Today’s special is my good friend, Erica Kesse, LPC-MHSP. Erica and I have an interesting conversation about boundaries and why they are so important.
- Why do you need to set healthy boundaries
- Reasons why people find it difficult to say no
- Examples of internal boundaries
- How to create boundaries between work and personal life
- Boundaries and Christian faith
- Erika’s book: Honey, You Need Counseling Skills and e-book on Boundaries Guide for Leaders
Links and resources
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Carrie: Welcome to Hope For Anxiety and OCD episode 73. I just have to do a little short shout out before we get started. Cause it’s actually coming out on my brother’s birthday. Happy birthday Paul, and hope that you have a good one. I am here with my good friend, Erica Kessie who we have known each other for over four years now. Did you realize that because.
Carrie: Erica actually through my business. It’s very first birthday party. When my business, By The Well Counseling, turned one and we were in the suite together. So that was just a really fun time. And my business just turned five this year. That was exciting too.
Erica: Wow. Five years old. What they say about five years, it takes you about five years to become profitable in your business.
Carrie: Wow. Well, fortunately for counseling, we’re able to do that a little bit earlier. Otherwise I wouldn’t still be here. Most businesses don’t last to five years though, right?
Erica: They don’t.
Carrie: So that’s, that’s exciting.
Erica: Yes, it is. Congratulations.
Carrie: Thanks. I wanted you to give us an update Erica, on your business, because I know that some things have shifted changed from when we recorded last, that was on episode nine, which was the very end. The very end of 2020, what’s been going on in your business in the last year and a half.
Erica: So many wonderful things. The more that you’re in business, the more that you get clear on who you serve and how you want to serve them. I have coined myself now, the leader’s healer, cause I wanted to broaden my target out to all leaders. Be mothers, doctors, nurses professionals, because I recognize with my own experience that sometimes leaders feel lost and in order to not be lost. It’s important for you to make sure you take care of yourself. That’s so important and putting yourself first, those who have servant hearts, right? They are leaders and they put everyone before themselves. So it’s important that they take care of themselves, do their own work.
Erica: About own anxiety and their depression and imposter syndrome. And also if they do their own work, they will also be doing something that’s so important. And dear to my heart is to do no harm. I think a lot of people don’t talk about that. But there are many circumstances in which Carrie knows that counselors and therapists and even other leaders do harm in ways, because they haven’t did their own work. So I’m the leaders, healer and the entrepreneur therapist. I provide professional training and speaking, as well as civil little counseling and coaching alignment, executive coaching.
Carrie: One of the things that you do that I really appreciate is you help businesses and leaders, like you were saying, “understand the importance of counseling skills and how those can be useful in their business environment”.
Erica: I have a book called “Honey”. You need counseling skills. And these are soft skills as well as life skills. It is vision casting. A lot of even entrepreneurs don’t know the difference between vision and mission. So vision casting, mission creation, time management, communication skills, and thrive planning, which is it’s a strategic and personal plan to thrive. We have a plan for everything else. Why don’t we have a plan to thrive?
So there’s thrive plan for that.
Carrie: Awesome. Today we’re talking about boundaries, which I’m really excited about, I just.
Erica: I’m so excited.
Carrie: I’ve decided to dial some things back on the podcast and do some like 1 0 1 type episode. Let’s consider this boundaries 1 0 1 there’s lots of conversations we could have on boundaries. We’re gonna keep it really simple today for people because it’s a word that’s thrown around. And a lot of people don’t really understand what it means or how they can start to begin to even look at boundaries in their own lives or setting them. We’re in a society right now, unfortunately, where all, all kinds of lines are being blurred, lines between work and home, lines between professional relationships and personal relationships.
I asked a group of therapists today, I said, is professionalism dead. And we kind of had a chuckle about it, but I was serious, you know.
Carrie: Because there’s a lot of people that are in professional roles that are acting in unprofessional ways. So this conversation on boundaries. Is super important in the same way between client and therapists. There have been lots of different ways that receiving therapy has changed. Whereas maybe, I don’t know, 10, 15 years ago we would never have texted with a client. And I still don’t text with clients in that way, but some therapists, that’s how they set their schedule. We have to kind of talk about some of these things of boundaries lines, and we won’t get into all the ethics today.
Although that cause that’s gonna be another episode. I know that’s something that Erica is really passionate about is, good ethics for professionals and leaders. Let’s talk about what is a boundary, how would you define that for somebody?
