Cara Rector is the mother of five wonderful daughters. She has been guiding the homeschool efforts of her family since 2010, and she herself is the product of homeschooling off and on from her elementary through high school years. She has a great love for music and vocal performance. She has an associate degree in liberal arts from Southern Virginia University.
I met Cara at the Latter-day Saint Home Educators conference in May where she gave a class on boundaries. She taught about the power of true boundaries and the destructive nature of false boundaries. I never knew there was a difference!
Cara describes that having false boundaries is doing everything we can to protect ourselves except for being assertive and setting clear boundaries! She said it is like having a potted flower that needs water, soil, and sunshine but also needs protection from wind, predators, and pests. We want to protect the flower, so a false boundary would be to put that plant in a box to keep it away from those negative elements. Sure, it’s safe from those elements, but it is not receiving the nourishment it needs to thrive.
We set false boundaries when we refuse to address the real issue so we justify ourselves, we blame others, we ignore the situation, we make excuses all so we avoid addressing the real problem.
I just heard a story about a friend who let her car registration expire. Rather than taking the time to update it, she was making sure to drive the speed limit, and paying extra to park in a garage instead of on the street so there was less risk of being caught with expired tags. Doesn’t that sound funny? Yet, how often do we do things that feel safer so we don’t have to confront the problem? How much extra stress do we create when we avoid finding a proper solution?
True boundaries are about taking care of your wellbeing. You don’t need to justify why you set the boundaries, and you aren’t responsible for how other people feel about the boundaries you set. True boundaries allow us to grow with true connection rather than fostering resentment, jealousy, or retaliating against the person you resent.