Our View of Ourselves
“I am bad for having boundaries.”
“I am selfish for owning my own life.”
“My wants are not important.”
“My wants are the only ones that are important.”
“I must have everything I want.”
“I am responsible for others.”
“I must do whatever anyone wants of me.”
“Whatever goes wrong is my fault.”
“Nothing is my fault.”
Our View of Others
“They will hate me for saying no.”
“People will leave me for having my own boundaries.”
“People are controlling and want to manipulate me.”
“Others will resent my assertiveness and requests.”
“They will leave me if I don’t make them happy.”
“Others are responsible for me.”
“People are selfish if they do not do what I want?”
“People are unloving if they say no to me.”
“People expect me to be compliant to their wishes.”
“Others are responsible for my behaviors.”
Our View of God
“God doesn’t want me to own my life.”
“God doesn’t want me to have anything of my own.”
“God wants me to have everything I want.”
“God thinks I’m selfish when I say no to others.”
“God wants me to allow others to do whatever they want to me or to others.”
“God doesn’t want me to pursue what I want.”
“God is totally sovereign and in control; therefore I have no responsibility.”
“God is a hands-off God and is not involved in my life.”
“If God says no to me, he doesn’t love me.”
“God is forgiving and won’t discipline me for my sin.”
“God is all limits and no love.”
These lists are taken from Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud. In the book he includes more details about each one. Yikers. Did one or two of those zing you? Did one or two of them describe your continual complicated relationship with God?
It all comes back to you having boundaries for your life. Remember the most compassionate people are the ones who are the most boundaried. There is nothing but good when you decide to make boundaries for your life.
Distorted thinking traps so many of us. It is at the root of the many lies we believe about ourselves. Sometimes we need healing from that Father’s heart. Be brave and pursue that. We also simply need to make and keep our boundaries. Don’t be surprised to see changes in you and in the type of dates you attract in the future. Attraction is a part of Brave Dating because the true you is attractive.
When you understand who you are and who you belong to, it is easier to make boundaries. You are more than that contorted thinking. The God who created chocolate brownies and warm beach days and daisies also created you. Worthiness is your birthright. You were enough the minute you were born.
You can love someone but that does not mean you have to go down their downward path with them. Or to allow them to continue to disrespect your boundaries. I know you thought you needed to lose yourself in this person to keep him/her attracted to you and loving you. The sad truth is this actually cost you your relationship. You don’t have to lose your identity to keep the relationship. The miracle of love is two whole people becoming whole. Whole people know who they are because they know what their boundaries are.
With boundaries you will keep your identity and you will have what is needed for attraction and love.
You can do this. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Hebrews 12:12-13.
True love requires open hands. Without the power to say no, love will never be real, just an illusion. –Wm. Paul Young, Eve
That is a beautiful and true quote from a fiction book written by the author of The Shack. We all desire real love, that love for a lifetime. This comes from making and keeping our boundaries. This is the beauty of those boundaries. Because we have these boundaries, our love can be open-handed because we know who we are and where we end and where you are and where you end. I can wholly love you.
(Photo credit: http://commoncore.hku.hk/cchu9054/)