Being Pulled In All Directions


     Early the other morning my dogs and I were coming out of the field where they had been running free, heading home. As I cinched their leashes on, I noticed a woman struggling with her two big dogs. Each dog was pulling her hard in the opposite direction. She noticedme and crossed the street to keep away from us. Clearly she did not want the dogs to meet. I had Adele crooning to me from my Ipod and did not think much about her, though I could hear her yelling through my music. My group kept up our pace as the noisy skirmish continued across the street. Finally she halted and called to me. I unplugged my ear buds and smiled as she called out, "I want your dogs! Mine are stubborn. This one wants to walk in the middle of the street!"

     My dogs paused politely as I, ever helpful, asked, "Did you ever try a pinch collar?" The dialogue continued for a few more sentences until she again stumbled forward with her recalcitrant duo. I plugged back in. My brown eyed doggies looked at me as if to say, "Oh my, they have bad behavior."

     As my grand girls as I decorated the tree my mind went back to that woman being pulled in every direction. Her morning walk was anything but an enjoyable meditative experience in the crisp morning air. If the holidays are beginning to have you feeling like you are being pulled in ways you'd rather not be pulled, now is a good time for a boundary check.
Donna & Ken enjoyed a snowy Thanksgiving.

     An important aspect of healthy living is to respect your own personal boundaries and the boundaries of others. If one is not taught to set boundaries he or she might not even be aware when they are being violated. I know that we don't like it when someone in a doctor's office sits down next to us when there are a dozen open seats available. Our psychological boundaries are like that as well. We feel uncomfortable when others cross them by telling us what we should think or how we should feel, or have us agreeing to things we do not want to do. Here are a few simple tests to check the state of your boundaries:

1.  Do others behave as if I don't have a life?
2.  Is "no" unknown in my vocabulary?
3.   Do others take my belongings without asking?
4.  Am I afraid to tell my loved ones the truth, which is that I don't want to?
5.  Do people ask me to do little things which I resent doing, but I do them anyway?
6.  Do my family members expect me to drop everything when they need something done?
7.  Do I feel guilty even considering not doing what everyone else wants?
8.  Do I sometimes dread the holidays because I don't get to do what I want?
9.  Am I taking care of everyone but myself?
10. Is it bothering me thinking about this?

     If you answered "yes" to some of these questions  it could be that your personal boundaries have become blurred with some of the people in your life. If the holidays are beginning to have you feeling like you are being pulled in ways you'd rather not be pulled, now is a good time for a boundary check. It is an important step toward self care to protect yourself. You don't want to be like the woman with her unruly dogs, being pulled in every direction. This is your time, you are in charge of your life. Our happiness is up to us. My hope for you is that this holiday season is rich with joy and blessings. I always love to hear from you. 

My best, donna