5.21.2013

"Boundaries" (a book that changed everything for me)

By Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Summary:
If you asked me if I struggled with boundary-setting before I read this book, I would responded with a confident no. Now that I’ve read it…a resounding yes! Boundaries are “personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not, and influence all areas of your life.” Using examples from the Bible, this book explains how you can set limits and still be a loving person. It also addresses the question, “Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries?” and illustrates how to set boundaries with your spouse, parents, children, coworkers, friends, and self.

This book may resonate with you if you:
-Have a hard time saying “no”
-Make many of your decisions based on feelings of guilt
-Wonder why your life isn’t as joyful as God intended it to be
-Have a tendency to blame other people for the way you feel (that’s me!)
-Take responsibility for how others feel (being responsible for, instead of responsible to)
-Find yourself rescuing others, instead of letting them learn by experiencing consequences

My Take Away:
I felt liberated. ("Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" John 8:32) Boundaries showed me that many of the beliefs I've held onto all my life are erroneous (yikes!). I was wearing myself out trying to control things that did not fall within my boundary line--things I couldn't control. It's helped me prioritize my life more carefully, and stop saying "yes" to things that will overwhelm me--without feeling inappropriate guilt! Helping others is still critically important to me, and a great source of joy, but I try not to serve at the expense of my own well being or that of my family's. 

Quotes: 
“Many people live scattered & tumultuous lives trying to live outside their own boundaries, not accepting & expressing the truth of who they are. Honesty about who you are gives you the biblical value of integrity, or oneness.” 

“You must make sure that your boundaries are strong enough that you do not let others define you.”

“The problem comes when someone interrupts the law of sowing and reaping in another’s life…to rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless.” Pg. 41

“Making decisions based on others’ approval or on guilt breeds resentment, a product of our sinful nature. We have been so trained by others on what we “should” do that we think we are being loving when we do things out of compulsion.” Pg. 42