It’s not easy to keep healthy boundaries when you’re a healthy human being, statistically speaking. It is 200 times harder (remember, I never exaggerate… ever) to have healthy boundaries when your physical abilities are already compromised.
If you’re a Christian and you study scripture often you already know that we aren’t supposed to judge others; it’s not our job to judge. But, we do it anyway. Often. Need examples? No problem…
- we think that overweight lady is just lazy
- we think the mother in the grocery store just isn’t a strong parent because her toddler is freaking out and cleaning the floor with his shirt and his tears
- we think the guy who always cancels has messed up priorities
- we think homeless people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job
- we think that brand new teenage driver has no business being on the road
I can give you a million and two scenarios and legit reasons why all of these judgments are grossly inaccurate, but I won’t – because I bet you can come up with a list all on your own.
Our judgement of others is detrimental to our own self-worth. Perhaps I have unrealistic boundaries and I try to do, do, do, do, do (and usually doo-doo on others in the process) because I have a nasty habit of judging others who DON’T “do.”
I would like to apologize in advance for letting you into my brain so you can see my thought process. This always frightens my husband and he feels like he needs a helmet before we open the doors.
- I would love to be part of this cool new ministry at church, I’ll sign up for it especially since no one else is. I mean SOMEONE needs to help it get off the ground!
- The school needs parents to help sell ice cream on Thursdays? YES – I am absolutely going to be there for my kiddo’s school, he will be so glad to see me every week! Wait, where the heck are the other moms?
- I can’t believe no one else is signing up for this ministry! I can’t do all this on my own, where is everyone? Being lazy and sleeping in? Playing tennis and golf???
- That mom I sell ice cream with is a total flake, she never shows up on time and she’s a complete mess when she does show up!
- I know honey, we need milk… and bread, and meat, and fruit… and toilet paper… but I’m SO busy serving others that I can’t actually serve my own family.
- Our neighbor is having surgery next week so I am going to take them a meal.
- I don’t have time to make a meal for my neighbor, I’ll get just them pizza.
- Man, I am exhausted – I don’t have time to go to the gym… I need to find a quick fix to get this weight off, then I’ll get back to the gym.
- “Yes, I read scripture every day!” <—- flat out lie, I don’t have time for that!
- Son, can you just NOT NEED ME for 10 minutes? Do your homework on your own! GEEZ, I already passed 4th grade, your turn! Quit being so selfish.
- I just need to get away, I’m completely stressed out and I can’t handle all this anymore! And you know what, dear husband? YOU are perfectly capable of stopping at the grocery store too! Seriously, can’t you see that if I don’t show up to sell ice cream that NO ONE WILL? All the other moms are so selfish with their time. If I don’t do it, ,NO ONE WILL!
I put my most important priorities last, and filled my schedule with things that were not absolutely necessary because I think I am superwoman and can save the day. And in the end, I burnt myself out, I bad mouthed other people, and I dropped the ball on multiple responsibilities… and I did it ALL BECAUSE I let my judgement of others dictate how I was going to prioritize my own schedule.
I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t THAT important.
If you don’t sell ice cream at the school, someone else will. Or God forbid, they don’t have ice cream one Thursday. I think our children will all survive.
Maybe I am afraid to say no because of the fear that people will call me lazy, or call me a flake, or un-involved, or selfish — or any of the other words I use to describe others. It pretty much came back to bite me in the …. donkey. I really don’t believe those things about my family – but stress jades my judgement and my capacity to love with my words and actions.
So yes, I can do anything…. but if I am doing them all for the wrong reasons then I’m going to burn myself out.
I can’t do everything … especially if I am a martyr donning a superwoman cape, expecting others to thank me for saving the day since everyone else was too lazy to step in to help.
In the process I completely doo-doo’d all over my own family — the people I love the most. And I doo-doo’d all over my reputation as a Christian — you know, a Christian? Someone who is supposed to “Love God, and love others.”
Does that sting a little?
First up … change my attitude and see people the way Jesus see’s people.
Second … priority check. God first (that includes reading scripture), then family, and then everything else.
and Last … lose the cape…. it has doo-doo all over it anyway.