Adult Time Out Chairs

“Still
Everything happens
For a reason”
Is no reason not to ask myself

If I’m living it right
Am I living it right?
Am I living it right?
Why, tell me why
Why, why Georgia why?”

~John Mayer~

What do the terms boundaries and consequences mean to you? I’ve had to assert some boundaries in my personal life for my own serenity as of lately–and–its been very difficult. I’ve had to evaluate the terms in my personal life and questioned their meaning and fluidity. The ever changing definition of the word. Then I stumbled upon a woman’s personal quote from an in person speech she had given on good ‘ole Instagram.

“Boundaries have no value without consequences.” Diana N. Patterson M. Ed

That hit me like a ton of bricks. Its so simple at its core, yet as we progress into adulthood we overthink and complicate pretty much everything. A toddler hits another child, they go into a time out chair. Okay. So what is the adult version of this in our lives? We can’t make grown people sit in the corners of our homes….so how do we enforce the hits to our feelings, personal needs, inner peace, credibility, integrity, and spiritual fitness?

There are consequences for our actions. Boundaries are meant to value what we hold near. So step one is probably figuring out what that actually is. I am comfortable saying that at the end of the day I have to and need to have the following: sobriety, spiritual fitness, serenity of some baseline, lack of drama to maintain the first two, a connection with nature (even for a 5 minute walk), a conversation with God, gratitude, faith, and time for my partner and the people I love like family (and those that ARE family.)

Anything that messes with any of those things that I have worked so incredibly hard for needs to be put into an adult version of a time out chair in my life.

No ifs, ands, or butts.

This is easy to write out and point out to other people-but try acting it out.

I strive to live by the golden rule, and treat others the way I would want to be treated. That doesn’t always allot for a time to pause and grasp is this person treating me the way that I deserve to be treated or that is harming my precious recovery bubble of serenity. I have to hold a higher value on that. Even if it means putting someone on a time out in my life for now. I never make these decisions lightly, or base on one interaction (because we are all human and doing the very best we can.)

Either way I have to start valuing myself and what I have worked so hard for in my life to protect it. Just like parents don’t like handing out punishments all day long, I don’t like hitting delete, block ,and responding with “I’m sorry I can’t be there for you right now.” Trust me though…if I had to cut you off for now….I was handed the loppers not scissors to do so.

So this Sunday, I am going to challenge myself to one thing that I must protect and think hard about it while out getting some exercise. (I swear sometimes Lake Michigan and my conversations with God help me out with answers…) It may be sleep, less e-mail, less something, but I’m going to work to protect it.

After all value starts with v….v means victory and another beautiful day in recovery.