I started reading a book called Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
I chose this book, because when I searched boundaries it came up a lot and there were a lot of positive reviews about it. The book does touch on the Biblical aspect of boundary setting, which I thought was important to me, because of the struggles and misunderstandings in faith. It seemed like a good solid place to start.
Plus there’s a nice pencil on the cover drawing a line. The saying is that people “draw lines” when they have had enough. It’s time for me to start drawing some lines.
I know that I lack boundaries and I am sure that there a lot of others who can related. If we have problems with boundaries in our lives, then there will be confusion about responsibility and ownership of problems.
“…we need to set mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help distinguish what is our responsibility and what isn’t.”Boundaries – Cloud and Townsend
People have to create these mental corrals. Corrals are used for rounding up cattle, horses, and various other types of live stock. They have gates and sometimes are made up of panels that can be added, removed, or opened. They allow the animals to flow in and out as needed.
I think of a corral as more flexible than a wall, because it allows for changes. The author chooses a wall and says you need a gate to allow the good in, the good out, and the bad out.
The author points out the following common questions that are raised when people begin creating boundaries:
- Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
- What are legitimate boundaries?
- What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?
- How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy or money?
- Why do I feel guilt or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
- How do you boundaries relate to mutual submission within marriage?
- Aren’t boundaries selfish?
I feel intimidated. I’m worried about how setting boundaries is going to effect my relationship with my parents and other people. I have hard time telling people “no” when I want to.
This is going to be a very interesting journey.