Have you ever broken a boundary- with yourself?
Tell me if this sounds like you,
“Okay... today, I’m going to be awesome! I’m going to wake up early, eat something healthier than cereal, do my hair real nice, exercise, be a successful human being and rock my life”.
And then morning comes. And your bed feels so nice. The covers are warm, you bring out an arm from your nestled cove and the air is cold! Zip! Retreat!
“Five more minutes,” you think.
Beep! Beep! Beep! The alarm rings.
“Has it been five minutes, already? Couldn’t have been. That wasn’t long enough. Five minutes more. That’s ten minutes total. That isn’t enough to throw off the “be-awesome” schedule”.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
“Ugh! Not again! Stupid alarm. I’m so tired. I don’t want to get up. It looks like it’s sunny, is it sunny out there? Sigh. Okay, I’ll get up…. in a minute.”
You close your eyes. Some time passes and they shoot open, “Oh no! My alarm! What time is it?!”.
Sound familiar? Have you ever wanted to be one of those highly-successful people who gets up before the sun, runs and saves a village before breakfast? I have. And I am so not a morning person. Why can we not save villages at night, anyway? Why doesn’t that work? I could totally stay awake all night long to work but wake up early and get out of my snuggly bed? Well… that’s a lot harder.
I have gotten better at getting up over the years. Being this “morning person” is important to me so I continue to try. Every day, I tell myself to get up and be a success. I have managed it a few times and when I do, it’s incredible how much more I actually accomplish in a day.
Clearly, a before-breakfast brain is the best for saving villages.
Biblically-speaking, all of “the greats” in the Bible rose early when they had something important to do. Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Samuel, David, Jesus (and more!)- all rose early.
Obviously, waking early is important. Which is why I keep trying to make it a boundary for my life:
No matter how late I stay up, I will wake up early to seek God and write.
But how many days am I successful at this? Fewer than I’d like to admit. On those days, I am breaking the boundary I made for myself. Even though this boundary is important to me and something I really want, I allow tiredness, laziness or overwhelm to stop me from following through.
When we break boundaries with ourselves there are always excuses. We give reasons why we can break them, make concessions about what makes it okay and then talk ourselves out of following through. This can lead to shame, anger, unrest, frustration, anxiety and even depression (to name a few!).
It’s just as important we keep the boundaries with ourselves as it is we keep boundaries with our loved ones. In fact, it might be more important some days depending on what’s happening in our lives.
Let’s say my husband was “going crazy”. I promise to myself (make a boundary for myself) that I will not yell, scream, take my stress out on my children and that I will wake up early every day to meet with Jesus. Regardless of what my husband does, if I’m able to manage this boundary with myself, never mind what he’s doing and focus 100% on what I need to do for my own health and happiness, I will end up alright. In fact, my husband would probably wonder what the heck was going on with me and go ahead and seek help himself (I mean, or self-sabotage but whatever).
The point is, regardless of what my husband does, I will gain confidence from sticking to my personal boundaries, I will be doing what is healthy and best for myself and my children, and I will be meeting with God every day to support me in the situations I cannot deal with.
See where I’m going here?
The boundaries we make with ourselves are important. Super important. If you’re in a tough situation, I encourage you to take to heart what I said about waking early. Make a boundary with yourself that you will meet God every morning. It’s a good, loving, Godly boundary that will rejuvenate and enrich your life.
I pray the whispers of God fill your heart for all the days to come.