Death Traps: Poor Boundaries and Healthy Emotions
Since I learned of the bible, the prophetic books have been my favorite. I think it’s the objective poetry like Isaiah and Jeremiah. But not so the Psalms, I guess that makes me less of a song writer. 😦 For many years I could not understand what to do with the gloom and destruction verses. I don’t know if I am to see them in my own life?, to help me be sensitive to others in pain? or to raise protection for the victim?. Today I’ve come to see them in a different light.
“9 Her gates have sunk into the ground;
their bars he has broken and destroyed.
Her king and her princes are exiledamong the nations,
the law is no more,
and her prophets no longer find
visions from the Lord.
10 The elders of Daughter Zion
sit on the ground in silence;
they have sprinkled dust on their heads
and put on sackcloth.
The young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.
11 My eyes fail from weeping,
I am in torment within;
my heart is poured out on the ground
because my people are destroyed,
because children and infants faint
in the streets of the city.
The passage above speaks about the realities of a broken city. These passages can feel real today considering the Islamic terrorist attacks and we can hear and see in the news about people in torment. Yet today I can see another deeper meaning.
Broken Boundaries and Pain
Hurt people hurt people. The most cruel bullies have a symptom of deep hurt childhoods.
Most of us have relatively healthy families and parents that cared for us. But human as they are. Our parents aren’t perfect. On those aspects that we didn’t get the love and discipline (yes this includes spanking) we need, we will always have that level of dissatisfaction. All the more for dysfunctional love – being raped, being abandoned, being manipulated, being controlled and dysfunctional discipline – being abused, being used and being abandoned – a little kid with no boundaries with no freedom. This might be false freedom because when they break the law, the parents aren’t there to buffer them. They have a direct confrontation with authorities.
And how does broken boundaries relate to death traps? Because one’s quality of life greatly depends on one’s self esteem. Then one’s self esteem is a big handicap on the quality of asking for what we want. Asking for what we want is a major key to success.
Boundaries and What they Are
I will borrow my definition of boundaries from Mark Manson. He said boundaries:
“Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for one’s actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for other’s actions or emotions.”
Setting strong personal boundaries are not a cure-all for your emotional and spiritual health. In fact, strong boundaries are the fruit of a healthy emotional and spiritual life.
Poor boundaries are the result of wrong principleswe believe and dysfunctionql relationships modelled to us by people close to us. These are actions that compel us to take too much responsibility for the emotions/actions of others or compel us to expect others to take too much responsibility our own emotions/actions.
Interestingly people who take too much responsibility (savior complex) and those who are needy (victim complex) often end up in relationships together.
Other causes of poor boundaries are abuse or control during our early years as children. This will be discussed in a future article.
How to Build Strong Boundaries
“The wise man/woman builds (stores up treasure) her house,
but with his/her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
From the above passage we can see that a wise man or woman takes responsibility for his or her own life and actively gathers treasures or makeshi or her life stronger or richer. On the other hand, ignorance of our dysfunctional actions sometimes leads us to destroy our own chances of becoming better.
How do many people destroy their own life? In many ways. One of them is through self talk: ” I am stupid. I am always a failure. I am fat. I . . . You get the point. And the solution is not stopping these talk. They are a fruit of other dysfunctional attitudes and values that if we identify and work on will bsar fruit in confidence and a healthy well being.
How do we Bud Healthy Boundaries?
- Be aware of dysfunctional relationships in your life. If you are constantly getting into bad business deals or always falling in love with bad women, there might be mental images in your mind that draw you into these situations. Do not judge yourself because of these tendencies. Instead be aware, acknowledge and accept that is one of the realities in your life.
- Recognize the emotions that come with these realities. Most of the dysfunctional relationships that happen to you are common with other people. It is the habit emotions that come with them that causes the sane reaction everytime. In order for your to break these relationships and habits we need to see that when you find a chance to gamble or find drugs, you feel joy. On the other hand, there are other negative emotions that drive you away from your goal. Like deppression or anxiety – just on the thought of exercising.
- Redirect / Take Charge of your Thoughts. Most of the time, no, I say ALL the time the things that bother us are things that dont really matter but because we have unhealthy images and identities of ourselves, we obsess about it. I have a lady friend who thinks shes fat. But shes gorgeous. But because she feels stronger negatively about being fat, stronger than she feels good about exercising, she feels powerless and a victim of her weight. Me I’d love to have a ripped physique but I feel so dragged about how hard it is to go 3 days at the gym and do hardcore reps. I start to agonize so much about it versus feeling good about the progress on my bicep, that consequently I feel hopeless aboutmy ripped figure. Feeling fat was not the issue feeling good about starting gym is. Getting ripped was not the issue, feeling happy on the way to getting ripped is.
- Praise / Thanksgiving. There is something about God that takes away the hopelessness, doubt and pain on any kind of impossible situation. If you have lost hope about God I’ll bet that its not really God youre worried about. I’ll bet there was something in the past that you had a dysfunctional expectation for God or your loved ones to work out, that have made you angry and atheistic. That’s totally ok. But praise and thanksgiving breaks out the bondage of limits in our life. Supernaturally places oued hand onto God’s hand where He pulls usibto an extraordinary comeback. We don’t chose the negative emotions we have. But chosing bigger thoughts ushers us out of our slump. Praise and thanksgiving are ways of taking charge of our life.
And how does a healthy strong boundary sounds like? Healthy boundaries knows that there is so much hope for our sutuation (hope that no matter how bad we can take responsibility and expect something good out of it), trust that we are not alone (most of our bitterness is when we feel alone in our problems), that we can Trust again (vs broken trust in God and people). Expecting the best from our life takes action and a choice. It is a free choice only when we stop blaming others and circumstance for where we are. Here is how Strong Boundaries sounds like.
“1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shieldand rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,