Saturday, December 26, 2009


My Rating: 5/5
Pages 304 • Speed: Fast, considering its a self-help
Subject: Self-Improvement, Christianity

This is one of my most recommended books.  As Christians and good neighbors it is almost natural to socially play the martyr to the point of self-deprecation.  (This is non-denominational Christian but can be applied to any school of thought.)  The stories embarrassingly remind you of yourself and those you know, and give appliable ideas on how to handle people and situations.  The book starts out with the scenario of woman's typical day in a boundaryless life and how unhappy a person can be if she gives too much in the wrong areas.  The first section defines boundaries, how they develop, and their associated laws and myths.  Boundaries exits whether or not we recognize them, and if we don't set limits on our lives, someone else will.  The second section tells of different types of boundaries, which are with your family, friends, spouse, children, work, self, and Heavenly Father.  The principles are taught through true stories that keep you turning the page.  One thing I learned is that it is as vital for us and our kids to to say no as it is to say yes.  The ability to say "no," done with love and respect, cultivates agency and confidence.  Reserving our "yeses" for when we mean it establishes trust and joy on both parties.  The self section is particularly enlightening to me.  It describes one patient who began a session with: "I haven't told you about this relationship before, though I guess I should have.  I have tremendous boundary problems with this woman.  She eats too much, and has an attacking tongue.  She's undependable-lets me down all the time.  And she's spent money of mine and hasn't paid me back in years."  The therapist (the author) asked, "Why haven't you mentioned her before?"  Sarah replied, "Because she's me."  The third section is about developing healthy boundaries and how to track success continually.  This book can be used to reestablish down trodden boundaries as well as a tool to keep skies blue.  The last chapter illustrates the same typical woman's day but with boundaries and healthy priorities.  Her whole paradigm changes and she is genuinely happy, which illustrates that with your same circumstances you can take control of your life.

Get it here.