Boundaries are as much about what we keep out as let in. When it comes to grief, we frequently talk about building boundaries to prevent people from being prescriptive about how we grieve, telling us to move on, or threatening our fragile and momentary peace. These limits are important and good mostly as preventative measures for additional and unnecessary wounds. Those boundaries about what we KEEP OUT.
But what about restorative measures that nourish us, uplift our hearts, and lighten life’s burdens? This is when it helps having healthy boundaries that allow the good and wonderful INTO our lives. For grief, this can be as simple as someone offering to drop off a meal, providing childcare, going on a walk, listening without judgement, or asking how you’re doing. It’s wonderful when they are offered. It’s even more wonderful when we welcome this love and care by saying YES.
Boundaries are good like this. They help keep out the unhealthy. They open us to things we weren’t able to receive before. Good things, like help. “You get what you tolerate,” says Henry Cloud. Let’s tolerate the good.