When most people hear the term boundaries, their automatic thought goes to an imaginary line that separates you from someone else…kind of like a boundary on a map between two states or two countries.
However, boundaries do more than keeping you in and keeping others out. Boundaries help others see who it is that you really are and what it is that you believe.
When boundaries are set well, they can keep you from falling into a place where you resent those around you, where you are angry all the time, where you are fighting with the feelings of guilt and shame. None of us want to be in that place. We want to enjoy our lives. We want to enjoy those around us, we want to live in peace knowing that we are standing strong in who God created us to be.
When we don’t set healthy boundaries, it can lead us to taking our best friend’s struggles and hardships on as our own, weighing us down with a sense of heaviness and anxiety and stress. I’m not saying that you can’t be there for your friends and you can’t help them, but it isn’t your responsibility to carry that load for them.
Without healthy boundaries, people will take advantage of us. My husband used to be this way where he felt like he had to say yes to everyone and do everything for everyone, but he was struggling emotionally, because he couldn’t be everything for everyone. God never designed him to be that way and God didn’t design you that way either.
Without healthy boundaries, it can lead you to being a people-pleaser, where you are constantly changing who you are depending on who you are around. When we become people pleasers for long enough, eventually, we will lose who it is that God created us to be in the first place and that can be a very lonely and dark place to be. I know, I have been there!
Without healthy boundaries, it can lead you to a place where you are trying to get your acceptance and your validation from those around you. The problem with that is when you try to gain your acceptance and your validation from those around you, when something happens…like they reject you…it crushes you…and it will happen, because they are only human, they aren’t perfect.
So, let’s talk a little more about healthy boundaries, what areas you should set healthy boundaries in, what they look like and how do you actually set them.
There are three common areas we need to set boundaries:
This week we will talk about what it means to set healthy boundaries in our thoughts and in our emotions and then next week, we are going to talk more about setting healthy boundaries when it comes to our bodies or our personal space, especially in the area of our friendships, our relationships and social media. So, you don’t want to miss out on next week’s episode!