For most of my life I’ve struggled with having healthy boundaries. Not only for myself, but also with every other relationship in my life. More often than not I would get caught up in the “people pleasing” trap and although I always had the intention of doing good for others, my lack of boundaries ended me in the doctor’s office at twenty five, tears pouring down my face, begging for pills to free me from the massive anxiety I could no longer control myself.
My situation may seem extreme for some, and others may know exactly how I felt- either way, I know there’s a lot of women out there who can share with me in the angst that comes with always feeling the need to please, or find approval from others. Most times, we can’t see the damage until it’s too late.
Through therapy and action, I have learned what it means to have healthy boundaries and how to implement them into my life. That doesn’t mean though, that I am not still tempted by my weakness. I’ve been working really hard for years on my own personal growth, and over the last few months I have been hyper-focused on God’s plan for my life and what I’ve also learned is that I cannot allow other people get in the way.
Recently I’ve been doing the Beth Moore study Entrusted and she brought me back to my knees in one of her sections that speaks to this subject. Often we’re quick to just look at our friends or our family when it comes to having healthy boundaries, but as Beth Moore puts it, “Some of the world’s best emotional predators masquerade with neediness. They will insinuate themselves into your household through the underground pipes of your sympathies.” Ouch. Emotional predators masquerading with neediness? Through the underground pipes of your sympathies? If you’re one who struggles with the need to please others, like myself, that’s some pretty harsh honesty right there.
Here’s the thing though, I LOVE someone who cares enough about me to speak the truth. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have a heart to help others in need, I’m saying to beware of the people who will throw you off course and keep you from your destiny.
If this hits home for you, Beth shares some specific examples of people to look out for, and I want to share with you a few that really hit home with me. These can be family, friends, significant other, co-workers, people who feel like they have fallen right into your life- anyone.
Beware of instant intimacy, relationships that go from zero to one hundred overnight. Be cautious of friendly and helpful but start invading every aspect of your life. Be especially mindful of individuals that you have trouble saying no to. Anyone who gets offended when you’re not together, and anyone who starts coming between you and your spouse or you and your family. Healthy relationships take time. Stop dead in your tracks over anyone who wants to be your only one.
I know how easy it is to get side-tracked by these people, and I’ve seen the consequences of it over and over again in my life. My Sister Warriors, go out and pursue your life with peace, love and joy, and watch out for those who are looking to steal it from you.
PS- Here at Never Be Average we created a platform called Forgiveness Letters. These letters have been a powerful testimony of strength, triumph and forgiveness. If you are ready to let go of you past, move on and forgive, we would love to feature your story here!