Recently, I have discovered a hard truth about myself that I didn't realize was chipping away at my well-being. As women, we all have struggles with boundaries of some sort because of our nurturing and caring way, we tend to go above and beyond the "call of duty" to make sure everyone else is good while neglecting our first responsibility to ourselves.
Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.
We have an unspoken "open door" policy to our heart and our time, that is often taken for granted, overused, and misused. Not setting boundaries will cause unnecessary stress and exhaustion to ourselves because we do not know how to say "no" or we become the "fixers" of everyone's problem. We can be so focused on being loving and unselfish, that we forget our own limits and limitations. We don't say no because of our fear of either hurting someone's feelings or disappointing them. Now I know that this may not be every woman's issue, but I had a hard time managing my own feelings and opinions and detaching from people's manipulative emotions. I had not taken ownership of my life in certain relationships. Not setting boundaries can lead to resentment, unhealthy attachments (codependency), or making others responsible for our happiness or destiny.
"Fences are physical boundaries with the message: this is where my property begins. Boundaries define what is me and what is not me. They show me where I end and someone else begins.....In relationships, boundaries define who we are and who we are not, which impacts every part of our lives"-Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
In order for us to live a life with healthy boundaries, we must go to God's Word to shine the light on our heart. Here are a few scriptures:
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" - Prov. 4
"Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you." - Matthew 7
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." Psalms 139
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
God said to Love our Neighbors AS ourselves, not better than ourselves or before ourselves. Don't neglect self-care to make others happy. In order to follow this commandment, you must know God's love to love yourself and others.
Prayer: God thank you for shining the light of your Word in my heart to show me what you desire for my life. Help me to set healthy boundaries that will cultivate a healthy environment, home life, job life, church life and in all of my relationships. Whenever I am overstepping, please allow your Holy Spirit to pull me back into the areas that I am only responsible for my life. Help me to lean not unto my own understanding or be wise in my own eyes, but acknowledge you to be the final authority of not only in my life but in others as well.
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