For women, this topic is HUGE. Boundaries? What is this of which you speak?
As women, I feel there’s a general expectation that we are to be loving and compassionate to all, and little thought is given toward our personal, individual well-being. Champions are the women who sacrifice everything for the sake of others. Selfish snobs are those who have a defined sense of their personal space and time. Shame on us for letting such boxes be drawn.
For all that we do, may we do it with love, but may we first make sure there is love for ourselves. My work with Time for JOY has taught me that our offerings to others are more enriched if they come from someone who has nourished her own spirit. (After all, JOY stands for Jesus, Others, and Yourself.)
I just spoke with a friend moments ago who canceled an early-morning obligation because stress was rising too high. I had to commend her boundary-setting. I know how hard it is to say no. I don’t do it often enough; just ask my husband.
One of my fears of boundaries is that I will limit my ability to receive a true gift or <gasp> will let someone down. Other times I’m afraid that if I don’t do something for cause x, no one will.
Fortunately, I’m working through those apprehensions. I know that Spirit is stronger and smarter than me . . . and much more patient and persistent.
We do well to make sure that we are in a good place in every step. First, be healthy, strong and wise, and then give and grow. The cycle is something like that, right?