I recently had a conversation with a friend who was being confronted with a decision to sleep with a girl or not. He said he couldn’t hold it in any longer (in reference to celibacy), and he figured…”hey, why not?” Why not sleep with this girl solely for the sexual enjoyment? After all, it was easier to give in than to show restraint. My mind was racing after this conversation with my friend.
And here is why: For many years I gave in. I did not care. I did not care about other people, their feelings, or the need to show personal respect. I did not care about my body, my “feelings” (because I had none, right?), and I did not respect myself. I truly believed that life without boundaries for myself was more fulfilling, more fun. Eventually I grew a conscience. I grew a heart and an awareness of the importance of having healthy boundaries for myself and for other people. Heard of the book? Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I read it, and something changed. I began to respect others and value them equal to myself.
Whether or not you, Reader, are a religious person, keeping firm boundaries is a healthy idea/task. For me, having a boundary keeps people from walking all over me, manipulating me, and abusing me. The more I flex my “boundaries” muscles the happier I am with myself. Instead of saying yes to everything that makes me feel good, I first decide what my driving motivation is in the situation for what I am pursuing.
So, why not? For me, the reason is I respect myself. And I respect you also. I wish I had held these boundaries in the past. And I wish others had shown me the same respect. That is why not. Am I perfect at this? Um, NO. But it’s progress not perfection, right?