Posts Tagged ‘feelings’
More of Crystal Lutton’s helpful series on teaching boundaries here:
When someone says or does something that makes me feel at all uncomfortable I tune in. What did they say or do that triggered a reaction in me. What is the line that these feelings are making me aware of? What do I need to do to bring balance and peace back into my soul? Was it what the person said or did? Or how they said or did it?
Let me give some examples.
Some people find it funny to make jokes at other people’s expense. I believe something is not funny unless everyone is able to laugh–this includes the person the joke was about. When someone makes a joke at my expense, or at the expense of someone else in my presence, I feel sad. I believe that jokes made at the expense of someone else injure them in their soul and when this is done around me it violates a boundary I have. I will say something
But children don’t come to us with logic or reason, they come to us with feelings. A friend hurt their feelings, they feel sad about something that happened, they are uncomfortable being around a certain person. Teaching them to LISTEN to these signals that God has built into their intuition is my responsibility.
Unfortunately there are teachings floating around different church circles that insist ignoring our feelings and laying down our boundaries is what Jesus meant when He taught about dying to self and taking up our cross daily. The thing is, HIS cross needs to be our cross, and taking up our cross daily means we are choosing to step out in faith and engage in the ministry that He has given us, and that involves choosing to live authentic lives that include honesty about who we are. Our boundaries are part of who we are! And the choice to set aside a boundary for the sake of ministry or for the sake of loving someone and caring for them requires that the boundary be known and in tact and that we are choosing to set it aside for some Kingdom purpose. We fulfill neither of these Scriptures when we ignore our boundaries and let others continue to violate who we are.
Crystal Lutton wrote a great series on teaching boundaries to children. Here is the first part. The beginning of teaching boundaries involves showing them how to be aware of their feelings, and to understand their own feelings.
By naming the feelings and even explaining to a child how the emotion is impacting them the child becomes empowered to recognize and take charge of their feelings. For example, if a child on the park takes something from my child and they melt down into tears a very big part of comforting them involves a script something like this: “You are so upset. He took your toy and you are sad. You didn’t like that. I see the tears in your eyes and hear you crying. Your heart is broken. Your friend hurt your feelings.” I don’t blurt that all out at them but in between comforting them with hugs and cuddles and as sobs wane and ebb I reflect (imagine holding a descriptive mirror up to the child so that they can *see* their feelings and what they look like), and I validate (assure them these feelings are normal and appropriate–it IS sad to have your friend take your toy), and comfort (You are okay; You are so strong and can handle this).
I make sure to say nothing that minimizes–no suggestions to stop feeling that way and turn off the message; I make sure to say nothing about what having these feelings says about them or their character–it is not selfish to be upset when your things are grabbed; I make sure to not shame–even an inappropriate reaction to something does not call your character or worth into question.