Today on The Best of You podcast, we're starting a new series on Boundaries and the Bible. And we're starting with what I call the Yes Side of No.
So many of us struggle with setting external boundaries because we keep the focus on the other person. But the work of setting boundaries starts inside of you.
In today's episode, I walk you through how to build to trust with yourself from the inside out. Here's what we cover:
1. Why I don’t believe boundaries start with No
2. Can I really learn to trust myself?
3. What about sin?
4. What is an internal (vs. external) locus of control and why does it matter?
5. Examples of promises you can make to parts of you carrying pain
6. Examples of promises you can make to your body
7. A challenge to you that we'll circle back to next week.
Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to www.organifi.com/bestofyou and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today!
While Dr. Cook is a counselor, the content of this podcast and any of the products provided by Dr. Cook are not specific counseling advice nor are they a substitute for individual counseling. The content and products provided on this podcast are for informational purposes only.
- The Best of You: Break Free From Painful Patterns, Mend Your Past, and Discover Your True Self in God, by Dr. Alison Cook
- Trust Definition: Oxford English Dictionary
- Jeremiah 17:9
- Sin definition
- Background on Jeremiah from Run with the Horses, Eugene Peterson
- Jeremiah 31:33
- Jesus on the Holy Spirit John 14:16-17
- God called you good before shame entered in based on Genesis 1
- Locus of Control
- Agency definition
- Resources for support
- Episode Transcript
- More Episodes
Episode Twenty One The Best of You Podcast 22nd September 2022
Boundaries and the Bible With Dr. Alison Cook
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That's o-r-g-a-n-i-f-i.com/bestofyou, and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off any item.[00:01:28] < Intro >
Hey everyone, I'm Dr. Alison, and I'm so glad you're here to discover what brings out the best of you. This podcast is all about breaking free from painful patterns, mending the past, and discovering our true selves in God. I can't wait to get started, as we learn together how to become the best version of who we are with God's help.
Hey everyone, welcome back to The Best of You podcast. We are on episode 21. It's hard to believe there's been 21 of these episodes, and I want to move into a new series I'm calling Boundaries and the Bible. And what I'm going to do, over the next six weeks, is take you on a deep dive into many of the topics that I touch on in my new book, The Best of You.
So for those of you who've already purchased the book, we're going to go deeper. I'm going to start with some of the questions I'm seeing the most, frequently from you, related to the book. If you don't have the book, yet, get a copy.
You can get it on Audible, you can get an eBook, you can get it in hardcopy because this is sort of our masterclass. We're going to work our way through it together on a deeper level. With weekly takeaways, weekly homework assignments for you to apply in your day-to-day life.
I've been so grateful to hear from so many of you about what this book has meant to you. And it just strengthens my resolve to want to speak, especially, to women, I know this applies to men, too. But, especially, to women who have felt hidden, invisible, like you don't have a say in your own life. And maybe you even thought you were doing that, that was the right thing to do.
You thought you were dying to yourself. When in fact it's possible you've been dying to God-given aspects of who you are.
So over these next few weeks, I want to help you in this work of reclaiming beautiful parts of yourself. That God made, that God loves, and that God wants to call into being, that God wants to bring into this world. So that you can show up as the very best of who you are. So we're going to get granular in these next few weeks.
So, today, we're going to start with what I call the YES side of NO. And it's the key that I believe is at the root of being able to set boundaries with other people. And it's starting back at the internal work of reconnecting to yourself. Learning to trust yourself and that starts with learning to make a promise to yourself.
It's very challenging to set healthy boundaries, externally, with other people. If you haven't paused and checked in with yourself, and taken inventory and figured out, "What is the promise I have to make to myself?"
"What is the, YES, I need to say to a part of myself? So that I have the courage to do this hard thing. This brave thing in my external life, in my external relationships."
So we're going to get into the external boundaries toward the end of this series. But we're going to start from the inside out. Because so many of us struggle with setting healthy boundaries, externally, because we keep the focus on the other person.
But that's, exactly, what we've been taught to do is keep the focus on the other person. We look for permission. We want them to understand. We sort of want them to validate our boundaries. So if we haven't done this internal work, first, recognizing that it starts within us. It's very challenging to set those healthy boundaries with other people.
