Setting Relationship Boundaries

On the topic of relationship, a friend of mine once told me that she hoped that I would not let the world take away my naivety.  I am willing to open up my heart to anyone willing to take it and while it has created some beautiful, vulnerable, and authentic relationships, it has also left me hurt when it is taken advantage of.

Over the years both in friendship and in the online community, people have used my vulnerability against me.  I open up with an intention of trust only for it to backfire on me.

Recently I experienced this again but in a way that really hurt me.  I got yelled at in front of my own home by someone I thought was a friend.  It ended up being an insane situation.  It was completely out of line and I realized that I really did not know this person well based on how the encounter went down.

I tried to do all the right things to make things right - apologizing, listening, agreeing and trying to understand their frustration even though it was clearly inappropriate - for the sake of keeping some peace.  But it just wasn't going to happen.

Since then, in discussion with my husband and others involved, I have realized that there is now a level of boundaries I must keep in order to keep our home and family safe.  Instead of extending grace, second chances, and forgiveness, I now have to put up a wall for the sake of protecting myself. 

When it comes to family, friends, and genuinely honest people, sometimes we have to forgive and forget.  And often this is hard.  But I am learning that unfortunately there are people in the world who are not kind. 

We have always had an open door policy in our home.  We extend invitations and relationship to anyone who is willing.  But when it comes down to it, there is a level of responsibility I have at how much I let people into my personal life.

It is an unfortunate lesson.  I wish I could be naive to mean spirited people and just love on and feed anyone who is willing.  But this is an important life lesson that people can take kindness and use it against me. 

I will continue to show an extension of my heart through my home and in my words but I will also move forward with a level of caution.  I will not let this keep me from loving others but I will choose patience and time to prove relationships that can be truly trusted. 

I want my home to continue to be a place of love, vulnerability, and kindness.  But in order to keep it this way, I must protect it.