20140809_085007I picked this book up for $8 at a local used book store. Why anyone would sell it is beyond me, but I’m happy to take it instead! I’d read/skimmed my parent’s copies when I was young, like 11 or 12. Lots of it made sense, lots of it didn’t really stick in my memory! For the past couple weeks I’ve really been wanting to read it again, or really read it properly for the first time. So here I go!

Some of my underlines from Pages 1-38
(I italicized everything that was in italics in the book)

  • trying harder isn’t working
  • being nice out of fear isn’t working
  • taking responsibility for others isn’t working
  • Made in the image of God, we were created to take responsibility for certain tasks. Part of taking responsibility, or ownership, is knowing what is our job, and what isn’t. It takes wisdom to know what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t. We can’t do everything.
  • In the spiritual world, boundaries are just as real, but often harder to see. In reality, these boundaries define your soul, and they help you to guard it and maintain it. (Prov. 4:23)
  • If I do not “own” my life, my choices and options become very limited.
  • God designed a world where we all live “within” ourselves; that is, we inhabit our own souls, and we are responsible for the things that make up “us.”
  • Denying ourselves to do for others what they cannot do for themselves is showing the sacrificial love of Christ.
  • We are expected to deal with our own feelings, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as the responsibilities God has given to each of us, even though it takes effort.
  • Problems arise when when people as as if their “boulders” are daily loads, and refuse help, or as if their “daily loads” are boulders they shouldn’t have to carry. The result of these two instances are either perpetual pain or irresponsibility.(Galatians 6:2,5)
  • Being clear about your no – and your yes – is a theme that runs throughout the Bible.
  • If you cannot say no to the external or internal pressure, you have lost control of your property and are not enjoying the fruit of “self-control.”
  • To be in touch with God’s truth is to be in touch with reality, and to live in accord with that reality makes for a better life.
  • There is always safety in truth, whether it be knowing God’s truth or knowing the truth about yourself.
  • Honesty about who you are gives you the biblical value of integrity, or oneness.
  • Many people are too quick to trust someone in the name of forgiveness and not make sure that the other is producing “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).
  • You need to depend on others to help you set and keep boundaries.
  • There are two reasons why you need others to help with boundaries. The first is that your most basic need in life is for relationship.
  • The other reason we need others is because we need new input and teaching.
  • creating boundaries always involves a support network.

So yeah, I think I want to keep coming back here and sharing what is standing out to me and what I am learning as I keep reading. Hopefully, when I’m done with this book, I’ll do it with the next one too!

As much as all of this boundary talk isn’t really new or news to me, there is still something really fresh about it. Perhaps because I’m in a place fully open to implementing what I learn? I see lots of areas where I need growth in my ability to set and keep boundaries!

A couple other things:

– they explained boundaries are not walls. They are fences. And they need gates. They are to let the good in, keep the bad out, and send the bad that might already be inside back out where it belongs.

– areas where boundaries exist: physical (who may touch us & under what circumstances), mental (freedom to have our own thoughts and feelings), emotional (deal with our own emotions and disengage from harmful, manipulative emotions of others), spiritual (distinguish God’s will from ours and renew our awe of our Creator).

This book is just SO GOOD. All those things I underlined, I underlined because I identify with them and recognize the truth in them. While I think I’ve been better at maintaining boundaries in some areas than others, I am just really ready to start living with ownership in every area of my life. It won’t go perfectly from the get go, I can promise that! But I will continue to read, and write here, and use my relationship support network, and believe the life I want is attainable if I put in the work.