Clear Boundaries For Themselves

 

We as members of the church value niceness, which can lead to some complicated issues. One of these issues is that we are not always the best at expressing ourselves in the ways that we should. When issues arise we can sometimes be a little passive aggressive, instead of simply stating how we feel. Sometimes because we want to be kind and nice we do not create and build the healthy boundaries that are beneficial in our daily lives. Our last episode was about empowerment and becoming spiritually independent, and I think that advice applies here as well. We need to recognize that the gospel and church do not necessarily be restrictive in the ways that we assume, and can actually be extremely freeing as long as we are willing to take some of these teachings of the gospel seriously.

Sister Okazaki taught these ideas in a beautiful way while speaking to the women of the relief society, but I feel it is important for all of us to hear it. She taught that “Many Mormon women do not have clear boundaries for themselves. They feel a sense of confusion about who they are, because many competing voices lay claim to them and they try to accommodate them all. For example, when I became a member of the Relief Society general presidency, I was appalled at how many women were tormented by guilt about their responsibilities as mothers. They seemed unable to see a boundary between themselves and their children. If a child deviated from what was expected, it became a burden that the mother bore. . . .

It is a strength for women to be able to cross their own boundaries easily when they are meeting the needs of their children and serving others, but it is a great disadvantage when they feel every call for service as an imperative which they are obligated to meet. Remember, a boundary has “yes” on one side and “no” on the other. A woman who never feels that she can say “no” is lacking an important element of personal identity and, hence, personal safety.”

-Chieko Okazaki, Boundaries, p. 5-6

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