Yes, the Spiritually Aware Set Boundaries

My last two articles discussed setting boundaries in relationships. A common question I get is that if one is spiritually aware wouldn’t they not be bothered by others’ attacks or negativity. Yes, it’s true that when you are spiritually aware you do not have a personal reaction to what others say or do. But that does not mean that you want to be around dysfunction if you have the choice.

First, I want to point out that people who are having problems in their relationships have not yet reached a level of spiritual awareness where they have stopped getting an emotional charge from others’ attitudes and behaviors. If they had reached that point they would not need to ask how to deal with their relationships! Boundaries would be automatic. In fact, a sign that someone with low-self-esteem is growing in their spiritual awareness is that they are ready to start putting up boundaries with dysfunctional others. A side-effect of growing spiritual awareness is a healthier self.

But back to the point: When you are spiritually aware you simply have no desire to be around a lot of drama, which is the result of dysfunction. So when you have a choice, you put up boundaries. Even when you are spiritually aware you’d prefer to sit in a quiet place rather than next to a jet engine.

Sometimes you don’t have a choice. Or, really, you do, but you are getting something else out of a situation that is of more value to you. For example, you may put up with your bigoted uncle on the holidays because he is part of the family and you want to be with the others in your family. So your boundary is to not have much to do with Uncle Bigot at family events. And you do not seek him outside of family events. Or perhaps you work with someone who is relentlessly negative and judgmental so you limit the time you interact with them to shared projects. You also may have a dear friend whose life occasionally erupts in victimhood drama, even with you, but you work it out with them because you get so much else out of the relationship.

Life in the world surrounds you with so much dysfunction why, when you have the choice, would you not make the choice for a peaceful outside that reflects the peace within? In fact, it’s automatic that you seek and create outside what reflects within. It is not a coincidence that those who are more spiritually aware have quieter, simpler, more harmonious outer lives.

And, importantly, the boundaries you set are not only for you. They are a loving way of demonstrating, “I am whole and so are you. I can see there is much more to you than you are now demonstrating.” Your boundaries model for others what it is to value yourself and your integrity. They give others the opportunity to look at their own behavior and to grow out of their dysfunction and immaturity. Whether or not they choose to do so is, of course, their choice.

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 


Sage Starfield said…
I like what you suggest Liz. Sometimes we need to establish boundaries to protect ourselves while we do our inner work. Once that growth is somewhat stable we find we can shed the need for self-protection to such a degree because there is no longer anything within us which can be threatened. The beautiful paradox is that as we become strong enough to drop our resistance, boundaries and defenses we experience a lightness and freedom which was not available when we were heavily laden with defenses. That "stuff" which we were so concerned with bouncing off our shields can now simply pass through us as we've gained more light and transparency. There's nothing left to resist the "stuff" so it can't really touch us. And somehow this is perceived by would be threats so they don't tend to manifest to challenge us. Or at least we don't project the false idea of a threat which can harm us.
will said…

Received an email from Integral Life which included a short video of Ken Wilbur talking about his projects. (To me) he appears to be dying from the RNase Enzyme Deficiency disease he has battled for many years. His appearance is of someone moving into the later stages of cancer.
Unknown said…
Great article, thank you

Sadly I'm not quite at that glorious point yet, but what I find interesting with my current phase is that I am also 'setting boundaries' within my self (little s ego self) which always puts in a bid for the work whenever I recognise dysfunction 'out there'. As a result, it's obvious I still have buttons that can be pushed, which reminds me that I still have a long way to go BUT I am now able to choose to put up that boundary between my decision making mind and ego's bid and simply say 'no, that's not who I choose to process this situation' and choose the Right Mind bidder instead

Sage, "The beautiful paradox is that as we become strong enough to drop our resistance, boundaries and defenses we experience a lightness and freedom which was not available when we were heavily laden with defenses." Lovely, simply lovely, thank you, it is that freedom I seek!
Sage Starfield said…
Will, Thanks. Yes it's sadly true he contracted that rare disease while visiting Tahoe years ago. Fortunately it hasn't killed him yet and he has given us an amazing body of work as his legacy. "No Boundary" and "A Brief History of Everything" are classics worth reading.

Debbie, Always gratifying to have someone respond positively to something said. Thank you and best wishes on continuing to realize that freedom you seek.

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