Self Respect and Boundaries

From 8/24/2014. CBB


Saw this on a friend’s facebook this morning……”Just because I cut someone out of my life does not mean I hate the person….it simply means I respect myself.” In recovery ministry we often have to help our recovery students grapple with the reality that unhealthy, toxic, unsafe relationships may well need to be relegated to the corners of one’s life, where contact can be defined by her own willingness or ability to engage safely, or may need to be eliminated altogether…not out of spite or punishment, but out of self-preservation.

One Boundaries chapter talks about such relationships and asks the question: “What has it cost other people to be in relationship with you?” I would add also, what is it costing you to be in relationship with someone who does not respect the boundaries of others? At some point- perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently- some people simply need to be removed from one’s life.

Jesus said that if individuals will not hear the truth, turn and walk away….even shake the dust from your shoes…. Some ground is simply too hard and rocky to sow seeds. Acknowledge the reality and move on. That was His word to those who had much to do and who could not afford to get wrapped up, distracted, even sidelined by the resistance of such people. Sometimes such frustrations in one’s life are put there by the devil who delights in dragging one off task. Recognize when you need to put some space between yourself and such situations. God may choose to change the circumstances later, but for now….walk away.

I talked to a former student recently for whom this was definitely the case. She recognized the risk in continuing in too close a relationship with someone she could not simply walk away from entirely but who had behaviors that were absolutely destructive to the student. But she reported that after coming to the realization that this relationship was not safe for her the way she had allowed it, she put healthy limits in place, required others to shoulder their share with the individual, took someone into her confidence and asked for accountability and help, and now, after several years her life is more stable, happy, and healthy than ever before. It is amazing what healthy respect for oneself and eliminating co-dependent relationships does for one’s quality of life!