Boundary-Setting and Self-Care — Two Courageous Acts

Brene Boundaries

During the last couple years, I’ve definitely experienced the truth that there is courage in willing to be imperfect and vulnerable. Now I am starting to learn that there is courage in setting boundaries with people around me.

Imperfect… vulnerable… boundaries. I think Brene Brown wisely joined these three together because being willing to be imperfect and vulnerable does not mean we should also be willing to let people take advantage of us. It is wise and COURAGEOUS to set boundaries with the people around you, especially when you are putting your imperfect self out there.

As someone who truly desires to help others and enjoys “being there” for those who are struggling, I often have a hard time with setting boundaries. I think some of the conflict I feel is partially due to the fact that I am a Christian. Scriptures and quotes from theologians about being selfless, putting others first, and loving your neighbor run through my mind and I struggle to be “unselfish” while also having some necessary self-interest.

So, where is the balance? How do I “selflessly” love, support, and serve others while also setting boundaries and taking care of myself? (And why does taking care of myself feel so wrong?)
I see what Brene Brown means when she says that it takes courage to set boundaries. For me, it is WAY easier to ignore my wants and needs and rush to the side of anyone who needs help than it is for me to take care of myself. But what good am I to someone in need if I am depleted of energy and health? I will probably just end up being unhelpful, exhausted, and bitter.

I do believe that God wants me to be helpful, loving, and encouraging to others, but maybe setting boundaries IS a way of being helpful, loving, and encouraging. Perhaps by setting boundaries with someone I am moving out of the way so that they learn to go to God with their problems before they approach me. There is no denying that God is much more capable of offering help than I am! He offers the BEST help. I don’t ever want to occupy the spot that Jesus should be filling in someone’s life. I would be robbing them of something amazing! Additionally, setting boundaries enables me to get the rest I need in order to be my best for others. Setting boundaries and getting rest enables me to be a better woman, wife, and friend.

Even though I may disappoint someone and appear to be inconsiderate, and even though  distance may develop Continue reading

Something to hold onto…

“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way…”

-Lamentations 3:19-33 (MSG)

The Media, Body Hatred, and Eating Disorders – NEDAW

The Media, Body Hatred, and Eating Disorders – NEDAW

Some of these stats are pretty eye-opening. The “average” size of an American woman is much different than what we see on TV and in magazines! Let’s ignore the media and stop comparing ourselves to the images we see. Thanks … Continue reading

NOTHING Glamorous About Eating Disorders

NOTHING Glamorous About Eating Disorders

Next week I will be sharing my story at an event for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. One of my greatest concerns when sharing my story is that I will say something that will somehow negatively affect an individual or … Continue reading

Truth or Lies

Truth or Lies

When you stop and evaluate the thoughts and beliefs you hold, what kinds of things do you notice? I mean the automatic, habitual thoughts and beliefs that constantly run in the background all day… thoughts and beliefs about yourself, your … Continue reading

Striving or Submitting?

Striving or Submitting?

Do you ever feel like you are doing everything right and you are putting forth ALL of your effort to overcome a particular struggle, and yet you are STILL stuck facing that struggle? It feels as if you are running … Continue reading

How Do You Look at Your Past?

How Do You Look at Your Past?

We have a choice in how we reflect on our past. We can have a negative attitude and focus on the mistakes, disappointments, and shoulda-coulda-wouldas, or we can have a grateful attitude and focus on the growth, opportunities, and beauty … Continue reading