I have been thinking a lot recently about the topic of boundaries. I used to hold the mindset that setting boundaries was negative, but I am still trying to understand that it is actually very healthy. In the bible, Jesus sets boundaries and expectations for himself for other people to uphold and follow. For instance, Jesus set a standard for the people to follow which was to keep His temple holy.
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them." (Matthew 21)
I used to think of this parable and think that Jesus was angry. In the time, He might have been, because He clearly stated that his temple was a place to worship his Father. He had set a boundary, and the people chose to invade this. Even though Jesus was upset, he contained compassion and mercy to heal all that came to see Him.
Unfortunately, I am not as patient as Christ, nor will I ever be. As humans, we do not contain enough empathy, sympathy, love, and many other attributes that even compare to Christ, but, we can learn this important lesson from Him. We can set boundaries that are comfortable for our own lives. It does not matter how big or small they seem to be. Setting boundaries in your life allows other people to respect you and know what you are comfortable with.
Being a widow is extremely hard. I never anticipated how heartbreaking this would be. I know that there are people that want to help, but they do not know how to begin. Many don't know what to say or how to approach me. I know that many may be able to relate to me. Many have experienced the loss of a child, sibling, parent, or have been through very traumatic experiences. ALL experiences are different and ALL exhibit different feelings. Losing someone is extremely difficult and the feelings accompanied when losing someone are different for everyone who has to experience this. That is why it is important to understand the person who has been through the traumatic experience's boundaries, to understand your own, and accept that they have different boundaries than you.
If you know someone who is going through a challenging time this season, ask how you can respect their boundaries. Ask them what they are comfortable with. Ask if they like being called rather than being texted or how they would like to be communicated with. Ask them if they like you dropping by. Ask them how they would like to be supported at this time. Suggest ways that you can help them. If you do not know how to approach someone who is grieving, trust me, it is better to ask them how they are doing rather than not asking them at all.
It is important that we set boundaries in our lives and to understand that everyone has different ways of thinking. Jesus was the greatest example of them all.