Got Boundaries?

This year sure is flying by!  And as each day passes so quickly we often feel overwhelmed and exhausted by all we have to do and not enough time to do it. It is times like these when having healthy boundaries is an enormous help and keeps us from drowning in a sea of things to do.

Just last week one of my colleagues shared how much she needed this summer break to recuperate from the busyness of the school year.  She was looking forward to relaxing before she started another school year and didn't want to do as many extra things as she did this past year. When asked what she stepped away from, she replied "Nothing."  I then asked how she expected to have a less stressful year if she was involved with all the same things as she was this year.  She realized then that she would need to change something in order to have less stress in the new school year.

Ann Landers used to say that "No one can take advantage of you without your permission."  Isn't that the truth?!  We may not realize we are giving others permission to take advantage of us, but without creating and enforcing healthy boundaries that's exactly what we are doing!

Boundaries?  For Christians?  Yes! And yes!  I know that, as Believers, God has called us to serve others.  But He did not call us to be doormats.  We can serve others and take care of ourselves at the same time.  It IS possible!  We must have the same love and respect for ourselves that we have for others.  

What are boundaries and why are they so important? Personal boundaries are the limits you decide work for you regarding how you will allow others to treat you, the kinds of behavior you will tolerate and what others can expect from you.

These personal boundaries are derived from your values and core beliefs.  Without healthy boundaries you are constantly at the mercies of others. You spend your time and energy doing what others want you to do instead of what you want to do. As a Believer, this allows little time to devote to that which God has called you to do.

How do you know if you need to create healthy boundaries?  

  • Do you often feel angry and resentful because you feel taken advantage of?
  • Are your relationships often difficult or full of drama?
  • Do you often feel others are responsible for the unhappiness you’re feeling?
  • Do you feel like ‘saving people’ is almost a full time job?
  • Do you have a really hard time making decisions for yourself?
  • Do you constantly worry about letting others down or disappointing them?
  • Do you often feel guilty or anxious?

The more "Yes" responses you have, the greater your need for healthy boundaries.  You are not alone. We all need help with boundaries at some point. The good news is that there is help and you can make healthy changes in your life!

Next month, we'll look at several ways to begin creating those healthy boundaries you're in need of.  How exciting it will be to stop feeling taken advantage of and start feeling in control of yourself daily!  I can't wait to hear about your journey!
 If I can help you create and enforce your personal boundaries, please contact me to discuss this further.  
I look forward to hearing from you!