The problem with setting boundaries is that you have to be willing to enforce them.
Things have been crazy around work lately. Basically, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. The reasons for this aside, I have found a few times when I have had to enforce boundaries in the work place in regard to how much work I am expected to do. It has gone well and people seem to be understanding, but it is an uncomfortable position to be in.
How do I explain that there are more important things to me than my job? I'm not saying that my job doesn't have some importance, but not as much as God or Church or my family. When I am done at work, I want to be able to enjoy and participate in the things I think are really important. So I end up having to enforce boundaries.
And it isn't just at work. I have boundary enforcing issues all over the place. I am a recovering People Pleaser, and it feels very uncomfortable for me to say no, or to tell someone that I don't want to do something for them, or to tell someone when I've been hurt; even when my saying those things is warranted. There is a part of me that is convinced it is selfish. When I look at the Bible, I see verses expressing that we should go out of our way to be helpful, that we should let ourselves be inconvenienced in order to serve others. So I get uncomfortable when I say no, or take time for myself.
Part of the reason I struggle is because I know that a portion of my motivation to be better about my boundaries comes from arrogance and vindictiveness. I have this horrible idea that I am constantly the one who is having to be inconvenienced, or having to sacrifice, but that it isn't returned. There are many reasons that I believe cause this way of thinking, and many reasons this way of thinking bothers me; but the main 2 are that, first, it most likely isn't true. I am sure people in my life do things all the time and I am just too self-absorbed to notice. Second--and more importantly--there is no where in the biblical narrative that says "help people out until you get tired of it or until you feel you are being abused." Jesus got tired, Jesus was severely abused till he died! There are many other biblical incidents of Godly people being abused but still be required to serve. I have no excuse.
It's getting better. Maybe I just need a vacation.
I still feel there must be a good way to have some boundaries. Perhaps there will be more on that tomorrow.