A Valentine for the Human Heart

Dad is home from rehab!

We wheeled him into Southland about noon today.  He starts in-house therapy tomorrow.  He didn't need any medication changes and is considered "independent" in his wheelchair.  He will work back up to a walker over the next few weeks.

Mom cleaned out some drawers while Dad was away and had my sister dust before he arrived.   Their little nest will be crowded again with two walkers and two wheelchairs, but they have their possessions/drugs pretty well cordoned off and manage to bump into each other only once in a while.

Which brings me to my fourth favorite thing of the month: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

I've talked about this book to most people I know and given a copy or two to friends over the years, so if this is a rerun topic for you, feel free to go have a cookie.

This book changed they way I enter into, manage, enjoy and ease out of relationships.  Which is another way of saying it changed my life.

Boundaries was published in 1992, and I remember the buzz it made upon its release.  Everybody around me was talking about it, but I wasn't interested.  Didn't really get the title, didn't have time, blah, blah, blah.   I finally read it ten years ago.  As I was reading, I kept thinking, I wish I'd read this earlier.

I did that with The Road Less Traveled too.  Everybody kept raving about that one, but I didn't pick it up until it had been on the market for twenty years.   I'm a slow follower.

Here are some snippets from Boundaries:

1.   Boundaries are a way to describe our spheres of responsibility - what we are and are not responsible for.

2.  Behind the failure to set boundaries in a relationship is the fear of loss.

3.  In the work of setting healthy boundaries, there will be skirmishes, disputes, and losses.

4.  We always need to forgive; but we don't always achieve reconciliation.

5.  Blamers have a character problem.

6.  Those who spend their lives trying to avoid failure are also eluding maturity.

7.  Words do not come from somewhere outside of us.  They are products of our hearts.

8.   Mental health comes from owning unmet childhood needs and working them out.

9.  If our giving to another helps him/her to become better, that's a valid sacrifice.  If our giving helps the other to become worse, that's enabling.

10.  To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless. 

11.  Years of constant boundary violations generate great anger.

12.   Feelings should never be ignored, nor placed in charge;  we are in control of our choices, no matter how we feel.

13.  Trying, failing, and trying again is called learning. 

14.  Say 'no' to the unimportant, and 'no' to the inclination to do less than your best.

Thought-provoking, challenging, smart, healing premises.   I marked up this book like nobody's business.

Dr. Cloud writes that every relationship problem, from neighbors to coworkers to family, is a boundary problem.   I have found this to be true in my life.  So, unless you've already figured this out, or you are a hermit who relates only to plants and the occasional lizard, you might find this book very enlightening.

This is a great valentine to buy for yourself.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

YUP!! Great book, great concepts!! It is the kind of book that one wishes one could remember every word and believe it all the time. I need it, I need it, I need it!! Thanks for the encouragement!!