One result of my lack of boundaries is that I became a rescuer, although it would be years before I acknowledged that. I reached out to other hurting people, trying to help them.
Consider my professions. I started as a public school teacher and asked for the lowest achievers in the sixth-grade class I taught. For 14 years I was a pastor and part-time chaplain. Being a professional writer may not seem to fit that role, but I’ve recently completed writing my third book for survivors. I’m also a professional ghostwriter—I help other people tell their stories.
As I’ve become aware of my need to rescue, I’ve also seen other areas of my life, such as not having the skill to say no without a lengthy apology.
That’s been changing the last three years. I’m learning to set boundaries for myself. In this blog, I frequently refer to self-talk. Many times I write simple, direct, and positive statements, put them on 3x5 file cards, and repeat them several times a day, often for months.
These two I’ve said since March of 2015:
- Appropriately I say no.
- I maintain wise, prudent, and practical boundaries.
Because I value who I am;
I can set boundaries for me.