Grateful for Boundaries in Five Area (FFF)

. at . 22 comments

A boundary is an action or internalized statement that shows what I am and am not responsible for in my life. Boundaries (or lack of them) affect all areas of my life: emotionally, spiritually, physically, relationally, financially, and intellectually.  They help me “develop my life, abilities, feelings, thoughts and behaviours” in a way that honors God and is healthy. (Drs. Cloud & Townsend, Boundaries, p 105).

I am rereading the Boundaries book and am pleased to see how I have grown. This week I am grateful for boundaries in five areas.

1. Work. My job feels like an active volcano with an unending lava flow of responsibilities. In fact, every job has felt that way. In past jobs I was responsible for getting it ALL done every day. I had unrealistic expectations and so did (some of) my boss(es).

BUT NOW, while I have a lot to do, I am not being asked to do more than I can do. My boss understands and stresses that I only do what is reasonable. I am grateful for his insistence that I take a day off no matter what my work plate looks like. See my post on Monday for how I will be handing this lack of good boundary enforcement.

2. Friendships. In my younger years my “friendships” were characterized by one side (me) making most of (if not all) the arrangements for our time together. My “friend” would either monopolize our time with her issues or never let me in on what was going on. That’s what I thought friendships were.

BUT NOW, I am grateful that today I have true friendships. We are balanced in our communication about likes, dislikes, hurts, and happinesses. We share the responsibility of calling one another and planning our time together.

3. Children. It was a privilege for me to be able to invest my energies into the lives of my two kiddos. It required a lot of consistency on my part in regards to discipline, schooling, and educating them in skills, relationships, etc. In short, I was training them in boundaries. However, enforcing those boundaries was the hardest thing I ever did. I wanted to be able to tell them once or even a mere 20 times and then not talk about or enforce it anymore. But that wasn’t how life went, especially with the stubborn child.

BUT NOW, I am grateful I do not have to enforce those kinds of boundaries anymore. Both “children” (now in their late 20’s) are fully functioning adults. They don’t throw food, are potty trained, and they manage their anger in appropriate ways. They are intelligent, capable of carrying on a respectful conversation, and meet the needs of others. They have marketable job skills and are valued by their employers. They care for others and they care for themselves. They turned out okay!

4. Myself. Setting boundaries here is sometimes the hardest one to deal with. But I am grateful that I am making head way with setting boundaries regarding food. While growing up food was used as a reward or bribe. It was offered for comfort, celebration, and just because. Food became a part of my identity and self-soothing techniques.

BUT NOW, I am grateful that food is becoming just food. I don’t eat three candy bars on the way home from the grocery store. I don’t wake in the middle of the night to eat a snack. I don’t binge-eat to avoid dealing with stresses in my life. I don’t go to food before going to God and other people.

5. God. Yes, I do need to have boundaries with God too. These boundaries include honesty in my feelings and thoughts toward God. But for many years I was afraid to tell God about the real me. I was afraid He’d get angry, disgusted, or turned off and then abandon me or at least severly punish me..

BUT NOW, I know it is more than okay to tell God my likes, dislikes, wishes and needs. I can and do tell God about my bad and ugly sins. Doing so does not turn God off or cause Him to ditch me as a friend or Savior. In truth, the opposite happens. God forgives and He reassures Believers (like me) that nothing can separate them (ME) from His love or salvation.

Why don’t you tell what five things for which you are grateful? Living to Tell the Story is hosting this weekly Friday Fave Five.  To join us in the conversation,go to this link.

Your Turn . . .

  1. How good are you at boundary keeping in the five areas mentioned above?
  2. What area are you the best at? What needs work?
  3. What are your thoughts about boundaries in general?

For more information check out the book Boundaries by Drs. Cloud and Townsend.

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Entry filed under: Boundaries, Friday's Fave Five (FFF). Tags: , .

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22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa notes...  |  . at .

    Oh, I love boundaries too. And need them. Good for you for having them in place in all those areas. You have encouraged me today!

    Like

    Reply
    • 2. susan2009  |  . at .

      I am glad I have encouraged you, Lisa. I feel the same way every time I visit your blog. In fact I have bookmarked several posts to come back to and read!

      Like

  • 3. Karen  |  . at .

    Very thought provoking post and an interesting topic. I hadn’t thought about applying boundaries to all of these areas. You’ve given me lots to think about.

    Like

    Reply
    • 4. susan2009  |  . at .

      This is a topic that I am re-investigating. I think that I will learn many new things as well. I hope to blog about this as I go along.

      Thanks for visiting – although not quite over our backyard fences. 😉

      Like

  • 5. Melissa  |  . at .