Erica: I wanna keep it as simple as possible. There’s a book called it by Henry Cloud. He’s an older book and it’s called “Boundaries”. And the way he explains it is like having a fence in front of your house. Certain people can come in the fence. For example, your mailbox is outside the fence. The mailman only goes and handles that particular part of your property. Then you have individuals like the Amazon man. He comes to the door and he drops your package he’s off, but he doesn’t come in. Correct? Or you can even say, leave it there and don’t knock. Right? When you send message, when you create your package, then you have people that can come be in your living room, your kitchen.
They can even walk down the hall sometimes and be in the spare bedroom, but only certain people can be in your master bedroom, in your bathroom. Think about it that way. It makes it really simple on how we have to isolate out who deserves to be where in our lives we are our house. This is our temple. Okay. And only certain people should be able to come through our eyes, through our ears and to allow them to be a part of our space. These are guidelines for ourselves and for others to keep us safe.
Carrie: There’s internal boundaries. I think that we can even set within ourselves. I think a lot of times we think about boundaries with other people, but there’s internal boundaries that we can set within ourselves. Just kind of knowing our move and groove of life. For example, and I know this has to do with other people. But for therapists in terms of like how many sessions that we choose to do in a day, or, you know, how many clients we see, how many of them are going to be new clients. I know for me, it’s harder to meet with new people than it is to meet with people that I’ve known for a long time.
I already know how they’re going to act, to flow. They’re not gonna read me the wrong way or if, if I say something funny, they’re gonna be like, what is that? You know, they’ll call me out on it. Whereas if I have a new person, I have to be a little bit more cautious about what I say, how are they gonna receive this and so forth. So that’s kind of maybe an internal boundary within myself that I might set for myself, or I could tell myself, you know, a boundary is that I’m gonna shut off all my electronics at a certain time so that I can get a good night’s sleep. Can you think of any of those that you have for yourself?
Erica: Oh yes. Internal boundaries. AKA your discipline, your own discipline. I have a certain discipline as 12:00 I take lunch. No one has that time. One o’clock is usually my nap time. If I don’t have a nap, I usually have a nap another time during the day. I am Adam adamant about it.
I need a nap. It’s just good for me to have my siesta every day. And those are internal boundaries, but I have other boundaries regarding myself as far as making sure that I don’t overextend myself. I have to watch myself every day. Not to have the savior complex. I’m sorry, I’m adding in things that are more complex.
This is the perfect actually podcast to talk about the savior complex. None of us is Jesus. We need to not try to be Jesus.
Carrie: That’s right. We’re not out here to rescue everyone who’s in crisis.
Erica: Yes. And so we have to decide to remind ourselves. I have to remind myself every day, I call my reminder not to overextend myself, to watch all my obligations and watch my schedule to make sure I’m not doing too much boundaries of making sure that physically making sure that I eat. And I’m cognizant of everything that I put in my mouth. So really being intentional is my internal boundaries.
Carrie: Why do you think that boundaries are so important? Obviously what you’re talking about is boundaries relating to self care. Why else are boundaries important?
Erica: Boundaries let you know exactly where you end and somebody else or the environment begins. It’s a great way to make sure that you have all the things that you need and that you’re cognizant of all the components of your life in order for you to have harmony. It’s important for you to have harmonies physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, professionally, all these ways. And we have to be cognizant of doing that. That’s the hard work. That’s a lot of work actually to do, but it it’s the kind of work that we should be doing instead of putting ourselves out there. To help other people. It’s so easy for us to extend ourselves, to help other people and neglect ourselves.
So it’s so important to have boundaries with yourself and to be cognizant of taking care of yourself, because guess what, you know, everybody’s heard this, you gotta put your option mask on in order to help other people, or one thing that I say, going back to that vision, that we were talking about my vision for myself, which that’s why this is a boundary as well. Is, I will if I like and love myself so authentically and thoroughly that I overflow onto those who stand close. Part of that boundary is, I’m not gonna seek out people to help. They will stay close if they want my help. And I will make sure I focus on loving myself and going a step more into liking myself.
So sometimes we may love ourselves and we may not like ourselves. Right? So we have to like ourselves too, and know what we know like and trust about our self.
Carrie: Boundaries really connect with our values. We really connect with what’s important to us. So if I say that my daughter is important and you have a daughter too.
Carrie: If we say our daughters are important to us, and then we don’t set up boundaries to protect that time that we have with our children. If I don’t take the time, set up boundaries to protect time that I have with my spouse or time for church and investing in my spiritual health. Not just church, but time at home where I’m reading, where I’m praying, then my values are not in alignment with my actions.
