There is a book that I have been reading for several years now, yes I have read the whole thing but I continue to read it over and over again because it has little tidbits for everyday life. I love it because I often feel like it was written by me for me…So here is what I read this morning that blew my mind. The book is called THE INNER VOICE OF LOVE and it is by Henri Nouwen. (I’m like 85% sure that I spelled that right…ha ha)
“When people show you their boundaries (‘I can’t do this for you’), you feel rejected. You cannot accept the fact that others are unable to do for you all that you expect from them. You desire boundless love, boundless care, boundless giving.
Part of your struggle is to set boundaries to your own love- something you have never done. You give whatever people ask of you, and when they ask for more, you give more, until you find yourself exhausted, used, and manipulated. Only when you are able to set your own boundaries will you be able to acknowledge, respect, and even be grateful for the boundaries of others.
In the presence of the people you love, your needs grow and grow, until those people are so overwhelmed by your needs that they are practically forced to leave you for their own survival. The great task is to claim yourself for yourself, so that you can contain your needs within the boundaries of your self and hold them in the presence of those you love. True mutuality in love requires people who possess themselves and who can give to each other while holding on to their own identities. So, in order both to give more effectively and to be more self-contained with your needs, you must learn to set boundaries to your love!”