Boundaries: From A Brick Wall To An Invisible Fence
I grew up around kids who were really, really good, at being bad.
It was not always like this, but in my teenage years, I was placed in a position where I was supposed to survive and I really did not have the tools necessary to do so. In fact, I was not even of age to work a job more than part time. So I went to the dark side, so to speak. I learned the ropes by placing myself around the right/wrong people and just happened to be amongst a few other young men who were on the same mission.
This combination, of people and experience made me become exactly what I had intended.
I became a person who would do whatever it took to get what I needed, and I did it in a big and not so pretty way, FOR YEARS.
My development came in a place of utter survival, so survive I did, and I did it for a long time. As I created patterns of my own self destruction I built myself comfy circles of people who supported my endeavor.
These people didn’t mean to hurt me, they were just on similar pursuits.
“Like” simply attracts “like”.
The only person who was purposely trying to destroy “Me” and everything around me, was “ME”.
I was just a kid though. I had no idea that I was placing boundaries in my life that were not welcoming to anyone who was doing anything positive in their lives. I purposely continued to place all of the wrong people and situations in my own path, because I was an angry guy. I WANTED to be a bad person.
As I matured, I learned lessons and discovered that I did not want to be that person anymore, but I was kind of stuck. The patterns that I developed, the situations that were presented to me, were getting worse and worse. A lot of terrible things began happening to me and also to the people around me. It was like a constant train-wreck, waiting to happen and I knew nothing else, other than that I wanted out.
I spent years trying find my way out of those places, years.
Over and over, no matter where I went, I was still drawing the same kind of people in my life, even in the most random of situations.
I could not get away from it and I wondered why?
This is where I discovered the use boundaries and here is what I learned:
The first thing that I learned, with the advice of a few key people who were placed in my life, was to keep my circle full of people who encouraged me to be better. I was made to recognize, that the people in my life, no matter how loyal to me, a lot of them encouraged me, but in a bad way. The people who I had in my circle, were people who wanted me to do well, at being bad and maybe even without even realizing it, were discouraging me from doing the positive things that I wanted to do, because they wanted me to be the BEST at being bad.
That wasn’t good!
I learned that because these were the people who I kept around me were actually the reason that I was attracting those sort of people, no matter how far away that I went!
It took me many years to realize it and then when I did, it hurt.
I knew that I was going to have to created distance from people who I dearly cared for and I loved them. But it was not really the right kind of love and was creating a life cycle, which was stomping all over the forehead of my dreams and wants.
Over time, I began creating distance from this person and that person.
Soon, I would begin to recognize that certain folks just did not support anything I wanted to do. I began to notice that there were a lot of people who wanted me to do what THEY thought I should do and not what I felt deep down inside that I should be doing.
One by one, I distanced myself from people who were of no positive influence on my greater purpose.
With some people I constructed a brick wall. They were never going to be retuning into my life. It was so clear. With others I shut the door, but left it open a crack, so that someday they might approach, in a more understanding manner, and be welcome into my circle.
After I did this, I began to seek out the kind of people who were supportive of me, who would encourage me and who had done, or were doing brave things like I wanted to do.
People who were being themselves.
As things moved forward I had created a lot of distance with people in my life. I needed to place new people in the place of the people who I previously had in my life, but it seemed like I was removing many and only adding one or two new ones. This was alarming to me and it seemed that I was still drawing in the wrong people or situations. Lucky for me, I had the support of the one or two new people who were in my life and eventually, things began to change.
I began to notice the new people who were approaching me and became more aware of what I expected from the people who I had begun to surround myself with, because of what those new people presented to me.
It was then that I consciously stopped invited those types of people into my life and made the choice to shut the door within minutes of their knocking.
Rather than develop new, unhealthy relationships, I simple let them move on and went about my business.
What happened next was nothing short of magic.
It was as if an invisible fence was built in the place of the brick wall, boundaries I had taken so much time to establish.
I began to notice that those people, not only were not approaching me in the same way, but I just no longer “fit-in”, or had much in common with those types of people.
Soon my life became fuller.
I was now being encouraged by the people in my new circle and slowly, began becoming surrounded by a tribe of positive people. Or at least that’s what my friend Dr. Nandi calls it.
It was like the floodgates had opened, doors were opening and I was interacting with people who seemed to have my best interests in mind and my whole life began to change in dramatic ways!
If you have been building walls and are ready to install a door, there is a place where you can safely do that and invite new people into your life who are doing the same things.
Visit BeRoyal.com and find your new tribe.
Greg Dutilly is the author of the books “Many Roads” and “How I Went from Failure to forward”. He is a blogger and social media entrepreneur who addresses comfort zones and the need to step into your fears, to be the best you.