And then that causes all kinds of anxiety and internal conflict, right? I wanna be with my daughter, but I’m doing all of this over here. I’m taking on extra responsibilities. I don’t need to, you kind of call me out and say, you know, you’ve just had a child. Your normal is changed care. You have to accept that. You’re not gonna be able to go back and do all the things that you used to be able to do, which was a good call out, by the way, you know, you need to have friends like Erica in your life to call you out.
Erica: Well, you call me out too, is the end goal. Why are you doing this? This is so helpful for me, who run off trying to help people like what’s the end goal. We gotta get our money. We need to make sure we are. Moving towards getting money, not just doing all these things, because that’s how we need food, clothes, and shelter. That’s why we work. She calls me out too.
Carrie: Don’t do too much. I wanna talk about examples of situations that the people experience in life. That cause them to have difficulty setting boundaries. It caused them difficulty to be able to say no, or say, man, that’s an excellent opportunity, but it just doesn’t fit in my life right now. You know, maybe later, let, let’s talk about that another time. I mean, there’s lots of different ways that you can say no to something or say yes to something, but what are some situations people go through that cause them difficult their boundaries.
Erica: That’s a great question, Carrie. I don’t think people talk about the situations,
Ericaa: When you grow up, you as a child, sometimes don’t wanna do something, right? And then your parent tells you you’re gonna do it. Okay. I have to abide by this person or I have to please. Most children spend time wanting to please their parent, guess what? Then they grow up being people pleasers. Then you have a problem saying no that’s having poorest boundaries. When you are unable to say no and get yourself involved in everybody trying to help people. Then if you have some kind of trauma or you’re a pain that happens in your childhood, you’ll have rigid boundaries around certain things.
Scenarios would be, you have a balls.
There’s a power differential between you too. You don’t want to what lose your job or being seen in a negative way or retaliation in any kind of way. So you say yes to things that are against your values. You can’t go spend time with your daughter because your boss wants you to work extra hours. There’s so many scenarios with our partners. We may not want to do something like they wanna watch anime all night. You’re like, I gotta go to bed and they’re like, we don’t never spend no quality time with me. That’s a guilt trip, FYI. Let’s going into those manipulative tools. Anyway have to be able to say the boundaries, but you may have a rift in the relationship that you don’t wanna experience because you had to assert yourself and say, “I don’t wanna do this”.
So you have to have good communication skills. You have to be able to assert yourself. You gotta be brave to hold your boundaries.
Carrie: Let’s talk about parenting for a little bit, because this is a huge issue. If you had parents who were like, I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m the adult, you’re the child. It reminds me of that dad in Matilda.
She’s smart enough to realize that some of the things that he’s doing are wrong. Right? As a child, she’s like, wait a minute, dad, that’s wrong. You’re cheating people up to go into a movie analogy, but that’s basically what he tells her, you know, I’m right you’re wrong. Then we’re not teaching kids to think for themselves.
And there’s no autonomy there that’s learned. So it’s, it’s finding this balance. You wanna set boundaries for your kids, but you wanna help them understand why those boundaries are there.
Carrie: There’s a reason. There’s a difference between saying don’t you ever talk to a stranger, you know, and, and threats and those types of things, I’ll spank your behind If you do that and a parent who says, Hey, we don’t talk to strangers and let me sit down and tell you why I’m telling you, you don’t just run up to the guy that says he has puppies to show you. There are people out there that want to do your harm. Here’s the lines that are drawn. You know, I’m asking you to pick up after yourself because one day you’re gonna be an adult with a house and you’re gonna have it. Learn how to manage a household, not just your room. So if you can’t pick up your room, you’re not gonna be able to manage a household.
Erica: Oh my goodness. You understand this because also you used to work with children as well. And I also, we both specialize in planning, express for arts therapies. We understand that we need to respect them and honor their thoughts and honor their behavior and try to empathize the reason behind the behavior that they’re exhibiting. I always find that it’s the parents. If I need to get the parents straight, cause it’s not the kid, the kid does need a healthy relationship with somebody who was going to honor them, who was gonna respect and listen to them. You have to teach your children communication. You have to let them know the reason behind it. You don’t just say it’s because I said so.
Carrie: Right. Everybody at one point or another, I’m sure there’ll be some point where I say it, you know, so , I’m not gonna call anybody out for that. But I think growing up in a type of household where the boundaries were not just strict, cause a lot of people grew up in a strict household, but where the boundaries were too rigid really. I mean, you got in trouble practically for breathing in some of those households. It can be, people have a really, really hard time setting boundaries because they were always told, no, you can’t do that. And it was very much that authority position.
