Just a few years ago, a friend of many years said to me, “I liked you better before.The way you used to be. Where’s the old Cheryl I used to love? ” Her next sentence got my attention. Whoa…. Then this …”You WERE my angel on earth.”
Ohhh, no she didn’t just say that to me I thought to myself. Thats a lot of pressure…
I am nobody’s angel. Now, granted, I thought I could rescue everyone from everything…That was my problem not hers. Let’s just say, she didn’t like the new me because setting boundaries didn’t serve her needs anymore, nor did I. I used to drop everything just to please her or anyone for that matter. At that time, I was learning the true meaning of boundaries,to set boundaries and to actually keep them through much counseling. She didn’t care for that…
Needless to say,she is no longer in my life.
Now lets get this straight. I’m not opposed to serving people and the community at large. I’ve finally learned to serve in a healthy way and not just exhaust myself to please others. Protecting my boundaries and honoring theirs or lack thereof is key to a healthy relationship. Your boundaries are what define who YOU are, the time you have to give, whom to give your time and energy to and why. Boundaries set a limit between you and between those your in relationship with.
The truth is ,I was so crazy codependent that healthy boundaries were absolutely foreign to me. They were an ugly word, if you will. If I imposed a boundary on someone, what would they think of me or worse yet, what if they rejected me or the boundary I set. Seemed like control to me not love or true intimacy. I was wrong. It wasn’t as if I was resisting boundaries per se,they simply didn’t t make sense within my love starved mind. Looking back, I now realize I didn’t respect myself enough to set healthy boundaries so how in the heck could I expect anyone else to. Hence, the problem. It all started in my mindset. Like all things do actually.
I wasn’t used to saying no. I was a “Yes” kinda girl. Anything that was “needed” for the sake of another,I was willing to sacrifice in order to please. Sad but true. For some odd reason,actually not so odd ,because I grew up always trying seek someone’s approval. I thought that would satisfy the hunger I had for acceptance. I used to think helping and rescuing others was admirable. Therefore I was admirable. In essence, it was somewhat selfish really. I was attempting to meet a deep unfilled need within me to feel accepted, appreciated and admired. That proved to be exhausting and for the most part, fruitless.
No,is a complete sentence. No is a powerful word. Its okay to say no! Setting boundaries is one of the hardest things to do if you’re seeking another’s approval or acceptance. I’ve learned to say yes for the right reasons and no for the wrong ones. And you know what…some ‘so called “friends “won’t like that or you for that matter but then again, were they really friends at all? No…
Boundaries are so liberating really! Jesus Himself set boundaries on a regular basis you know.
One of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject of boundaries is called, ‘Keep Your Love On’ by Danny Silk. I highly recommend it! When I happened upon this book, my journey started to take a much needed necessary shift. So much so that I decided to go to his very first conference ever! In Dayton Ohio, no less…. I was that desperate for change. And change, I did.
I love this quote by Danny Silk!
“I didn’t set this boundary to offend you. I set it in order to manage the priorities and goals I’ve set for myself. ~ Danny Silk
Now that’s healthy boundaries my friends! ❤️