Boundaries - Part 1

What defines you and your character?
Who defines the person you are?

You may think that you are fine with the way things have been in your life or perhaps have lived with certain issues or relationships that have become unhealthy and yet you may not be aware or identify with the issues at hand.

Most of my life I never really new what boundaries where or what that meant up until now.....at the ripe old age of 43. Better late than never I always say.

Learning to have a voice and what that looks like can be scary but once you find that voice....there is freedom!! 

What is a boundary? Personal boundaries is defined as guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

Some examples of boundaries:

1. Skin
2. Words
3. God's Truth
4. Geographical Distance
5. Emotional Distance
6. F.A.B. ( Feelings, Attitudes, Behaviors )

Boundaries are personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not, and influence all areas of your life.

Physical boundaries help you determine who may touch you and under what circumstances.

Mental boundaries give you the freedom to have your own thoughts and opinions.

Emotional boundaries help you deal with your own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.

In Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend's book "Boundaries" they say Christians often focus so much on being loving and giving that they forget their own limits and limitations.

Have you ever found yourself wondering:

- Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
- How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
- Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries?

I'm going to share with you a personal story of boundaries, which will not be easy for me to share, however, I believe God has his hand in EVERY situation in our lives even if we don't see the other side at that time and will use that situation for His glory.

I was 28 years old and found myself admired by a man that I thought was too good for me. He was handsome, athletic, kind and charming and had a certain presence about him. I wanted so much to be noticed out of all my insecurities. We got to know each other over the weeks and months in passing and then it happened.....boundaries were crossed by physical aggression as well as sexually.

Left with marks on my arms and neck from holding me down. I was left paralyzed with fear and angry that I couldn't stop it.

You see....I didn't make my property lines known so that the bad would stay out and the good would stay in. I thought I had things under control but I didn't.

The only beautiful thing that came out of that mess was my little boy who has forever changed me and still continues to.

Don't be afraid to set your boundaries and make them known. It's not about controlling people, it's about grace and speaking the truth in love.

It's not an easy process but once you find your voice and start setting your "property line" it will eventually get a little bit easier each time you set them.

Remember: What you live you learn, what you learn you practice, what you practice you become and what you become has consequences.

You are not alone......you are loved.  

 

 

                                                                                                - Written by Tanya