They probably felt less than. And, you know, growing up in some of those environments or let’s talk about something even further where there were environments of abuse, there were boundary lines being crossed. In that person’s childhood, it doesn’t matter what kind of abuse it was, physical, emotional sexual. There was a line that was crossed and it was basically told your rights, your needs, you know, were not valued, were not important at all. And there was a violation there. And so people who have had their boundaries violated often have a hard time setting them for themselves. I mean, is that something that you’ve seen as well.
Erica: Definitely. They don’t understand what healthy boundaries is. So let’s explain what that is let’s define that. And then also go and look things up. One thing that I say is don’t listen and wait for someone to define things for you. This is what I tell my daughter. Go and find out for yourself. Look it up, go to the library, Google it, ask around. That’s one reason how abuse happens is the isolation of the information and your experience with an exposure to things. So always define things for yourself. Let’s define healthy boundaries. That’s when you are able to say yes to something or no to something based on how you feel, you understand how you feel about the circumstance and it aligns with your values. Going back to what you said, your values, and you understand how to assert your boundaries and say clearly and not have a problem with saying clearly. Yes, I can do this because, or no. And guess what period.
You don’t even have to give any definition. If you don’t feel like it, you don’t wanna do it. It’s simple. You can say no and that’s it. And I know may, sometimes people feel like, I can’t say no, there’s gonna be backlash if I say no, but a lot of time. It is you that’s stopping you from saying no, it’s your fears. So you have to interact with your fear and ask that fear. What’s why are you coming up? What’s going on? There is fear and there’s love. So how can we bring love into this circumstance to kinda dissipate this fear that you have that you can’t say no for something you don’t wanna do.
Carrie: And it’s okay to have physical boundaries with people. I think I wanna throw that out there.
Carrie: If you don’t feel comfortable, some people are huggers. I like hugs, but I’m more of a person that I want to hug people that are close to me, that I know really well, that I’m really comfortable with and have had that kind of relationship. Some people just wanna hug you the first time they meet you. I’m not quite Into that, you know, but, I’ll probably have an uncomfortable look on my face and kind of do one of those tap hugs or something like that, where you just kind of lightly tap ’em on the back. Hey, it things, things like that. If you have somebody maybe that you feel like is too touchy, you know how the, some people just wanna touch you when they talk to you.
Maybe this is not as much cause of COVID maybe we’re we’re keeping a little more distance. I don’t know. I remember there was one time where I was talking to somebody. And a kind of a dinner thing and they just kept touching me. And I didn’t say anything about it, but I thought, well, this is really, you know, kind of odd and thinking about it just in terms of interpersonal context and things. But if you don’t want somebody to hug you, or if you’re in a dating relationship and you’re not comfortable.
Erica: I’m think about that Carrie all the way.
Carrie: With certain things, then it’s okay for you to say, I’m not there yet in the relationship. I don’t wanna kiss you yet. You know, I’m not there. Those are examples of physical boundaries that we can set for ourselves. And if you’re in a dating relationship, you probably need to have some of those conversations pretty early about where you’re at, what your expectations are, what you want, what you don’t want, because those can really go south fast. If you’re not upfront with the other person absolutely.
Erica: It’s all about having the right fit. If you feel like you can’t say no to someone, then you probably need to investigate that relationship about why you feel unsafe to say no.
Carrie: And regardless you brought up bosses earlier, and if you were an adult
to adult relationship. That’s what we’re trying to seek out. Even though there is some power differential there, you do have to respect your boss. You do have to listen to them. You do have maybe, probably some things from your job that you can’t say no to, but let’s say for example, that your boss hires you. This happens all the time, America, right? Your boss hires you and says, “Hey, you’re gonna work Monday through Thursday, 10 hour or you know, you’re only gonna put in 40 hours a week. That’s all we’re gonna ask from you”. And then next thing you know, you’re into the job two months later. Well, you know, we need somebody come in on Fridays. We just don’t have anybody come in on Fridays. And can you please, we really are gonna need you here this Friday. That’s an example where somebody has a freedom, perfect freedom to set a boundary, even though that’s their boss, even though they’re in authority role.
Erica: Yes, very much so like right now we have the great resignation that’s happening. Cause most people recognize that I don’t wanna be disrespected. I don’t wanna be disregarded for my personal life. And this is my job description. I’m supposed to be able to deliver this, but you also have to be courageous enough to speak up and say, that’s what it is.
