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