Monday, May 14, 2012

Boundaries, What Are Boundaries?

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."  ~Richard Bach

Welcome back friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that all you moms out there had a great Mother's Day! How have things been going with you thinking about what you're thinking about?  How about with recognizing the lies stemming from the negative thoughts and self-talk?  Have you found the root causes of why you think and say certain things?  Have you been working on replacing the lies with the truth from God's Word?  I hope things are starting to come together for you in these areas and that you will start seeing a positive change in how you think and respond.  Don't give up dear one.  You can do it!  It takes time and patience on this new journey to freedom.  I have faith that you will persevere.  Let's get started with today's message!

Last week I talked about how a special friend came into my life to help me in my journey to freedom from negative self-talk and toxic thought patterns. During this time of deep revelation and understanding of why I had been thinking, feeling, and doing things the way I had for so long, the Lord also revealed to me that my little girl heart, which was so badly wounded when I was a child, had never been completely healed.  My way of dealing with hurt over the years was to stuff it down and pretend I was okay.  I didn't want anyone to think anything was wrong.  I had to wear the mask that portrayed me as having it all together.  If I acted like I was okay then I didn't have to deal with the pain in my heart.  I can tell you from personal experience that living in denial does not resolve anything, it just makes it worse.  Why do we think we have to act like we have it all together when we really don't?  The biggest reason we do this is because most of us do not like to deal with pain, of any sort.  We normally run the other way because let's face it, pain hurts, and we don't like to hurt.  Pain is not fun.  It's scary to look pain and hurt in the face and deal with it.  However, that is the only way to see it for what it is and find the root cause so we can heal and move forward.  As truth is revealed to us we can either ignore it or we can take notice of what we're being shown.

I mentioned in a previous post a book I read by  Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud called, Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life.  It was an eye-opener for me.  As I was reading through this book I discovered that many of the areas I struggled with were not only coming from the toxic thought patterns, but also from not having healthy boundaries.  No wonder I had been a door mat all my life.  I did not grow up in a home where I was taught or shown anything about healthy boundaries, if anything, it was the complete opposite.  I grew up in a home where there was alcohol abuse, mental and physical abuse, and living in constant fear.  I grew up in a home where promises were always being broken.  I had some very deep-rooted trust issues and insecurities because of the lack of affirmation, affection, love, and security, as well as struggling for many years with fear.  As I read through this book, I could see that I was going to have to make some changes not only in my thinking, but also in my relationships with others.  Here is just a little something from a chapter in the book......"Change is frightening.  It may comfort you to know, that if you are afraid, you are possibly on the right road--the road to change and growth.  Boundaries separate you from what you have known and what you do not want.  They open up all sorts of new options for you.  You will have mixed emotions as you let go of the old and familiar and venture out into the new."  I can tell you from traveling this boundaries road for the last couple of years now, it was, and still is at times, very frightening because I had to be willing to look inside myself to see why I was feeling the things I felt when others would disregard or overstep my boundaries.  I had to face the root issues of why I would feel guilty when I chose to enforce certain boundaries with certain people.  Learning to say no has been a hard lesson for me, but I have experienced the positive aspects of having healthy boundaries.  I am well on my way to living a life of freedom in this area.  On the inside flap of this book there are three questions for you...."Are you in control of your life?  Do people take advantage of you?  Do you have trouble saying no?"  I could answer a resounding "yes" to those questions when I first picked this book up a few years ago. How about you?  Do you have struggles in the area of boundaries? Please know that you are not alone if you have struggles in this area.  I will be spending some more time on boundaries and what they are over the next few upcoming posts.  I believe boundaries are the key to having healthy relationships.

This is where I will close for today friends.  Here are a few things to think about this week:  Continue to think about what you're thinking about.  Be aware that the enemy does not want you free in this area, so be on the look-out for his attacks on your mind.  Recognize the lies of the enemy and continue speaking the truths God has shown you out-loud.  If you haven't read the Boundaries book I referred to earlier, please consider doing that.  It will help you so much.  Until next time my friends, be blessed! 

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant." ~Robert Louis Stevenson

*Scriptures to Encourage You:

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.  He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.  Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place. ~Psalm 23:1-6 (AMP)

It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm]. ~Deuteronomy 31:8


  1. Excellent read; true and honest. Thank you for sharing. I think a lot of people feel that placing boundaries will make them come across as being mean. But what they need to realize is that it is not mean. It helps them to be healthy emotionally and to keep peacein their lives. I look forward to your next post, Sherry.

    1. Thank you so much Veronica! I still struggle with thinking it's mean myself. It takes a while to change the way you think about boundaries when you've never had healthy ones to start with. I know it will get easier the more I do it. Thanks again! :)