Everybody knows the 80 20 rule when you’re working 80% of the people are not working or lacks of days old on how they work. And 20% are doing most of the work, right? Don’t be 20%. You have to decide that I told plenty of my clients, you should probably work. Give them 20% of your energy. And she actually got an award for her work ethic. After she did it, but also I told another lady who was having heart issues and stress and anxiety about working to slow down and only give them 20%. And her heart palpitations stopped.
Erica: Sometimes we do it to ourselves. A lot of this. Is, we have to step back now. It’s hard to do it in a job that you went in there and I’m gonna fix it all. And now everybody think you gonna keep on fixing it all. But if you go to another job or you could try to fix help with the boundaries, boundaries are easier with new circumstances sometimes because.
Carrie: That’s true. They’re definitely.
Erica: You can say this is who I am and they don’t know you to be a pushover. They don’t know you to be a doormat or a people please. But when you really wanna decide for yourself that boundaries need to happen, sometimes environment has to an environment change has to happen too.
Carrie: I don’t think I can stand behind giving your employer 20%. I think you’ve got to really work as an unto the Lord, you know, as a scriptural principle. And so I think that you have to put forth the effort to do a good job, but there’s, there’s a difference between doing a job where it’s like you said, kind of killing your health. And, and if you’re at that point, then I think that a conversation needs to happen to with your employer or your spouse. If you need to take a step back or whatever, to be able to say, you know, this job really is affecting my physical health, my mental, emotional health. And sometimes people have to either work less or they have to pick a less stressful job or different work environment. Maybe they need to be working from home.
Whatever the case is there are a variety of different boundaries and it’s okay to say to your employer, you know, I feel like I’m doing too much. I feel like the workload is too heavy. I don’t think that I need some help with this. How can we delegate some of these responsibilities? Is that okay? That those types of conversations I think are super important because unfortunately not just employers, but if someone sees that you are willing to have your boundaries crossed time after time after time again, like if you come in on that Friday, just this Friday. And then next thing you know, two Fridays later. You know, we need you again on Friday. It’s like, no, I agreed to work Monday through Thursday was our agreement. I’m not gonna be able to come in on Friday.
I had a friend a long time ago who, one of his first jobs he worked at McDonald’s when he was a teenager. And he said to the people, when he got hired, he said, “Hey, I just want you to know that I will work any day, but Sunday I’ll work, you know, the evening shift I’ll work late at night. I’ll I’ll work in the morning whenever I can”. Obviously it was the summer or something. He wasn’t in school. I’ll work here, but I will not work on Sundays. And so is that okay with you? I just want you to know that, is that okay? They said, “sure, that’s fine we can accommodate your schedule”. So the first time they scheduled him for a Sunday, he said, “now you remember that I told you I’d work any day, but Sunday and I’d work all these different shifts. I’m going to church on Sunday and I won’t be here. I just wanted to let you know that ahead of time, because that was our agreement”. And you know what, they had to honor that at the end of the day, cause that was what they had agreed to. But had he said, they put me on the schedule. I’ve gotta do it. I’ve gotta go in. They would’ve probably continued to schedule him for some days. And then that would’ve been a violation of his, not just his boundary, but his values of church and spiritual rights.
Erica: His religious rights as well. I wanted to go back really quick to say that most of my clients are really high functioning individuals that give like 200% work. So I have to say 20% to help them to edge off.
Cause if I told them only give them 50%, they would still give them 150%. So I’m trying to get them to edge off and not do so much because they’re a lot of their energy, cause they’re just high functioning individuals who feel like they have to work very, very hard. Those are usually my clients. I have the high functioning anxiety clients most of the time.
Carrie: So you, you have to throw out something drastic to get them to dial it down just a little bit. Okay, let’s talk about how do you know a boundary has been crossed?
Erica: Great question. First of all, you can feel it. It’s a gut feeling.
Erica: You can feel it. The thing is we ignore our feelings because going back to what we said about growing up, we had those good feelings and our parents shut it down. We were silenced. So you think, this is the feeling that I always have here, but I had to do it anyway. So I’m just gonna go ahead and do it anyway, like surrender to. I’m saying if you have this feeling, listen to it and acknowledge it. I feel statement is amazing. Go ahead and figure out what the feeling is. I feel irritated, frustrated. It doesn’t matter who this is, whoever you’re talking to, you can say this statement. I feel when you, whatever they did, I would like you to there’s that boundary. I would like you to whatever you would like them to do. That’s very explicit on what they can do to help you not feel frustrated. Now sometimes people do not respect your boundaries.
