B…is for boundaries and I totally sucked at having any. There I said it. But it’s the truth. There really is no polite way to say it other than that.
For the longest time, like for decades, I didn’t understand what a boundary was.
I never realized that NO was a complete sentence.
NO …is a complete sentence. Say it out loud if you must but say it! Let that take up residence in your heart and your mind today.
The Word says in Matt.5:37 ~ “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘NO’. For whatever is more than that is from the evil one.”
I was an avid YES girl even when I desperately and secretly wanted to say no.
But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. It went against everything I had been taught since early on.
This boundary thing though…felt like confrontation, and I avoided confrontation at all costs. What I didn’t understand was that boundaries would actually protect me and can keep me from unwanted confrontation or abuse with predators.
Here’s an example…
Funny, but not funny.
The word, boundary, was not only a foreign word to me. It went against the Christian doctrine that I believed to be true growing up and carried on into my adult life. My ever so hungry soul was longing for acceptance in any shape, form or fashion. So, saying NO simply didn’t fit into the form or fashion that I had been desperately seeking.
Honestly, being a “yes girl” seemed like the Christian thing to do. Especially if you were a bible thumping, codependent, people pleasing , rescuer, enabler and empath like I was. It suited me just fine until I was ” lovingly” confronted by my accountability group who totally called me out! One of the women said, ” Cheryl, I don’t want to hear another word about so and so, what are YOU going to do about it?” Ouch, that hurt but she was right. I had become a victim of emotional abuse by my own hands because I didn’t stand up for myself and allowed myself to be mistreated. That day, February 13,2015 was the day that changed the course of my life.
I had come to the end of my old self . I knew it was time to do the hard work and it is hard if setting boundaries is foreign to you… I was at war within myself. I found that in not setting boundaries, I had become so weary in well doing. I was emotionally exhausted,overwhelmed ,downtrodden, resentful and quite honestly, full of anger.
Anger at those who I had let take advantage of me. Anger at myself for allowing it. Even anger at the church for teaching said false doctrine. I had to deal with WHY I allowed, just about ,everyone to bust through and abuse any boundary I tried, unsuccessfully no less, to set in place. Not all but some personality types will take advantage of you as long as you let them.
Honestly, I was the problem in this scenario though. Boundaries poised as a danger to my emotionally abused and warped sense of self. I didn’t value myself so why would anyone else?
What I’ve learned is that the common denominator to setting and holding fast to boundaries is bound together by one thing, YOU !
Boundaries start with you!
You need to ask yourself a few important questions on the daily! You have to become a historian of yourself so to speak. I’m serious!
It may seem selfish but I can finally say, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s not. Asking yourself what is your hearts desire, what are your needs, what are your wants is absolutely necessary if you truly desire real connection, communication and an authentic relationship with your loved one, friends and even family.
Remember this. We all desire to be understood, seen, heard and ultimately, unconditionally loved.
Because I was pretty “boundary less” and didn’t know the value my own voice or what I needed or wanted. I allowed people to bust on through my boundaries on the regular and with little to no consequences. It’s not okay that people inject or project their thoughts, opinions and ways onto you as if theirs are superior and yours have no value. It is really okay to have legit needs but not to be met in illegitimate ways!
It’s important that you are clear and communicate your needs and desires as well otherwise…
STOP giving them the straw!
I can’t hold them responsible for what I allowed but I can hold them responsible for their actions as I learn to fine tune and take complete ownership of what’s rightfully mine. My boundary line is mine. I get to choose who I let onto my property line and into my gate, into my home and into my heart …and who I don’t. Our values and boundaries are the architecture of our property so to speak. Protect your boundaries and you’ll protect your property line; your heart, your core and your values.
One of my favorite authors says it best. “Not everyone should have the same access to you.”
“We are called to love “all people” but that doesn’t mean “all” people have access to our core.” That my friends is earned over time through establishing healthy boundaries. “We don’t set a boundary to offend someone; you set a boundary to manage YOUR priorities in your home.” ~ Danny Silk
‘Keep Your Love On’ by Danny Silk is is one of the best books I’ve read on connection, communication, setting healthy boundaries and I highly recommend it.
It’s taken me years to build a new fence around my property line and around me. At times a slat or two still get busted but this girl has finally learned to put the slats back into place as well as the person that tried to break it down.
She is learning to hold her boundaries and she is also me.
She can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. (Phil.4:13)
Welcome to my property line friends.
With much love, purpose and intention,