Throughout the process of writing Boundaries for Your Soul, Kim and I often used Bible Gateway to search for passages and to compare and contrast translations of the Bible—it was an honor to be on their blog! You can read the full interview with Jonathan Petersen And, just for fun, I put a few excerpts below:
What are boundaries and how can they be “too close” or “too far” and how can they be “just right”?
Alison Cook and Kim Miller: When you’re too close to negative emotions, you might have thoughts like these:
- Other people always let me down. (victimization)
- I’ll keep giving and suffering for everyone else’s sake. (martyrdom)
- It’s always going to be this way . . . I’ll never be happy. (hopelessness)
When you’re too far from painful emotions, you might find yourself thinking things like this:
- She made me get angry. She’s the problem! (blaming)
- It’s too painful to talk about . . . I’ll just change the subject. (avoiding)
- What hopes and dreams? Dreaming hurts too much. My life is fine the way it is. (denying)
Either extreme robs you of confidence, peace, and joy, and negatively impacts your relationships with others. When you have healthy boundaries with your negative thoughts and feelings, though, you gain perspective. You can lead them from the place inside of you where the Holy Spirit dwells.
What do you mean by “take a You-Turn”?
Alison Cook and Kim Miller: Most clients come to us initially with the desire to talk about someone else—their spouse, boss, child, friend, and so on. When we’re struggling, the natural response is to accuse the other. But Jesus challenges us to work on our own personal growth: “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5).
So when you’re experiencing internal unrest or painful emotions, we suggest taking a You-Turn. Instead of focusing on another person, or a situation that may have conjured up painful feelings, look inside your soul to understand better your own reaction.
To take a You-turn, you focus on your painful emotion, befriend it, and invite Jesus to be near—then unburden it and integrate it with the other parts of your soul. This Five Step process helps you know more clearly how to act well in your external circumstances.
What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?
Alison Cook and Kim Miller: One verse we love is: “The one who gains wisdom loves his soul” (Proverbs 19:8). This verse conveys that we all have a relationship with ourselves. And the Bible tells us here to extend ourselves compassion.
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