First of all, if they don’t respect your boundaries, then you have to go ahead and recognize that in this relationship, this person does not respect me. You have to decide if you’re gonna continue to be disrespected, or you’re want to figure out a way that this relationship is something that you maybe need to not have in your life.
And the other thing is, other than disrespecting you, you have to make sure that the individuals are clear, very clear on the boundary that you set. A lot of times, we’re kind of, you make me unhappy. I will like you to make me happy no like.
Carrie: What in the world does that mean?
Erica: Right. What does happiness to you? So that means that you gotta do some internal work to know what your boundaries are. I think a lot of times people wanna have boundaries. But they haven’t figured out what they like, how they want people to treat them. What do you want? I ask you for that. I ask a child that what they like want they know.
Erica: I know because they’re so accustomed to accommodating others, especially women, Carrie, let’s talk about that, that story that you said it was a man.
I haven’t heard many stories like that when a woman doesn’t to it and go ahead and go with.
Carrie: I mean, you look at women are much less likely to negotiate their salary going into a job. Because they just feel like, well, someone’s giving me a number. That’s what they’re comfortable with.That’s just what I’m supposed to take. And going from there, you know, that’s a boundary. If you say, you know, I have the skills and experience and I can show on paper that I should be making this much money or somebody else offered me this, are you able to match that? Or I need to be making my current salary. That’s okay to have that boundary. I think in terms of going back to like, feeling like a boundary has been crossed for me, it usually comes up as anger.
A lot of times, like, I’ll feel this feeling of anger. And a lot of times, you know, I’ve been in business five years. I talked about that. And so when I feel like something’s not working and it was frustrating me, I would say, okay, Something’s frustrating me about this process or this system, what do I need to change? But that anger came first and that was a good gut check for me. Okay, I’m frustrated, I’m angry. Why am I frustrated and angry? Okay. Well, because maybe I took on this client that wasn’t the best fit for me. You know, maybe it was a referral from a colleague and I felt like I really needed to take that person on.
Maybe it was somebody really begged me. They couldn’t find a therapist. And so those days are long gone. If I don’t feel like people are a good fit, I don’t have any problems, you know, referring them out or something.
Other things, I’m just thinking of other things that came up were phone calls. I was spending a lot of time on the phone with, you know, people that hadn’t really researched who I was or what I do and was trying to, I literally was trying to help everyone that called me on the phone, whether they wanted anger management classes. And I didn’t have anything to do with that, whether they wanted, you know, something for custody issues with their children, which I didn’t do. And so here I was trying to find resources for people and pick up the phone every time I called, because I thought, well, these people really need help and I need to be the one to help them.
I had to really let that go because. I recognize you cannot help every person that calls you on the phone. That is impossible. You’re not the right person to help everybody that calls on the phone. Some of them need other things and it’s okay. You don’t have to pick it up every time it calls, you can let it go to voicemail and you can return the call later. It’s gonna be okay. It’s not gonna be a huge thing, but that was some hard boundaries for myself in terms of, setting boundaries just in my business, interpersonally in terms of working with clients. I just know that for me, a lot of times it comes up as anger or as a gut feeling, the gut feeling is like, you know, it’s just like this. Something’s just not right about that.
Erica: Dare they did that to me, you know.
Carrie: You feel that sense of like and dictation.
Erica: It does not feel good. It’s like a gut and hard feeling. And I immediately, I think about my feelings, like, what is that? What is that? I immediately go to what’s the feeling. Okay. And I do, and I feel saving, even if I don’t say it to that person, I have to write it. I have to say it to get it out of me. Otherwise it’s going to just eat at me. And then I figure out a way to talk with them. Sometimes I just write it in my journal and it’ll all work out on its own in some kind of way in a conversation without me specifically saying anything, especially if I’m really mad about it.
Carrie: Okay. That’s good. I mean, I think that that’s a really good pathway. Of like teaching people how to do that work, how to tune in internally and then try to figure out like, okay, what’s the next step? What is that next step that I need to take here?
Erica: Usually when you feel that you’re triggered in some kind of way, what is it taking you back to going back to a scenario where you were disrespected or dishonored or felt the same feeling before?
Carrie: That’s good talking about trauma trigger. That come up for people.
Erica: Because you didn’t set a boundary. So then it’s always gonna keep showing up, cause the boundary’s not there.
Carrie: Let’s talk about how do boundaries align with the Christian faith? I think people have this view that if I’m a Christian kind of going back to, I’ve gotta help everybody.
