The average person would read this and think I'm referring to an expletive, while my friends will read and assume I'm talking about something spiritual or churchy like the Bible. Ha! Well you're all wrong. The B word I'm talking about is B O U N D A R I E S... Get you some! No, seriously. About 10 years ago I sat down with my favorite Christian counselor talking about my life. At that time, it was about my love life and how I felt trapped. I was struggling with the desire for a whole relationship with Christ, but still wanting to please my flesh. She listened without saying a whole lot, as I literally poured out my heart. Knowing her, she probably asked if I was done, then said with the straightest face... "You need boundaries. You don't have any." Period.
Wait. What do you mean? That's what I wanted to say, but I knew she was right. I was entirely too "flexible" about everything in my life and started thinking back to my childhood and even my late teens. My mom would set a curfew for me and because I didn't want to upset my friends by having to leave early (and since I was the driver... my mom had a station wagon), I'd decide long before the curfew came that I was going home late and would just accept whatever punishment was handed down to me. I thought about how I would go through issues with my then "boo" or "trash" as my friends called him. I would say one thing and do the complete opposite because I enjoyed having him around and didn't want to lose the companionship and attention that came with him (just stupid... I know). But these are the things I started thinking about. Thank God for growth.
This conversation led to me ultimately becoming celibate (although I had a little slip up a few months after (my last slip up), but that's for another post). It was what I wanted, but at what cost?This was when I learned how badly I needed boundaries, not just as it related to sex, but in my life and in all of my relationships. To be honest, being celibate was an easy boundary to set because I wasn't in a relationship when I made the decision. It was much easier than the task of implementing the word NO into my vocabulary and actual boundaries into my friendships and day-to-day relationships. When I think about it, It has actually taken me the better part of the past 10 years to get a real handle on it. On this journey, I've learned the power and importance of the word NO.
Deciding to have boundaries is much more difficult than not having them at all. But not having them costs you pieces of yourself. You end up doing things you don't want to do for other people and neglecting things you need to get done for yourself. Or worse, you wind up in compromising situations that could have been avoided by a simple NO from the beginning.
I've come to the conclusion that we don't set boundaries because we foolishly think we're in control. Boundaries are necessary to protect us and NO isn't just the opposite of yes, it's a powerful tool in our arsenal to reclaim our time, our lives and our peace. This post is about BOUNDARIES... Get you some!