Day 22 of 31 days of depression.
Draw lines in the sand. With concrete blocks.
Sand is wishy washy. It can be blown and shoved about.
When setting boundaries, you need them to be solid and unmovable. At least for a time being and some boundaries are permanent.
Have you established boundaries for your life and what you will and will not accept in it? What will you do if someone crosses those boundaries. Or worst yet, refuses to accept the ones you establish?
I found that for years some people violated my personal boundaries and I would spend days dwelling on it and being upset by it. And that led to me feeling down and out. I didn’t recognize that the reason I was so upset was because an invisible boundary I’d established in my own head, had been compromised by someone else.
There are behaviors that shouldn’t be tolerated. They may appear to be universal. One that comes to mind is my number one boundary: no one has permission to abuse me or my children, verbally or physically, or to threaten harm. Period. It’s not open for discussion or debate.
But what do you do when that boundary is crossed? Without a plan, things can get ugly. We remove ourselves from the situation and leave. My husband and I evaluate the situation and decide if the relationship needs to be severed.
That’s just one example. It’s my job as a mother to make sure no one abuses my children.
It’s your job to make sure no one abuses you. And that includes you.
Yes, I am saying you need to set boundaries for yourself as well.
- I will not abuse myself, physically, mentally, or emotionally.
- I will not belittle myself.
- I will not torment myself with my past mistakes. I accept Christ’s complete forgiveness of those sins.
- I will not allow others to abuse me.
- I will set boundaries for myself and others.
- I forgive myself.
- I will eat ice cream – okay I had to throw that in there.
How do you set boundaries in your life? Do you have any that get crossed often? When someone crosses those boundaries, what do you do? What do you say? Please share in the comments below. Your response may help someone else.
- Memorize this scripture: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Writing Prompt: Write out your boundaries. What are boundaries that you will not allow anyone to cross and remain silent over? What actions will you take when your boundaries are crossed? How will you let others know what your boundaries are before they are crossed? Don’t forget to write what you are thankful for and act on it. *If you would like a safe and free place to write, try this online journal at Penzu. It is password protected and you can even encrypt the journal if you need to. You can also use a fake name and junk email address for further protection. This way no one at home finds your personal diary entries.
- Pray: Lord, please help me set up healthy boundaries for how others treat me and how I treat myself. Give me wisdom and discernment when others cross my boundaries. In Jesus Name, Amen.
To purchase this song: There Will Be A Day
The next 31 days we will be discussing depression and healthy ways to combat it but we’re going to get real too. Because for those of us who wind up in the pit often, we know platitudes and fluff pieces do nothing for us. My expertise is only based on my own very personal battles with depression and is no way, professional or medical advice. Your participation in this series is voluntary and Melinda Todd is not legally responsible for any choices or actions of participants. Participants release Melinda Todd and Trailing After God from responsibility and liability and continue at their own risk and discretion.
I know that anyone could infer this: Something ugly in my past is prompting a comment. Spending 4 weeks in a battered women’s shelter comes to mind. It was there that I learned that abusive partners (and there are a few women who abuse) have an archetype. “You mean there’s a list of behaviors to look out for?” I was outraged. No one tells young ladies what really to look out for. Only after I’d washed up on this outpost did I learn.
If this wasn’t awkward enough, a series of compromising workplaces pointed out what you so eloquently said here. Boundaries are necessary. Working overtime when I should have been home with my family, staying silent when someone took my best idea as their own, are just a couple of things that were once normal for me. Oh, and lest I forget, when people talked down about God in front of me, I’m embarassed to say that I did not say that I was a Christian.
This didn’t change overnight. What I can add of value is that even if you never felt you could say ‘no’, you can learn with God’s help. I did.
I wouldn’t have know that either! Thank you for sharing. Setting boundaries is so very hard especially when it comes to family.