally. But the lines don't just exist in romantic relationships, they exist in my friendships as well. And I've always thought I was happy in my little box, and I drew a box around my sadness and pushed it aside.

I wonder, though, if my lines, my boxes, my deal breakers kept me from experiencing life more fully. Would I have learned more about the world and about myself if I'd pushed past the lines? Of would I have just gotten myself hurt? If I'd been more flexible, what would that have looked like? Would I have been more popular, more respected, more something? And is more necessarily better? I don't know the answers to these questions.

All I know is that I don't want to be rigid. Even keeled? Yes. But rely so much on my little box that I can't allow for new experiences? No. Maybe there's a place for growth here. Maybe there's a chance for me to redraw my lines, and allow for more freedom and joy. Maybe I don't have to hold back with people when they don't measure up to my expectations.

Maybe this is a ramble and you won't relate to any of it. Maybe my lines and boundaries are my thing and not no one else does this. But if you do relate...comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.


melissa said...

girl, i can definitely relate. it's so easy to draw lines, but to convince yourself that you haven't. to control relationships so that you don't have to give too much, or hurt too much. the Lord has opened my eyes over the years and is slowly teaching me how to have no lines. how to allow Him to guard my heart, and not try to do it on my own. He knows best anyway. thanks for being open about a struggle that we all can relate to!

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...


i think one way you have pushed the lines is here. maybe you've pushed them more than you realize.

thinking of you,

Karrie said...

You are so normal. You have every right to mourn the loss of that child. She was yours in your heart. You had longed for her and hoped for her. I totally understand wanting to keep these hurtful things to yourself.
I have similar lines and when I trust someone and let them inside the boundary, it's a big deal. I am often afraid that admitting the emotions out loud seems to give them more life, but still, I usually feel better after. My best friend has taller walls than I do. She is private and vulnerable and I love her, walls and all. I keep chipping away at them and can tell you, she's worth the effort. I'm sure your friends think the same of you. Definitely worth it!

Melissa Stover said...

i love that post because i have asked myself those questions too. i've always been afraid to try new things, to open myself up to new possibilities. i think we all think we know what are lines are and we don't want to see what would happen if those get crossed because we are afraid it will be bad or just afraid. sometimes i'm even afraid it will be good. isn't that weird.

i understand, is what i'm trying to say.

Alison said...

I could have written that post and totally relate to what you're saying.
I've always been too rigid and have so many regrets because of it. I've wasted so much time trying to control everything instead of enjoying new experiences.
I wonder what it's like to live freely? I can only imagine. Maybe we'll figure it out one day.

Hunnybee said...

Sissy, this is great. You are growing. We all have areas we need to squeeze ourselves out of, habits, preferences, whatever you want to call them. It is great that you are examining your heart in this area and desiring to change, if need be. I pray God reveals to you His heart in this manner and that you continue to have a blessed summer! Love yah!

Anonymous said...

Walls are completely normal. Everyone has them. It's when you let them run your life that it becomes a problem. You can miss out of a lot of great people and family if you write them off if they "don't live up to your expectations". And likewise, people can miss out on you if you don't let the wall down some.