Boundaries are about where your attention goes.
In our culture there’s an idea that boundaries require defense of those boundaries.
There was a time when boundaries for me meant I would construct a huge wall with bricks of resolution, indignation, righteousness, superiority, blame, and victimhood. I’d mount accusation cannons on the wall and hire guards of hypervigilance to stay alert for intruders.
It was absolutely exhausting.
It required just as much energy to set and maintain those boundaries as it did to maintain toxic relationships, and I had a lot more practice maintaining toxic relationships, so actually that was easier.
Boundaries don’t have to feel like that, though.
Since I went in on my boundary work, my boundaries feel calm and clear and require no defense or explanation.
I draw a line in the sand and walk away, or walk right up to it and embrace whoever is on the other side. The way I set boundaries now is peacekeeping work—loving, harmonious, diplomatic, and easy.
It’s so much easier to maintain peace than it is to prepare for and go to war.
What doesn’t serve me gets none of my attention. There’s no justification, reasoning, or even explanation. There is just the silence of my attention being elsewhere, on what is joyful and beautiful and productive in my life.