Know your limits

November 19, 2020

While it’s good to be compassionate, we can become overly compassionate, too. Don’t work so hard at not judging other people that you forget to pay attention to what you don’t like.

“I know what it feels like to be abandoned and left. I don’t like the feeling, so I’m not going to leave my boyfriend,” Clara says. She’s living with a man who abuses her, emotionally and physically.

“I’m not going to judge her,” Ralph says about his new wife. She’s using cocaine and stealing money from him to get high. “She’s had a hard life, and I haven’t walked in her shoes.”

“I need to be compassionate and nonjudgmental with my son,” Robert says about a child who’s driving him to distraction with his manipulations and lies. “He’s had a hard life. His mother died when he was three. And I’m the only person he’s got left.”

You can set boundaries with someone, without judging that person. You can decide that behaviors are inappropriate and hurt you, without condemning that person.

Don’t forget, you have a right to say “ouch.”

We can say whatever with compassion and still take care of ourselves.

God, help me set appropriate limits with the people in my life.

From the book: More Language of Letting Go

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