Boundaries are wisdom.
In the past, I've been fixated on staying in "good relationship" with the people I care deeply about. I thought that erecting a boundary (taking space, changing the relationship, etc) meant that I did something wrong. And even if I don't think that, most of the time boundaries can still hurt.
I'm practicing treating it like exercise. What if the heart is just another muscle? Tears make it stronger, give it more capacity, if I give it time to heal.
Boundaries help keep both parties safe. Sometimes I don't understand them. But if someone in my life needs time away from me, if I love them, then I should practice respecting their spoken & unspoken requests with no judgement. And compassion, so that if/when it's time for us to come back together, I'm there with an open, stronger heart.
The same goes for me. I need to respect my own needs enough to erect boundaries when I must. Even when it's painful, uncomfortable, or confusing for another person. I can, however, practice doing it with an increasing level of skill.
So. I'm practicing breathing into this wisdom. Into the teaching of how to honor the sacred act of someone (including me) taking care of themselves, however it shows up. I see the benefit of this pain, because I will be focused on this lesson until it's embedded within me. No ignoring it. It's a demanding personal trainer.
And I will have a stronger, healthier, more loving heart for it.