Boundaries of Courage

If you don’t maintain your boundaries and someone else steps over them, it may not be their fault.

It is our responsibility to know ourselves and where our boundaries are. This is one facet of having integrity. Integrity is not only about what we do, but about what we allow and tolerate into our lives.

If we constantly find ourselves feeling victimized, taken advantage of, or overwhelmed with responsibilities that we do not want or cannot live up to, we may have issues with setting healthy boundaries for ourselves. Resentment is a sign that we have accepted behavior that we actually, deep down, find unacceptable. There are three layers of courage required in order to reverse this pattern in our lives.

The first layer of courage involves self appraisal. If we cannot be honest with ourselves, we cannot be honest with others. We must next have the courage to be vulnerable and to stand up for ourselves and what we will or will not tolerate from others. Finally, we must have the courage to do this all with love and kindness, toward both ourselves and those around us, so that we are not the ones crossing boundaries.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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