On the one hand, there are boundaries and, on the other hand, there are walls. To gain an understanding of what the difference is, someone could think about these two things in a slightly different context.
When it comes to a property, a boundary will let other people know where the property begins and end, but it will still let the owner/s out and other people in. A wall, however, won’t let the owner/s out and it won’t let other people in.
A Big Difference
If someone has boundaries, then, they will be able to reach out to others and other people will be able to reach out to them. This will allow them to deeply connect to others and to experience intimacy.
Additionally, if they do feel as though their ‘line’ has been crossed, they will be able to speak out and make this clear. Said another way, one won’t be totally defenceless; they will have the ability to protect themselves.
Through being this way, it will enable them to make the most of the life that they have been given. There will be no need for them to sit on the sidelines and to watch other people live life.
They will no, deep down, that if something happens that doesn’t feel right, they will be able to do something about it. Ultimately, they will feel safe enough to be here and safe enough to assert themselves.
When it comes to their relationships, there could be a number of people in their life who they feel extremely close to. Naturally, having people like this in their life will have a positive effect on their mental and emotional health.
Thanks to their inner sense of safety and ability to express themselves if something doesn’t feel right, they will be able to be vulnerable around the right people. This doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be hurt, though.
Part of Life
However, although they will have probably been hurt over the years, they may know that there is no alternative to living in this way. They could know that not letting anyone in would be far more painful.
If they were to look back on their life, they may have more or less always had good boundaries. Then again, they may have been a point in time when they were unable to let anyone in.
A Very Different Reality
If someone has walls, instead of boundaries, they won’t be able to let anyone into their life. This will stop them from being able to deeply connect to others, which will stop them from experiencing intimacy.
One will be an interdependent human being, but they will act as though they are an independent human being. So as they are going against their own nature and ignoring a lot of their needs, they are bound to suffer.
Unlike the person who has boundaries, they won’t be able to embrace life; they will have to watch life from the sidelines. What they may find is that they are used to feeling cut-off, lonely and down.
If there are moments when their need to connect to others appears, they could soon suppress it. Reaching out to others won’t be something that feels comfortable and denying this need won’t be comfortable either.
A Different Scenario
This doesn’t mean that there won’t ever be moments when they do reach out to others, but when this does happen, they could soon regret it. They could end up doing something that they would rather not do, causing them to feel walked over in the process.
What takes place will end up validating their belief that they need to keep everyone at a distance. Undoubtedly, this is no way to live and one will need to do something about what is taking place.
A Closer Look
If someone believes that they need walls to protect themselves, it may illustrate that they were violated during their early years. At this stage of their life, they may have been treated as though they were just an extension of their caregiver/s.
As a result, it wouldn’t have mattered whether they wanted to do something or not or how they felt, as their reality would have been disregarded. This would have stopped them from developing a sense of safety and security and set them up to believe that it wasn’t safe enough for them to exist.
The Only Option
Through having these experiences, they would have come to believe that they can only survive if they keep people at a distance; if this doesn’t take place, they will lose themselves and even be annihilated. Moreover, emotionally shutting down and disconnecting from their need to connect to others will have been something that happened in order to stop them from being overwhelmed by what was going on.
Many years will have passed since that stage of their life, but they will still carry the beliefs that they created and the trauma that they experienced. What is taking place inside them will create a resonance and this resonance will define what they experience.
For their life to change, they will need to change what they believe and to work through their trauma. By doing this, what they are resonating will change and this will allow their reality to change.
If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.