Boundaries and Respect

When do you say ‘Yes’ and how do you say ‘No’ when it comes to respecting personal boundaries? This is the topic of the revised bestseller Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. The original bestseller was published in 1992, and the newly revised edition has been published by Zondervan/Harper Collins in 2017.

In chapter two the authors remind us that we are responsible to others and for ourselves. We are responsible to help others carry their ‘burdens’ and responsible for carrying our own ‘loads’ in life. Burdens are like boulders that can crush us – we need help because we are not able to carry a boulder alone. These are times of tragedy and crisis in life. Loads are like rucksacks – we are expected to carry them on our own. These rucksacks each contain our own individual feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.

The authors state, “Problems arise when people act as if their ‘boulders’ are daily loads and refuse help, or as if their ‘daily loads’ are boulders they shouldn’t have to carry. The results of these two instances are either perpetual pain or irresponsibility.”

In order to be a good wingman and family member, it is important that we understand personal boundaries. Please remember that we are responsible to others and for ourselves. We must each understand where our personal boundary is – and where someone else’s begins.

Ch O

Chaplain (Maj.) John O’Brien
115th Fighter Wing Chaplain Corps
Truax Field, Madison, WI

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