    Yes, this is something that I’m working on, as well (but not with the Boundaries book). Your second item, Friendships, reminded me of something I’ve learned recently. If we don’t know what normal relationships look like, we can’t know if ours are abnormal. I think sometimes we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of because we don’t realize that it shouldn’t be that way.

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    • 6. susan2009  |  . at .

      Good point, Melissa. I talked with a woman yesterday who said she didn’t know physical abuse was not “allowed” in marriage because she had not been exposed to anything different. Now she knows and is making different choices for herself and her children.

      Good for you on working on Boundaries. There seem to be all kinds of good resources for this topic. Please be sure to let us know about any you find especially helpful.

      Like

  • 7. Barbara H.  |  . at .

    I’ve not read that book, but I have heard lots about it. Good for you for setting up healthy boundaries in so many areas.

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    Reply
    • 8. susan2009  |  . at .

      Thanks, Barbara. I am reading the book in order to “help” someone else. But as usually happens in such a case, I am learning a lot too – maybe even more.

      I like the boundary you set up on your blog. When I read the following on your blog, “Email me EXCEPT in regard to advertising” I thought, “Good for you!” That’s a great boundary!

      Like

  • 9. Laura  |  . at .

    I’m just getting ready to read this book again. This was a great post! Thought-provoking. Thanks for it.

    Have a great week ahead.

    Like

    Reply
    • 10. susan2009  |  . at .

      I like to read books quickly, but there is just too much helpful and detailed material to read and absorb in this book.

      Please let us know what you get out of the book once you start rereading it, okay?

      Hope your week is a good one too, Laura.

      Like

  • 11. jen  |  . at .

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I started reading Boundries a while back but I guess I just wasn’t ready for it yet. I do pretty well with the kids and friends. The food and job well, still working on both of them. Have a great week!

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    Reply
    • 12. susan2009  |  . at .

      The first time I read Boundaries I hated it. I couldn’t relate and thought it was boring. I was not ready for the material back then.

      Then several years ago our retreat was on Boundaries. I was ready then and got a lot out of the material. Today I think the material is brilliant and can’t wait to do my daily reading and reflecting.

      I’m thinking there will always be something for me to “struggle” with.

      Good luck with the food and job, Jen.

      Like

  • 13. Faith  |  . at .

    I’ve read Boundaries….it’s great as is the one Boundaries with Children. very helpful!!! So glad you are putting these principles to practice in your life. I struggle with the friendship one sometmes….although I do have a couple of friends where the relationship is balanced. thanks for sharing!!

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    Reply
    • 14. susan2009  |  . at .

      I haven’t heard about about the boundaries with children. I think there is also one for teens.

      I am looking forward to knowing the principles sooooo well that I can naturally transfer them to all areas of my life without a lot of thought or effort.

      Life goes so much better for me now that I have some balanced friendships. They keep reminding me what “normal” is (a point first talked about by Melissa).

      Thanks for visiting and sharing in the discussion, Faith.

      Like

  • 15. Willow  |  . at .

    I’ve heard of the book Boundaries but I haven’t read it myself. I wish I had done so years ago.

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    • 16. susan2009  |  . at .

      I hear you, Willow, about wishing I knew this material when I was younger. But for me, I don’t think I would have accepted its truth.

      I am grateful I am accepting it now.

      Thanks for visiting today.

      Like

  • 17. Susanne  |  . at .

    I have not heard of this book but it sounds like you have learned some really good stuff. It looks really worth checking into.

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    Reply
    • 18. susan2009  |  . at .

      Yes, it has been good, Susanne. I usually I speed read through books. But this time I plan on taking my time. I really want the idea to soak in and make a difference in my behaviour.

      Like

  • 19. cindy  |  . at .

    I was sure to have a job if the work was building up. However it can cause a great deal of stress. One bite at a time and before you know it viola. Opps one bite a a time is the next one, glad you over came these food issues. I am past the potty training days as well but then back into it with the grandchildren and new puppy. Boundaries, they are like anything else – keep trying your best nothing else is expected. I’ll have to see if this book is e-reader and have a look.

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    Reply
    • 20. susan2009  |  . at .

      I checked to see if Amazon has a kindle version. They did not for the book by Cloud and Townsend. However there is a (short book) Setting Boundaries with Difficult people by Dr. Lieberman. It is only $1.95 (kindle). One reviewer gave it a 5 and another gave it 2 stars.

      I like the reminder about doing your best. That is all I need to expect from myself, right?

      Like

  • 21. Catherine  |  . at .

    Thank you for your wonderful post. I still struggle with boundaries, but I have grown so much. I think for me it will be a lifelong work in progress.

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    Reply
    • 22. susan2009  |  . at .

      I agree, Catherine. I thing that working on boundaries will also be a lifelong process for me as well. I am grateful there are many resources (including the empowerment of God) that will help me in this area.

      Like

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