As a recovering co-dependent, I have struggled with boundaries for the majority of my life. I was emotionally invested in pleasing others and seeing their needs and opinions as more important than my own. I didn’t want to be perceived as mean or uncaring. I often found myself saying, “Yes” when I really wanted to say, “No.” I allowed myself to ignore red flags in relationships. I found myself going along with things that I didn’t agree with or want to do, out of fear of making someone angry or hurting their feelings.
I didn’t see value in myself or in what I had to offer. I was always second guessing my opinions and thoughts. It took many years and a lot of hard emotional work to begin to see hope in boundaries and what that meant for me. I had to dig up the rotten roots of co-dependency and low self esteem and all of the damage that the “rot” did in my mind and heart.
In order to see boundaries as the positive that they are, you have to first see yourself as valuable. You matter! There is a balance in being overly focused on yourself and that of being consumed with what others are thinking about you, and allowing the fear of disappointing someone to be the reason for a decision you make. We have to know and believe that God is intentional in everything He does and says. You and I were created intentionally and with a purpose.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
We have to believe that boundaries are good and that saying, “No” is okay. Agreeing to disagree is acceptable. Saying, “No, thank you,” in a respectful confident way is sufficient, especially if you’re uncomfortable with the situation or with another person.
Boundaries help us clearly define who we are as individuals and what we will or will not do. Boundaries empower you to take responsibility for yourself, your choices, your time, and your emotions. Boundaries ensure that you don’t take ownership over someone else’s responsibility, choices, or feelings.
Healthy boundaries allow you to have empathy for others without taking responsibility for them. They help us find the balance between taking care of ourselves and being there for others without being manipulated, abused, or intimidated.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8-9
A healthy boundary respectfully states your limits and reminds you that…YOU MATTER.
There is hope in boundaries!