Thursday, March 26, 2009

Boundaries Part 7

The last section of Boundaries is on actually how to develop good boundaries. There were a couple of points that really stood out to me in this area (well, truthfully, the whole book is really good!).

1. The first quote I've going to give you below is one that just made me laugh. Ever since I'm been on this whole life-changing, gluten free thing, I've had a lot of people talking to me about how I'm able to just give up so much. And I've had something reinforced for me that seems very basic but a lot of people don't really seem to recognize the truth behind it. To change, you have to really want it. Otherwise, you won't change. It's not worth it to you.

"The driving force behind boundaries has to be desire. We usually know what is the right thing to do in life, but we are rarely motivated to do it unless there's a good reason. That we should be obedient to God, who tells us to set and maintain boundaries, is certainly the best reason. But sometimes we need a more compelling reason than obedience. We need to see that what is right is also good for us. and we usually only see these good reasons when we're in pain. Our pain motivates us to act."

I'd never though of this food struggle for me as simply as just calling it a boundary I'm establishing in my life, but the reality is that a boundary is the only name for it. I'm protecting myself from things that hurt me, and opening myself up to those things that are good for me. For years I've thought that Chris and I should really make some changes in our lives--eat better food, etc. But I never had the motivation to do. Now I do. And my whole world is being turned upside down, shaken apart, and then being put back together piece by piece.

2. The second quote (it's kind of long) I'm going to give is an answer to a question(s) I've had for quite a few years now. It is a question that has haunted me for the last couple in particular. I've even written about it here. What is forgiveness? And more particularly--how do you forgive someone who doesn't seem to want to be forgiven or even get the fact that they've hurt you? And even more specifically from that--how do you forgive someone who doesn't "get" how they've been at fault and thus you are placing yourself back under them in a way that you're almost guaranteed to get hurt again?

"Many people have a problem determining the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. They fail to deal with external resistance because they feel that they have to give in to the other person again or they are not being forgiving. In fact, many people are afraid to forgive because they equate that with letting down their boundaries one more time and giving the other person the power to hurt them again.

"The Bible is clear about two principles: (1) We always need to forgive, but (2) we don't always achieve reconciliation. Forgiveness is something that we do in our hearts; we release someone from a debt that they owe us. We write off the other person's debt, and she no longer owes us. We no longer condemn her. She is clean. Only one party is needed for forgiveness: me. The person who owes me a debt does not have to ask for my forgiveness. It is a work of grace in my heart.

"This brings us to the second principle: we do not always achieve reconciliation. God forgave the world, but the whole world is not reconciled to Him. Although He may have forgiven all people, all people have not owned their sin and appropriated His forgiveness. That would be reconciliation. Forgiveness takes one; reconciliation takes two.

"We do not open ourselves up to the other party until we have seen that she has truly owned her part of the problem...True repentance is much more than saying 'I'm sorry'; it is changing directions."

I think I have some answers now.

3. The final quote goes right along with the above thought. This particular section was dealing more with how to handle unresolved grief and loss:

"The basic rule in biblical recovery is that the life before God is not worth holding on to; we must lose it, grieve it, and let go so that He can give us good things. We tend to hold on to the hope that 'someday they will love me' and continue to try to get someone who is unable to love us to change. This wish must be mourned and let go of so that our hearts can be opened to the new things that God wants for us...Giving up boundaries to get love postpones the inevitable: the realization of the truth about the person, the embracing of the sadness of that truth, and the letting go and moving on with life."

And thus endeth my posts on Boundaries. If you've been bored to tears, you're probably not reading this. If you've been reading these posts, I hope they've maybe given you some interest in reading, what I found to be, an amazing book.

I will be reading this book again...relatively soon, most likely. But I know that regardless of when I return to it, there are areas of my life--spiritual, physical, and emotion--that have been and are going to continue to be greatly impacted by this.

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