I’m to be loving towards people. And if I say no to them, I’m not being loving towards them. But I mean, we kind of gave that example of parents and their children. You can’t always say yes to your children because that’s gonna lead to disaster. There are times where you need to say no for their own, even personal safety.
Erica: Boundaries is part of the Christian faith. I know that it says, okay. And we kind of capitalize on that part of being selfless and don’t be selfish, but the Bible does talk about, like, there is boundaries, the 10 commandments are boundaries there.
Carrie:Yes they are.
Eric: You know, there are other things that are told to us lot and his wife don’t look back. Right? That was a boundary. And then we saw the consequences. You have to have consequences too, to your boundaries. You can’t just have these boundaries. It’s like you are a Chihuahua, Chihuahua. You’re a Chihuahua barking saying you, this is your boundary, but you’re not doing anything. And people are gonna keep pushing over. What’s the consequence that there has to be some kind of consequence. To pushing over your boundaries.
I just wanted to mention that, but in nutrition faith, we have boundaries. They are parents throughout the Bible. I don’t think people look for those because I’m gonna say some, I’m gonna say some, I think that a lot of people who may be leading flocks want them to follow along with what they are saying. So if you tell them, empower them in too many ways. They then are thinking for themselves and not following along. So they’re now share that kind of information.
Carrie: Well, I, and I think that’s why we have to go to following Jesus in the Bible versus following man, you know. Because not everyone is following Jesus in the Bible who is in leadership.
Erica: Too many times. I’ve had some scenarios of, man, pastors doing many things that should not have happened or I felt it. I was like, this is not supposed to be right. But it wasn’t like no one said to me that this person is not supposed to do it, but he’s up in front of me telling me that the gospel telling me the way to go, but it doesn’t feel right. You always have this feeling. It doesn’t matter what kind of leader it’s there. You have to listen to yourself. You gotta tap in and find your own answers.
Carrie: I picked out a couple of Jesus examples for how do boundaries align with the Christian faith? There was in Matthew 12 Jesus refuses to perform a miracle.
So people were saying to him, perform a miracle to show us, you know, that you’re the Christ. And the funny thing is Jesus was already performing miracles. By this point, it wasn’t like this was gonna be a new thing. They had already seen evidence that he was a Messiah and he told them, no, I’m not gonna do that because you’re basically you’re unbelieving. And you’re showing that you don’t have faith. You know, and I’m not gonna give you a sign.
Erica: I’m not gonna be a politic for you like.
Carrie: Not gonna perform miracles on demand. There was a time in Luke nine 60 that the verse, you know, let the dead bury their own dead. There was a man who he had said, Jesus said, come follow me. The man said no. First let me bury my father. And Jesus said, well, let the dead bury their own dead. It wasn’t, a cruel heartless type of thing. He was wanting to wait around for like some year long ritual that was gonna be happening. It was, what do you call that? It’s more about tradition than actually. Just a regular funeral. We have, we have probably really quick funerals compared to what they did back then in the whole process.
So Jesus was like, no, you really need to come follow me. You know, you don’t need to basically make an excuse about why you can’t come at this point. I mean, Jesus told the rich young ruler, he had to sell all his stuff too. It wasn’t really about him selling his stuff. It was more about your heart’s not in the right place.
Carrie: To be following me. So these are all different examples where Jesus really put people in their place in a lot of ways. And times that we look at that and we’re like, that’s really radical that he said that, or I don’t know if you do that. Sometimes I read the Bible. I’m like, I can’t believe he just said that. Wow. That was.
Erica: I love it.
Carrie: You know, that was intense. .
Erica: My daughter has the Bible now we’re reading again. I loved reading the Bible. It’s great like if you read it, so I think people take, read it as if it’s a book and it’s great. It”s so much going on to so many heroes. It says that Jesus is a first superhero and that there’s sons of other heroes like Ruth and like, Esther, it’s just like, it’s radical. It’s a, it really talks about all the situations that we have even now in trying to relate to others. Jesus does plenty of parables talking about boundaries and how you should interact and what’s your value system and how to have your certain Christian values that I feel like are not upheld. They should be in a real authentic way.
Carrie: I was so glad that we are having this conversation, you know, essentially a, a boundaries 1 0 1, because there’s so many people that misunderstand what a boundary is, or they don’t think that they can set them with a boss, with a parent, with a spouse and boundaries are for many different areas of our lives. We have to learn how to set them respectfully and so fort. Let’s talk about boundaries with a parent, because I think that’s another one people carry their childhood into their adulthood of, you know, well, this person is my parent. I have to honor them and I have to respect them according to the Bible. So I can’t say no. If my parent wants to call me at all hours of the night or if my parent wants to just drop by, I just have to be okay with that because that’s my mother. That’s my father.
