Boundaries make good neighbors and relationships

From   |  July 27, 2013
In Book Scoop

Over the years, I've read my fair share of "self-help" books. But this book is changing my life. Really. I have recommended it to just about everyone I know and wanted to share it with you, my dear readers, too.

If you feel like life is going faster than you are, please read: Boundaries: When to say yes, How to say no to take control of your life.

I was telling my friend Elaine about all I was learning (and being reminded of) by reading Boundaries. One day I commented, "I never knew I had problems with boundaries." To which she replied, "That's because you didn't have any!"

Ouch!

Sometimes the truth hurts a little. I think I had boundaries, but they weren't always in the right place. Or some were enough to guard Fort Knox and others were as open as a field. Now there's a time I would have sworn being "open as a field" was the way I loved and it was right and good and true. But what I have learned is that boundaries - healthy, realistic boundaries- protect real love. And protect me.

A fence around a yard is probably the best example of a healthy boundary there is. Living in a small historic downtown area, the yards are small and pedestrian sidewalks line each street. The road itself is often narrow. So I understand in a very pracitical way how important boundairies are. The same goes for interpersonal relationships. The tighter the quarters the more important boundaires become.

Cloud and Townsend are smart, for sure, but what they preach is not rocket science. It's based on century old truths and human nature. And some of it goes back to what I taught my children, but somewhere along the way forgot to apply to my own life:

"This is where I stop and you begin."

"While I can feel sympathetic and or empathetic to your plight/problem/ heartache, if I'm not part of the problem or the solution, then I need to stay out of it."

and my favorite wisdom to tell them - "You've got to carry your own backpack."

While I usually meant that last one literally, it is figuratively the same truth. Everyone has to carry their own personal stuff. When we don't, resentment, hurt, brokenness, pain, heartache, it all starts polluting our stuff. Boundaries disappear or walls are built. Either one can be disastrous. If your backpack of stuff is too heavy, then only you can lighten it and decide what to keep and what to unload.

Do you know when to say yes and how to say no? I'm learning!

Would love to know your thoughts below....

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