By Nancy Virden (c)2022
They still think it is stupid (in the nicest way possible, of course). When my sons were little and overwhelmed at the task of cleaning their room, I would suggest breaking the task into smaller, more manageable bits. I would say, “Pick up all the blue things first” or “pick up 5 things.”
Earlier this week, my now 34-year-old son said he had a huge clean-up at his job. Teasingly I said, “Pick up all the blue things first”, and we laughed. Well, he groaned, and I laughed.
We get overwhelmed by jobs that seem too big for us, or perhaps do not fit our skill level. To practice healthy boundaries, maybe it is time to say no to a few activities.
Ability and Limits
Proverbs 19:2 (NRSV) reads, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.” Awareness of our abilities and limitations is a helpful guide to knowing when to say yes and when to say no. When faced with the option of taking on a task, ask a few questions:
Is this act of service in my wheelhouse?
What I can afford to spend $________________________
How do I need to limit my emotional energy?
Do I need to limit myself physically?
What time do I have to spare?
What are my skills?
Are there other personal considerations?
When a person is asking you for help, healthy boundaries often come into play. Dina Previti, a counselor and theologian in Wayne, PA, said, “People with needs may be crying, ‘Fix me’, ‘Change my situation’, ‘Make the pain and struggle stop’. In light of such emphatic pleas, our next step is to ask God, ‘What is my role in the life of this person?’”
Choose your priorities carefully. To begin living in a balanced, mentally healthy way, know what it is you can do. When we know what to say yes to, we know what to say no to.
More to come…
Today’s Helpful Word
A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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