I was reading the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend at a local coffee shop, when the individual next to me leaned over and began to inject his thoughts into my thoughtful reflections. I love intriguing conversations, so I put the book aside and we began talking about boundaries in life.
He had a background in chemistry, so in no time we found ourselves discussing the permeability of cell membranes (boundaries), and how when a molecule or ion comes in, another must go out in order to maintain balance. My short background in biochemistry helped me know where he was going with this.
Setting the boundaries on friendships
This individual also has a number of autoimmune disorders, as well as difficulty walking. With recognition of our similarities, he began to move the conversation to how autoimmune illness (any chronic illness for that matter) can impact friendships. In time, it’s rather common to experience a change in the relationship with some of our friends, and they cease to be ‘real friends.’ However, my new friend also talked about the BEAUTY of the situation. Relating to our earlier discussion on cell permeability, he explained that when one friend ceases to be a friend, you now have room for a new friend. And we get to make a choice as to who we will let in.
It’s our boundaries. We have a choice as to who we allow to permeate our boundaries. We can choose to only let in those who are at a place where they can be a great friend, understanding and supportive. And this is exactly what he did. It was very clear that his new friends who ‘permeated’ into his current life as a result of other friendships ending, represent much deeper and more caring relationships.????
It’s important to take the time to be grateful when our lives gift us with amazing new friends.
Setting the boundaries on business relationships
The same concept of boundaries and permeability is true for business relationships. Whether it’s a ‘lost’ opportunity with a prospect, a client that moves on or a client relationship you choose to end, that space makes room for a better relationship. You get to choose a relationship that is a better fit, that better meets your needs, that is more aligned with your business strategy. Stay focused on filling that space with more meaningful opportunity or business relationship, and you will find that you have more energy and more happiness. You’ll most likely also recognize an increase in revenue.
A Moment to Ponder: If there is one client or one personal relationship you would like to let go of right now, who would that be? What is stopping you from doing so?
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