Boundaries = success and peace.
Boundaries and keeping our power are something I talk about often. Heck, I’d preach about them if someone would let me! They’re so important and if you’ve lived without them being within your control, once you discover boundaries and that you have power, both become so very much more important to you.
For most of my life I didn’t even know the concept of boundaries existed. I think unknowingly I believed that I just had to put up with others’ behaviors even if it meant I was the one getting hurt as a result. Of course, I knew certain behavior of others was wrong and it sure felt wrong, but I really didn’t grasp that I could tell them that. Thus, I let “The Other” rule much of my life for a long time.
I accepted the bad feelings, the pain, embarrassment–whatever it was–because I wanted to spare everyone else from feeling those things. I took it on so others didn’t have to. But I shouldn’t have. In most cases, everyone should feel what’s theirs to feel and no one should feel what is not theirs to bear.
In the book The Power of the Other by famed author Dr. Henry Cloud (author of Boundaries which we absolutely all must read!), he shares about the “four corners of connection”. Each of us fit into those corners in some fashion or another and they determine how effectively we deal with others in life situations, from personal on up to CEO of a large organization.
“…some of the most disconnected people on the earth, sociopaths and some narcissists, can be very charming and lure others in at first. But they aren’t able to make a real emotional investment in others.”
Many of you can relate to knowing someone who’s described within those sentences.
There were so many pages in this book where I felt Dr. Cloud had written them just for me, like:
“For whatever reasons, life has taught you that you have to do things on your own. In very practical ways, you do not allow yourself to need anyone. And although you care about others and give to them, you are disconnected from your own needs.”
Of course, I need my loved ones, I just press on and never say how much or specifically what I need. I’m a peacemaker, a server, a helper, so wearing those hats and living the life I’ve lived, have (as he said) taught me to do for others and not so much for myself.
This book really shows us how the relationships in our lives can bring us peace and success or failure and distress. Who and what we allow into our lives have great power over our lives, and we have to decide what and who deserve to be along for the ride. We have to discern what is bringing us down and who is lifting us up.
Dr. Cloud educates us on what to look for, how to examine the relationships in our lives, and determine in what way they’re bringing harm or health to our lives. One of my favorite chapters is “Freedom and Control”, speaking about self-control, balance, accountability, and freedom. This book will help you in all relationships from personal to business and is excellent for those in leadership or who want to be.
This was so helpful to me as I continue finding my power, my voice, and establishing healthy boundaries in all relationships. We’ve already discussed that it’s not easy and sometimes it’s downright foreign for many of us, but–as we’re learning–it’s also downright necessary.
You have real power…claim it,
I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of The Power of the Other by Dr. Henry Cloud to read and give an honest review.