The New Year brings new opportunities. What we sow, we reap. The decisions we make today will show up in our results later in the year. This blog series is based on the book, Boundaries. There are 10 Laws of Boundaries addressed in one of the chapters. This week we will explore the first one. Boundaries Law #1: “Sowing & Reaping” illustrates the connection between cause and effect.
New Habit #1: I will stop rescuing irresponsible people from the natural consequences of their bad choices.
Sometimes people confuse enabling with love. Boundaries help others claim the negative outcomes of THEIR own decisions. I will no longer interrupt the process of cause and effect in someone else’s personal choices.
“Confronting an irresponsible person is not painful to him; only consequences are….They need to suffer consequences before they change their behavior.” Suffering allows an irresponsible person the opportunity to make better choices by changing their behavior. We are the only ones who can help stop our own suffering. We cannot save someone else from themselves. We have to choose not to “co-sign the note’ of life for the irresponsible person.”
When people beg for money on the street corner, I rarely give cash. I keep snacks in my car so I will sometimes give one away. The Boundaries Law of Reaping & Sowing has inspired me to give to organizations that help people transform their lives, like Father Joe’s village. If people are on the street because of substance abuse, giving them money or a snack does not support a life change. I am only perpetuating bad decisions that got them in their current situation. If I’m really concerned about people going hungry, then I will volunteer at the local soup kitchen, donate clothes at the consignment shop, or shop at their online retail store.
Once I get good at implementing Law #1 on perfect strangers, I will have the confidence to start applying this new habit on people I actually know.
New Year, New Habits!