Strength & dignity Course, Exercise #2

Session 2
How did it go with that last assignment?

  • It was pretty hard to do, but I learned some about myself.
  • I do not have boundaries, or sometimes I swing to complete lock down with stupid boundaries and do not let anything is.
  • someone listed “take time for myself” I like that, and I like “be kind to myself” and “know myself”.  I realize I do not have protective boundaries for myself, to protect me from myself and protect me from letting others step over my boundaries.

Keep doing the class sessions, and you’ll have a forum invitation coming your way in a few weeks or sooner – you can start sharing with other women there. For now, however, it’s just me. 🙂

Were you able to see some boundaries in the world around you?

  • my husband had boundaries and can say no with such ease, goes to sleep when tired
  • but his boundaries are flawed, he lets others outside of us step all over him, he is afraid of losing people, but takes me for granted.

Did you think of things like “the hours at my job are a boundary because if I’m late too often I get a warning,” or, “the school bus comes at a specific time and if we make it, my
daughter can ride, if we miss it, I have to drive…” Some people find that exercise
easy to do, and for others, it is really hard.
Did you notice I gave you a boundary for the assignments? Do you know what it
was?

  • the timetable, i couldn’t even follow that one, I took a week and then went back and did what I could in the allotted time frame.

I put a boundary out there because I wanted to protect you. 🙂 I didn’t want you to
stress about what you were writing, work too long on it (thus making this course
seem impossible) or work to little (not allowing your brain the time it needs to
really access information). Know what it was? It’s a simple one – a timer.
Have you ever been in a group setting and ONE PERSON HOGS ALL THE
DIALOGUE? And the leader does nothing? We use timers in everything we do to
treat all of our class members fairly. Where we can’t, online, it doesn’t matter, as
people can choose whether or not to respond, but even then, we give a gentle
suggestion of word count. When we use timers at home or on projects, it provides
people with a sense of beginning and ending, and gives us a sense of satisfaction.
As you looked at the people you respect, did you notice the boundaries that
they set? People who earn our respect naturally set boundaries for themselves –
that’s ONE of the many factors that earns them respect in our book. They also
often respect other people’s boundaries – that’s another respect earning action.
Finally, they set “protection boundaries” for those who cannot protect
themselves.
Chew on those three things for a moment:
1. set boundaries for themselves
2. respect the boundaries of others
3. set “protection boundaries” for children, the elderly, or those we lead
This looks like a number of things – for example, Sarah might set a boundary for
herself that she is not going to eat dessert on days she doesn’t work out, and
when she does eat dessert, she is going to keep it under 400 calories. She might
have a boundary where she stops a conversation (while communicating
respectfully – ie: “I’m feeling attacked right now, so I am going to take a break
from this conversation. We can finish it later when we are both calm.”) instead of
letting herself become emotional because she knows she is capable of saying
something to hurt someone else, or allowing herself to be discounted or
diminished as a person by the behavior of another. She might respect her
daughter’s boundary of not wanting to be tickled when she says, “Stop!” She’ll
respect her husband’s boundary of not discussing anything “heavy” right before
bed because he knows he is not patient then.
Protection Boundary Caveat: These only apply to kids or the elderly. Sarah may
set a protection boundary for her kids of a limited amount of “screen time”
because she knows it diminishes their ability to focus. Due to the complex nature
of parenting, we won’t be discussing “protection boundaries” much. To get into
them would be an entire parenting course, and that’s not the context we’re
looking at and not all the women here have kids, but we do need to mention it,
because you will wonder about how boundaries fit with kids as you set
boundaries for yourself. Sometimes, as moms, we’ll establish a protection
boundary in the middle of a conversation between siblings or with the children’s
father if disrespectful communication is occurring.
 With siblings, it might look like this: “Jake, I know you love your brother
(respecting him and assigning good motives) and your behavior right now is
crossing a line of respect. I’m stopping this conversation so both of you can
cool off and you can talk about it later when calmer heads prevail.”
 With our husband, (say your daughter has an idea and before she can even
get it out, he’s dismissing her “Laura, I’m sensing you are feeling like you
aren’t being heard, is that right? I want to make sure we fully understand
your idea before we discuss it. John, can I help a second? I think Laura
would like to be validated by us before discussing what she wants to do
with her hair. Do you mind if we hear her out before we discuss it further?”
Assignment:
Get your timer out and allow yourself 7 minutes for each question. If you
exhaust your answers before the time is up, go ahead and move on to the next
question. Feel free to “borrow time” from another question, but do not spend
more than 35 minutes responding to these:
1. Write down the names of two people you know who seem to not have
boundaries for themselves. Compare your perception (without judging
either, just looking at natural perception) of these two compared to the
two from the last assignment, the two people you respected a lot. How
does your level of respect differ between the two groups? What does that
teach you about respect?

