Sometimes I'm controlling

Sometimes I'm controlling

Earlier this week I choose to be offended by my husband in the car. I gave him the cold shoulder, a tone, and I phrased things in clever enough way that allowed me to maintain a facade of innocence while trying to push his buttons at the same time.

I was trying to make him feel like I felt; I was trying to control his feelings. And, I wanted to make him want to apologize to me (I know, that part never makes sense in retrospect).

Where does our #firstworldpain come from?

Where does our #firstworldpain come from?

Deep down you still kinda believe that other people are responsible for you.

In a belief system where others are responsible for your feelings, and you are responsible for theirs, you tend to cling to the belief that it’s your job to MAKE others feel a certain way about you. 

Therefore, you subconsciously run all your choices through a filter to evaluate what feelings others may have about it. You then make your choices depending on who you want to control most instead of your values. 

The good, the hard, the beautiful.

When I was in my early twenties life was awesome and everyone liked me.

Ok, In all seriousness, I was rather impressive. I was juggling diverse friend groups, volunteering, going out to jazz clubs, feeding neighborhood kids, stringing along the fellas, all things church, and working multiple jobs. I was presenting like superwoman with a big YES on my chest from planet extroversion.

You know the metaphor of the iceberg, right? As you may guess, eventually, my world sunk. It was ugly- depending on how you look at it. Now I know it was beautifully necessary. I will spare some gory details but it was the bad boyfriend crashed your car, school on the credit card, parents not bailing you out this time, eating ramen every day, humiliated because you can’t even keep it together for appearances, kind of sinking.

I had been in denial as thick as Louisiana air. I thought my limitlessness was all good because it seemed good, until it didn’t.

The big sink was not because of a series of unfortunate events. It was the natural consequences of the kind of seeds I sowed for years. Out of touch with myself, a part of me was driving in another lane from my values at full speed, and eventually, I split in half. You can hold it together with feet in different lanes for awhile, but you can't pretend anymore when you're actually ripped in half, separated pieces of yourself on the highway during rush hour.

Boundaries are in some way misunderstood or unknowingly misused in almost all the lives I'm privileged to be involved in- and I work with amazing people. It nails home for me how imperative it is to have another set of experienced eyes that you allow to see behind the veil. I didn't know I lacked boundaries then. In fact, I thought I was pretty together on the outside, even though I didn't feel so great on the inside. The people with the nerve to give me feedback were few and far between, so when someone did they were easy to brush off (like the guy that told my family I was a doormat at my birthday dinner). But really, he was a rude dude. And more then that, I wasn't ready to listen. 

Those are two important points: 1. You need outside perspective, 2. you need to be ready to hear some tough truth. And there's actually a third important point: Even though I wasn't ready to listen, I'm glad he said it. I have a small collection of true comments that offended me and I never forgot them. They were pieces I used to build again, much later. 

Boundary work can encompasses many things. It involves: 

  • Authentic alignment with your values, learning assertive communication, personal responsibility, vulnerability, ninja levels of self-awareness.
  • Creates impressive internal freedom, unconditional love, forgiveness and connection.
  • Forces you to evaluate your mind, motives and habits, lean into your identity, and become incredibly responsible and empowered.
  • Allows you to cut back on controlling and letting others be responsible for themselves and learn their own desperately needed lessons.

Your work on yourself provides health to your family, community and all you touch. Boundary work always has a ripple effect. It’s powerful.

The freedom, purpose, and exhilaration on the other side of my own experiences drive my passion to help you see yourself more clearly, treat yourself well, and align with your values and the season you are currently in. 10+ years of working with people in the messy places of life have revealed that almost any problem can be worked on with boundary work. 

That leads me to more good, hard and beautiful news: you have to take total ownership of everything about yourself before you can change it. Even the things that really truly seem to be everyone else’s fault. If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is crazy compared to our cultural norms. Consider that our cultural norms also include being addicted, disconnected from others, in debt, avoiding or numbing reality, dishonesty and “us vs. them” mentality.

I’ll take another kind of crazy, please.

If your own personal well being doesn’t sell you on doing this work, consider how your lack of boundaries can damage others. You may be teaching your kids how to disrespect others by allowing them to disrespect you. You may be allowing others to learn and rely on destructive behavior patterns by avoiding conflict with them. You may stunt the development of strength and skills necessary to overcome {a life well lived} with the misplaced intent to prevent pain or struggle.

We may be keeping ourselves or others in bondage
just to prevent discomfort for a moment.

Boundary work is challenging and awesome. It’s my jam. That's why I offer free 30 minute mini-sessions to my blog readers. Shhhh! It's our little secret. Schedule yours HERE today!