Assertion Is Not Aggression
(To clarify: The boundaries discussed here are about boundaries for the self at the level of form. They are the practical result at the level of form of being aware of your wholeness in Truth. Discussions in spiritual teachings about the dropping away of the boundary of the self refer to a an experience that transcends the level of form.)
Sometimes students tell me that they feel that setting boundaries is an attack on others. This is because in the past they didn’t set boundaries until they felt so violated that they felt they had to become angry and aggressive to protect themselves. They would blow up at others or cut them out of their life for not respecting boundaries that they never clarified. Their anger seemed to be about others. But really they were angry with themselves for allowing others to abuse or to manipulate them.
When you are confused about your worth you feel uncertain about where to set your boundaries. You feel that you do not have the right to expect respect from others. You feel, unconsciously or consciously, that their abuse is justified. So asking for respect feels as though it requires you to “confront” others. This is a projection of your own inward conflict. Internally you feel so guilty and conflicted about your own worth that you don’t feel right simply asking for respect. You feel you have to “steal” it from others and that this makes you even more wrong.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.