Thursday, September 22, 2011

Boundaries: The Castle Metaphor


Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries is a critical component in all relationships. Boundaries are limits created by you that protect your values and communicate to others which behaviors you will, and will not, accept from them. Creating healthy boundaries supports stronger self esteem and demonstrates respect for ourselves and others.

For the sake of argument (and to have a little fun), let’s go medieval for a minute and equate personal boundaries with visiting someone’s home—their castle. When you are in someone’s castle you need to be polite and respectful while you are there. Why is this so important? For starters, being allowed to enter into someone’s castle shows they respect you enough to let you into their personal space—basically, they’ve let down their drawbridge. If you can appreciate this fact, you will already feel respected. But if you don’t appreciate it, you may meet an undesirable fate (see below). 

So now that you've been let in, it is critical that you follow the “Rules of the Castle”:

Rules of the Castle

1. Do not steal. This includes taking ANYTHING that isn’t yours to take including physical objects, thoughts, ideas, or attention. Remember: it’s not all about you.
2. Be polite. Always say “Please, Your Highness,” “Thank you, Sire,”
As you wish, Your Excellency, and “You’re welcome, Your Grace,” (insert correct salutations and titles, as necessary).
3. Always ask if you are unsure. Assumptions lead to expectations, and expectations become seeds of disappointment. Asking questions is practicing humility.
4. Pick-up after yourself. When you are done working or playing, pick up your things (books, toys, swords, etc.) and put them back for the next time or the next person.
5. Don’t be selfish. This includes any type of greed and possessiveness. Share and share alike. Remember the Golden Rule: to do unto others as you'd do unto oneself.
6. Play nicely. Be a good sport, demonstrate good showmanship, do your best, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Remember: you are the guest.
7. Take time to appreciate. Make a point to stop what you are doing and observe what is happening around you. Learn to appreciate the people and your environment. Develop respect for this opportunity; cherish the experience; savor the moment.
8. Treat this castle as if it was your own. Take pride in it and be as respectful as you would be in your own castle—if not more so.
9. Be generous. When cutting cake always offer the bigger slice to your guest or host.
10. Bow or curtsy in a graceful manner. When making closing salutations always pay proper respect to the Master of the House and express your sincerest gratitude. Expressions of gratitude are seldom forgotten.


Those that cannot follow these rules will be shown the catapult!
 

Happy Equinox,

The Ambassador of Goodwill