  • John – he seems to drift through life, is self centered and cares little for others feelings, is intent to create personal happiness at anyone’s expense. Life is a party.
  • Ben – is a doormat and unsure of life, thinks he needs to please everyone to be accepted, is unsure of how to get where he wants to get. thinks he is mentally bipolar, I think he is just unhappy and does not know how to create boundaries to protect himself. he is afraid he will lose acceptance or lose himself
  • respect is crucial to how you see yourself and how others see yo. You don’t have to be the life of the party, you have to be the best YOU to love yourself and use boundaries to keep others from abusing you. and Keep YOU from abusing you.

2. Think of two people who “take advantage of you” or are “rule breakers.”
These phrases are often used to describe “boundary breakers.” How do you
feel about those people?

  • Evie – feels like she can yell at me whenever she wants, uses me to babysit Ray, or I don’t see her much.
  • Ed – thinks he can have female friends and I am too stupid to figure it out, thinks I will obey no matter what even if I get harmed, he cares little for me. Can refuse intimacy with me, I now feel it is going else where. I stay in bed when he watches morning TV, I would rather be downstairs.
  • kaylee – uses everyone
  • I am not too happy with anyone right now.

3. Have you identified anything about yourself in the area of boundaries? Do
you have boundaries? Does it come easy to you to set boundaries? What
boundaries do you have for yourself that you are aware of? Write down as
many as you can before the time is up.

  • I have little to no boundaries, some old ones I have from childhood do not serve me anymore (do not spend money on me, do not let Dad come to visit me at night….) I am afraid to set up boundaries, in fact my belly is hurting just thinking of this. I need boundaries.
  • I set up: take me time, although it is very late at night leaving me tired in the morning. I am studying boundaries, taking time I need to do this, that is a boundary. I eat well to lose weight that was hurting me, I take care of my body. I  shower daily and make myself up nice so I feel good about me. I keep a clean house so I have a nice organized place to relax in. No arguing in the house, it brings angst. Be early to work, unwind and relax before hitting the floor.

4. How easily do you allow others to break or cross your boundaries? Can you
think of a specific time when this has happened? How do you feel
afterward? If you have boundaries, do you “enforce” them with a
sledgehammer or strength and dignity (gentle firmness)? How do you think
your use (or lack of) effects how much others respect you?

  • I cave rather easily on the boundary issue, please do not get angry with me, we will do it your way. I wanted to visit my kids more, but he has ideas and I go with his ideas out of fear he will chose another female to go with him. He has no respect for me, I see that now. I thought I was easy going and submissive, now I see I have been a fool.

5. How do all these things impact your marriage?

  • he has no respect for me and feels he can do whatever he wants with whomever.

6. Bonus question: if doing The Respect Dare, how do boundaries tie in with
expectations? (read the blog post highlighted above and think through
that!)

  • they tie together well, I got confused and began answering the questions the same. I see where my parents set my thinking patterns, mom fearful of losing my dad just allowed too much. My Nana created a safe place for her to go, she stayed and he continued his behavior, but then he changed and they are dysfunctionaly close to each other. I guess I still believe in dreams come true and passion created out of havoc. PASSION IS NOT CREATED FROM HAVOC. ABUSE DOES NOT LEAD TO PASSION. SUBMISSION THAT VIOLATES BOUNDARIES IS NOT GOD CENTERED. Now they are old and they could have had it good, together or apart.

Boundaries are an important part of all relationships.
I hope you’re learning about boundaries and beginning to see some correlations
with RESPECT. Most of us are lousy at respecting others’ boundaries or
implementing ones for ourselves. REMEMBER we’re just beginning to
understand this concept, so don’t run out and start slapping boundaries on
everything around you. 🙂 Just keep chewing on the concept based on the little bit
we covered today.
Next time, we’ll talk about how boundaries are Biblical and consider the areas in
which we need to establish them. There’s a difference between not having
boundaries and having a servant’s heart – do you know the difference?
*WARNING: If you have not established boundaries in your marriage and
suddenly do so, your husband will likely feel betrayed and confused. His trust in
you may be seriously broken. We’ll talk about how to start setting up boundaries
in your marriage in a way that helps you move forward and lessens the risks
involved.
We’ll talk soon.
Love to you,

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