Setting boundaries

The thought of hurting someone else makes me sick to my stomach. I never want even to disappoint people. So I agreed to things I didn’t want to do and sat in discomfort because I wouldn’t admit I was uncomfortable. 

While I wish I could say I have mastered this skill, the truth is that I am still learning each day. When a situation is uncomfortable, I pray and ask God to help me make the best decision. I don’t want to hurt myself or others intentionally. 

But sometimes, we must draw a line in the sand with others and declare that enough is enough. If someone does something once, I will usually overlook it and give them the benefit of the doubt. I will even give them another chance, but I must act if the behavior is repetitive. 

That part is hard for me because I want to see and believe everyone has the best intentions. 

I accept every friend request I get on social media. My goal is to write and help others. Therefore, I don’t put limits on who my story reaches. I allow people to be my friend until they make me uncomfortable. When I get inappropriate comments or messages, I ignore them and hope it is just a one-time thing and the person will know my silence is a warning. But if it continues to happen, I delete the person. And I hate to delete anyone.

To be my friend on social media, I need respect for my marriage and work. When others repeatedly message me and tell me how beautiful I am, ask me where I live, and tell me they want to go out with me, even though they know I am married, I don’t feel respected. When I have a meeting scheduled and the person doesn’t show up on time, then apologizes but does the same thing the next time, and the next, I don’t feel respected. 

I am very understanding but I can’t do this work and walk in this space without boundaries. 

It’s the same way with free events. I work so hard. I still get up at 4:00 a.m. to do this on my days off from my full-time job. I give away so much content for free. But I can’t be expected to do any more events without compensation unless God puts it on my heart to do it. Sometimes I know there is a definite need without a budget to make it happen. In those cases, I can work it out. But when I say yes to one thing, I have to say no to something else. 

I got myself in trouble before and caused so much pain because I worked non-stop. I said yes to everything. I allowed people to abuse my kindness. And it hurt me. 

From now on, I will pray about it and let God give me a yes or no. I genuinely want to do this work. I want to make new friends, speak at events, share my story, and help others. But I want to do it in a way that makes everyone feel loved and respected. 

So I will pray about each request, message, and comment and trust God to help me decide what to do. And then walk boldly in the decision God and I make. 

Photo by Johannes Mändle on Unsplash

Have a beautiful day!

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