My whole life I have more or less been a people pleaser. I would prefer to agree to save from having an argument . In the past I would apologise regardless if I actually did something wrong or not.
The point was , was to keep peace at all costs.
But it wasn’t healthy.
More recently I have found the courage to say no and mean it.
Trust me it took a lot of praying and reflecting as well as seeking counsel with a few trusted people.
For a long time I have allowed people to say what they wanted or do what they wanted towards me but it finally got to the point where enough was enough.
Sure some were scandalised and by their reactions even hurt but feelings are not fact they a fleeting and come in waves of up and down.
What was more important was my physical and mental health which was being greatly affected. My personal well being was more important than someone’s feelings.
So I had to learn to put up boundaries for my own protection and that of my family.
You see I don’t have to be a door mat to others. Jesus was no fool and he didn’t hold back his emotions and thoughts on the basis of potentially hurting someone’s feelings or keeping the peace. In fact he was a rebel! He told the truth and didn’t hold back. He also didn’t hold back when people crossed the line and turned his fathers house into a market place! He allowed them to see his anger and he showed them and told them to get out! Thus protecting his fathers house.
As a mother and wife I there fore also have the responsibility to protect myself and my family from those who may be threatening mine or my family’s spiritual, mental and physical well being.
So one day, not too long ago, when I wasn’t strong enough to defend my boundaries and protect myself, the devil indisgised came along.
And he hurt me in more ways than words can ever discribe. The scars are invisible but they are there. What happened has not only hurt me but it has hurt my family as well. This is something that will take a long time for me to recover from. The devil is good at attacking us when we are vulnerable and our guard is down. I use to think putting up boundaries meant turning your back on people or kicking them out of your life. I also thought it meant holding a grudge and not being a forgiving Christian. But I was wrong.
I can set my boundaries and make clear what I will and will not accept from people. I am not in control of their behaviour only they can control their own actions. But I can control how someone else will impact my life and those of my family, I am also not responsible for the entire relationship with someone. It takes two people to have a relationship and if the other person isn’t wanting to put in their half than I don’t have to put all the pressure on myself to keep the relationship going. This has given myself so much stress off my shoulders because I know that I can only do so much, again I am not responsible for someone else’s behaviour and choices.
By letting go off the responsibility that wasn’t mine in the first place I have placed the responsibility back onto the rightful owner.Just like God has given us the freedom to choose or deny Him so do we as humans have that choice with the people around us. But we also must remember to have mercy for while we may deny God many times God continuously shows us mercy, we must also show that mercy to those around us without forgetting that showing mercy does not mean to let go of your boundaries. God still shows us mercy while keeping His boundaries in place. Thus we must learn to also do this by praying and putting our trust in our faith and God.
It can be a fine line but one we must learn to live a fulfilling and a healthier life.
I can be furious and hurt at someone. I can make clear that they are no longer welcome in my home anymore even, but I can also forgive them and if they were to ever come forward looking to make amends, as a Christian I can give them that opportunity if I feel my family and I will not be put in harms way. After all, even heaven has gates that not just anyone can walk through.
God has made clear boundaries for us to follow, what He expects from us if we want to one day live with Him in heaven.
This has taken me a long time to learn and to realise as well as to not feel so guilty. In fact the first time I really stood my ground and made my boundaries known I felt relief and safe for the first time in a very long time.I also in a sense felt free from harms way.I felt lighter and happier.
Sometimes we forget how much God loves us and wants us to be protected. Sometimes we forget to love ourselves and do what is best.
If we wouldn’t let a person through our front door throwing physical punches than why would we let someone walk in throwing verbal punches or spiritual punches?
We need to surround ourselves with people who will encourage us to grow in all important areas of our lives, most of all our faith.
I encourage anyone who is struggling with boundaries and may be feeling beaten down in relationships to pray to God, discern and talk to your priest and to reflect on the passages in the bible. Show people that if you are worthy enough to be loved by God ( which you are) than you are worthy enough to be treated as a son or daughter of God.