This is Me! That is Not Me!

Take a stroll with me into the life of a child who grew up to be an emotionally unhealthy adult. That child was me.  

You see, somewhere around the age of 10, I became stuck in the adolescent stage of emotional development. Robert McGhee, author of Your Parents and You, says that it is during this stage that a child begins to work through such issues as:

·      This is what I feel. I don’t feel that way.

·       I believe this. I don’t believe that.

·      I am responsible for this. I’m not responsible for that. 

·      This is who I am. 

·      I want to do things this way. 

·      I make my own choices and decisions. You can make yours.

The adolescent stage of developmental could be summed up as:  “this is me” — what I value, am good at, believe, need, or feel — and “that is not me.” 

Obviously, a ten-year-old doesn’t know how to work through his feelings and thoughts in a healthy manner. Though I had wonderful parents, I later realized that they were sometimes unable to find a healthy balance between advising me verses giving me the freedom to assume some of my own thoughts and feelings, and even make my own mistakes. 

This blocked emotional development stage stretched into my adulthood, and I became a puppet on a string, bobbing up and down, allowing others to make my decisions for me. I became everyone’s “Perfect People Pleaser.” To put it mildly, I had no personal boundaries. Suffice it to say, a life without personal boundaries guarantees chaos in our physical and emotional health.

By definition, PERSONAL BOUNDARIES are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. (Wiki)

As chaotic as my physical and emotional health had become for lack of personal boundaries, I was brought to the place of how it could affect my spiritual life. One might ask: “What does boundaries have to do with our spiritual life?”

The Apostle Paul stipulates that it has EVERYTHING to do with our spiritual life.  Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 NIV)

Yes, I had quite a long journey once I began the process of establishing personal boundaries and venturing into the field of pleasing God rather than man. Can I just say that had I not, I would not be writing this devotional today!  It was well worth the effort to be free to become God’s servant.

Personal Reflections

1.     Has your life been affected because of not setting personal boundaries?  


2.     If you answered “No,” tell how your personal relationships have been affected?


3.     How has this affected your spiritual life in regards to fulfilling God’s will and plans for your life?


Goal Setting and Sharing

List 3 goals that you would like to accomplish at home, work, with family, etc. that will allow you to make healthy choices in order to do what God has called you to do.


  • Gather Her, May 9th! Join us for this month's Gather Her with Candace Smith, The Suchy Much

  • Podcast:

    • May 14th: How to Launch a Business with Melissa Grant

    • May 28th: Loving Yourself Past Your Pain, with Gather Her speaker, Candace Smith

  • Weekly Devotionals every Monday & Wednesday:

    • God, Gluten, & Grace

    • The Caregiver’s Caregiver

    • Brain Boot Camp, or How to Shed Unwanted Thoughts

    • Good morning Jesus