We decided to finally attend the Family Life Night at Gateway Southlake Campus last Monday, where we had the opportunity to learn from the New York Times-Best-Selling Author, Dr. John Townsend. He talked about the importance of setting boundaries in your life, as an individual, as a family, and even as a business. I was blown away. It was a simple lesson, but I felt like I haven’t mastered it even after all these years.
So what does it mean to have a boundary?
Townsend put it in a very simple sentence : being able to say NO when you really need to say NO.
Sounds easy? Think about the last time when you actually did it! Be honest!
I think it’s in our nature to say yes more easily than to say no, even when we KNOW that we should’ve said it.
Why do we need to say NO? Because we need to protect these 7 things that each and every one of us have (as an individual or as a family) :
No matter what your belief is, you and your family must have some kind of set of values that consists of the things you collectively regard as important be it money (though not recommended hehe), religious belief, commitment with one another, health, togetherness, honesty, etc. Now this set of values must be protected! Because there will come the days when you will be tempted or pressured into compromising them and jeopardizing your whole family.
Thoughts & feelings – well of course, we need to protect them at all times. Can you imagine living with an unstable, Yo-yo feelings? As a wife, mother, and a grown-up in general, I just think I need to be more stable than ever. I can’t be living based on how I feel at the moment, because there are days when I don’t feel like doing right. I can’t risk my son’s growth by abiding in them right? Anyways, these are just some examples to remind you how important it is to say NO to things that might cause you to compromise the 7 things I mentioned in the infograph above. Sometimes, we might hesitate in saying NO because we are scared of rejection and abadonement. But hey, is it worth it though? Ask yourself.
At the end of the class, Townsend gave us some homework : 1). To practice saying NO every day and 2). To turn the ‘yes’-es that we said in the past into ‘no’s’ –> like if 3 weeks ago when everyone said Neil Patrick Harris did a horrible job hosting the Oscars, and you said you agreed with them when in fact you didn’t, tell them today! Just so you can get used to saying no (practice makes perfect right?), and saying what you really want and mean and should say, even when it’s hard.
How about those thoughts you have in your head about yourself? About how you’re not good enough? Say NO to them too! Guard your thoughts and your heart, for from them your whole life flows.
We’re in this together. Let’s learn to say NO!