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Setting Boundaries: Lessons from Nature

Last Saturday, we drove over to Jasmine Hill Gardens for “Attracting Backyard Wildlife” by Mercedes Bartkovich, Nongame Wildlife Biologist.

Ms. Mercedes led the attendees through constructing wooden bird houses and suet after she delivered a well researched talk.

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She shared fantastic information to consider in her talk.  One was the statistic that 2.4 million birds are killed annually by cats.   Her solution?  “If you’re going to have cats outside place feeders up high where cats cannot get on top and near bushes so there is escape and cover nearby.”  Hmm that sounds like establishing more realistic boundaries than the popular advice to keep cats inside.

I love cats.  I grew up with one really special one.  I think the photos

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explain why.  She was beautiful, cute, and fun.  Three character traits that can seduce and need to be guarded against.  Because she also was the neighbor hood terror to birds, mice, and chipmunks.

Let me clarify.  She didn’t seduce her prey, but she did seduce us into allowing her to do whatever she wanted which led to a never ending battle with fleas and tape worms.   It was the late 1970’s.  Back then the veterinarian advised she be given to a farm since we just couldn’t keep her inside and he didn’t want to keep injecting her with the poisons to eliminate the unwanted pests.  It was a heart break.  Did we really have to part with our beloved family pet?

Saying goodbye to certain toxic relationships is one of the hottest topic to talk, write, and blog about these days.  Is completely getting rid of certain relationships the answer? My cat brought much pleasure into our lives.  To give her away hurt us almost as much as her fleas and tape worms.  Aren’t many of our personal relationships similar to my family’s with our cat?  Limits, boundaries, and consequences I believe are the answer.  Unfortunately, like many of you, I’ve had to learn the hard way.

Post-modern western culture seduces so easily by beauty and cute. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting…”   Proverbs 31:30 warns.  Yet the visual, fast pace, click a button culture continues to be blinded by visual looks.  We’re also humored too much by charm and cute behaviors.

Matthew chapter 7 has become one of my “go to” passages to remind myself of what Jesus admonished.  It’s ironic that the whole point of the teaching is to evaluate other’s behavior in order to be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves , but that the start of the chapter becomes the hallmark passage of tolerance and do not judge.   Indeed one needs to have good boundaries regarding how scriptures are taught as well.   (I recommend Untwisting Scriptures for more on this.)

Back to the dangers of “cute.”  Too many parents, relatives, and friends laugh at children’s attention seeking behaviors when the children really need to be disciplined.  I highly recommend addition reading further below on this topic.

Many in dating relationships wind up in hurtful relationships because good looking dates and funny cute behavior were never limited to start out with.   Sometime it happens in friendship and business.  The point is, we all need to develop good emotional boundaries in order to respect self and others.

Further reading: Surprising reasons why we need to discipline children.

#Boundaries #Healing #Relationships #Disciplinechildren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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