I have been traveling a lot these days and have had some occasion to hang out with friends. It is always good to connect with old and new friends. As many of you know I am a very touch feely person. I love safe good physical contact with others. Nothing like a good hug or a great hold.
Over the past few years I have learned a lot about boundaries. I have had some pretty ruff situations that have taught me amazing things about boundaries and how much they can differ between each other.
Boundaries are limits or rules that a person establishes and puts in place based on personal commitments, beliefs, and experiences. Boundaries are put in place to protect and keep safe agreements each individual person has made with themselves and those who are closely connected with and often are based on spiritual reasons, such a faith, religion, or belief. Boundaries can vary from one person to the next depending on each persons life experiences. Boundaries must be established in each relationship and may vary depending on the relationship. The most important thing to understand about boundaries is that one must respect another persons boundaries and not assume that they share the same boundaries or that they are in the same place.
Respecting boundaries is really the foundation for having personal deeper more meaningful friendships. Without boundaries and the respect of them there cannot be a foundation of trust and deeper connection.
Often times in our culture many have established personal boundaries and assume that everyone is on the same page. That is not true in any sense of the word. Each person is on a personal experience and each person deals with connection in their own personal way where they are on there own personal journey.
Boundaries can change as the experience changes and as one becomes aware of where they can go and where the other person can be trusted, but it MUST be communicated and discussed in an open trusting way and each much trust and have understanding about where the other person is. Boundaries cannot be push or hurried. Each person much have respect for the other person without judgement, understanding that what might be ok for them just might be a trigger for the other person.
Some men are comfortable holding hands, while others may feel it is to personal and to be truthful perhaps there is someone in their life they have committed to that holding hands is not appropriate. Some can hug and hold while others are not comfortable with that. We are all on different journeys and have had different life experiences that have molded our thoughts and feelings.
There are many that desire closer connection with another person, but have no idea how to achieve that and still maintain constant strong boundaries. That is one reason boundaries are so important and the discussion of them is critical. We cannot just jump in and assume that because I feel a certain way everyone is on the same page. That is far from the truth.
Someone that experiences sexual addictions will have totally different boundaries than someone that has never had that experience. Someone that has been abused will have different boundaries. Each and every person is on a different journey based on life experiences. There are those that are totally open to all things and have no boundaries at all and have no tolerance for the boundaries of others.
My personal experience is that my close friends understand my boundaries and I understand theirs and honor them. If they cannot respect or understand mine I have no room for them in my circle of friends. I cannot express how important this is, if a friend cannot discuss and respect boundaries, perhaps they should not be considered close friends. Good friends are trusted in all things. Even if they don’t agree, but must respect.
Have boundaries and respecting them is the key to successful happy friendships. Not only physical, but emotional and mental boundaries have to respected also.
I believe that we can all have close personal and even intimate friendships that can exceed our expectations if we honor boundaries between each other and if our boundaries are based on faith and belief in a higher power.
For me, I believe firmly in what Jonathan told David, “The Lord is between me and thee”. In my friendships I try to make sure the Lord is in the middle and with that I have and will continue to experience wonderful friendships that include healthy physical touch where my personal boundaries and the boundaries of my friends are respected and honored.