Erica: I’m the one to talk to about this. Or I was in my internship, I was trying to create this group called “Toxic mom relationships and how to manage them”. So when I talk to every people, just, you know, one on one, every last person has some kind of issue. With they mama or they daddy, or both of.
Carrie: We call those family of origin issues. Everybody has to deal with their family of origin issues.
Erica: This is actually the first, I think people they’ll have problems in their relationships, their intimate relationships, you know, sexual intimate relationships.
And it be the same problems that they have with their parent, like the same boundary issues, being people pleaser, or thinking that you have to say yes to everything. When you become an adult, like first of all, you were supposed to be expect when you were a child, maybe didn’t happen. You have to understand.
Now you’re an adult. Okay. And you’re taking care of yourself. And even if you’re not, cause I have a lot of college students, I have individuals who are still on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26 and they’ll think, I can’t say no, cause I’m still tied to them. You have to decide. What’s right for you.
Your life is your life. It’s not your parents. I think a lot of times, some people have issues with feeling like they are connection or, you know, a part of their parent instead of them being a whole person and they have their own thoughts and their own feelings and their own way of doing things that fits best for them. And you have to going back to being brave. Being brave to say and speak up for yourself. Now, let me just tell you if your parents love you, love transcends all of this, and it’s opposed to transcend all of this. And if they reject you because you asserted your boundary, then maybe later on, they will think more about this relationship and not. Let it be severed, but you get to have your boundaries and it’s important that you have them and you have to assert them. You have to be clear on what and who you are.
Cause a lot of clients say, my parents don’t even know who I am. You haven’t shared who you are with them because you’re afraid to share who you are with them. And then a lot of parents say, all my kid only calls me once a week or I only see ’em on holidays, probably because you have no idea who they are and they are afraid to show you who they are. And it’s such a sad circumstance to live in a life where a person brought you into this world, but you can’t share who you are with them.
Carrie: That is a sad state. This has been such a good chat and I hate to cut it off, but I know we’ve gone a little while and maybe at some point I’ll do boundaries 2.0 or, or we can do it or something like that. We’ll figure it out. But I think that this has been a great intro for people to understand really what’s a boundary and hopefully it’s got people thinking like, maybe through the podcast, like maybe there is a boundary that I need to set with myself or with other people in my life and knowing that. Not only is that okay to do so, but that’s a healthy thing. And we can follow, you know, in Jesus’ example, in terms of, of setting boundaries.
Erica: Yes. Going back to the book I recommended was Henry Clouds “Boundaries”. It is actually Christian based. So if you’re listening to this podcast, it puts a lots of information in there about Christian examples of how you should move in your boundaries in that you are not meant to be selfless, but you have boundaries. And I do wanna be before I end, is to talk about hunting unique counseling skills, because that book is a book that you can get on Amazon that I wrote and boundaries is in that book.
So I talk about it in that book, as well as other counseling skills that are needed, like communication and time management.
And lastly, I have a freebie. Because it’s, I am this boundary thing is so important. So I have a freebie it’s 11 page ebook called “Boundaries guide four leaders”. You can get that at www dot heal yourself, grow.org. Heal yourself. grow.org. And you can get free freebie on how to even discover and set boundaries under eight categories and even affirmations in order to hold your boundaries and reiterate your boundaries to others.
Carrie: Okay. And we’ll put those links in the show notes too. If people are listening to this in their car and didn’t have a chance to write that down so they can go back to the show notes and, find the links in there to your book and to the, boundaries resource that you have there. That’s awesome.
Erica: It’s so great. I love, I love talking with you.
Carrie: We have good times. I had so much fun having this conversation with Erica about boundaries 1 0 1. Stay tuned for boundaries 2 0 2. I may do that as a solo episode another time. We do have some great interviews coming up in the next month on breath prayer and on exposure and response prevention. So stay tuned for those episodes. If you like our show, the greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with someone else. So I know that you know, someone in your life probably who’s having difficulty with setting boundaries or they feel like if they set a boundary, that’s somehow un-Christian of them to do so. So feel free to forward this episode onto them. Thank you so much for listening.
Hope for anxiety and OCD is a production of By The Well Counseling. Our show is hosted by me, Carrie Bock, licensed professional counselor in Tennessee, opinions given by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the use of myself or By The Well Counseling.
Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum. Until next time may you be comforted by God’s great love for you.