If you have a cute little garden you’d like to nurture, you put a fence up. This is supposed to keep dogs and dandelions and random neighborhood children out, so that good stuff can grow. But let’s say you aren’t much of an expert in gardening. Or maybe you don’t have a lot of money to buy all the plants you want to make your yard cute. Well, then you put a gate in your fence to open it and let your gardening friends come in and bring you begonias or iris bulbs. And let them tell you how to weed, water and care for your yard. Maybe they’ll even pull a weed or two.
This is an excellent system, unless you open the gate to let dogs in, and close it when friends come by to help. Who would do that, you ask?
Women. We do it all the time. It’s called having reverse boundaries. We let the bad into our minds and hearts and lives. Then we close the gate when the good comes knocking. You know, a friend tells you how great your hair looks and you say, “No it’s awful” (close the gate) but your child says “Mom, you are looking really old” and you ponder on that statement all day (open the gate). A friend asks how they can help you during a hard time and you say “oh we’re fine- we don’t need anything” (close the gate) but your boss asks if you can work late, without pay, after you are already tired out from a really long week and you say “Sure, no problem” (open the gate)
Part of learning to live well, involves learning when to open and close the gate. Today my focus is on the opening part. God has so much to say in His word about how much He loves us. Often though we won’t even receive God’s love into our hearts because we’re holding on to shame and guilt that was paid for at the cross. After we finally allow God’s love in through accepting Jesus’ gift, God, I believe, reaches out to us through other people He puts into our lives as well. When people see a goodness or gifting or likable part of you, and they offer some compliment or encouragement, do you know what the healthiest response is: Thank you.
That’s it. Just say thank you and allow the good to come in. Open the gate. It’s amazing how allowing the good in really changes us. (I give this as therapy homework all the time, by the way, so if you take the challenge it’s like free therapy.)
And while I’m at it, let me just say thank you to you for reading my blog! I’m so surprised by how many people have been reading my ramblings, but I am grateful to have a way to share my journey in womanhood with you, and am always excited when you share a bit of yours with me!