I call this starting with YES. It's the YES side of NO, and it's what I mean by this word, selfhood. Selfhood, this is the word from psychology that I unpack in chapter one of The Best of You. Selfhood is not being selfish. It's not saying, "It's all about me. I'm no longer going to listen to other people, or help other people, or love sacrificially." That's not what selfhood is.
Selfhood is not selfishness but it's also not being a doormat. It's also not saying, "I don't matter. My voice doesn't have a say. I'll just shove myself aside." That is not the example that we see in the life of Jesus.
We see in the life of Jesus an example of selfhood. Of a life, wholly, surrendered to God, and, therefore, equipped and empowered to make a difference, to make an impact in the lives of other people and in the world.
We can't do that, it's very hard to empower others to live boldly, to live courageously. To make a difference in our kids' lives, in our friends lives, in our communities lives, if we have not connected and are living, bravely, from our God-given selves.
So for just a second, before we get into the brass tacks here. I want you to imagine being so rooted in your God-given self, that you simply cannot tolerate a fool or a bully.
You see their tricks a mile away, and you know how to stand firm in your power. With God's help, you are a force to be reckoned with. Your boundaries are no longer focused on other people. Instead, they flow from a strength you've built from deep within.
This is what it looks like to start with Yes. Starting with YES, this yes side of NO, focuses the work on strengthening your own soul. Which includes healing areas of woundedness, healing messages you've digested that tell you it's wrong to focus on your own work of healing.
It means establishing a genuine support network. People who genuinely want your best and want to see you putting your truest, deepest, God given-self into the world. It means clarifying your convictions. What matters to you, instead of spinning around like a top trying to please everybody else.
It means learning the skills that you need when other people show up with their toxic behaviors. And we're going to get into the skills in this whole series. It means getting a larger vision of the life you want to move toward. So that when it's time to say, NO, when the distractors and detractors come at you, you're ready. Because you know what you want out of this life God has given you.
So part of this starts with the work of healing wounds from the past. Because these wounds from the past that tell us, "We're not worth more. There's shame."
They tell us, "What we want is bad."
They tell us that, "It's too late."
"We're too old."
"There's too much water under that bridge."
These are wounds from the past, and, so, we've got to deal with these. Sometimes we have to look back to look forward. But we've got to do two things at the same time. One is hold up the hope of the vision of what's yet to come. And the second is go back to those wounded areas in our lives that keep us stuck, and keep us from relating, and keep us from moving toward that vision.
And, so, the metaphor that I like to use, and I apologize to those of you who are not hikers, I'm a big hiker, so I use this over and over. It's like you need to see that vision of that peak that you're moving toward, that destination, where there's a clear view.
Because guess what you see that vision and it keeps you moving forward. But then you're going to move into the hard stuff, almost immediately, you're going to get into the valley. You're going to get into the forest where it's hard to see, and you'll feel lost, and you'll feel scared, and you're like, "I can't do this, I want to go back."
And, so, I want you to, with me, hold that vision of where you want to be. That clarity of being so anchored in yourself that no one can knock you off. No one can distract you from that larger vision you've created with God. And, also, we're going to get into the weeds where it's going to be hard. And, so, we've got to learn to take that one brave step at a time.
So where we're going to start, today, is with this question; Can I really trust myself?
There's a reason so many of us don't do the hard work of looking inward, of identifying that YES, side of NO. That, YES, we need to say to parts of ourselves that have been wounded.
We've been taught not to trust ourselves. We've been taught to bypass our own desires, our own God-given instincts, the inner resources God has given us. Trust is this loaded word we toss around without really understanding what it means.
In the dictionary, we look at trust simply defined as, "A belief in the reliability, truth, capability, or strength of someone or something." So we tend to believe that God is trustworthy. We know that God is reliable, truthful, capable and strong. We rely on that to be true of God, and it is true of God.
Some of us have encountered trust worthiness, trustworthy qualities, in other people. We fundamentally see consistent patterns of reliability, honesty, capability, and strength over time. People have proven themselves to us, so we trust them.
But so many of us have no clue what it means to trust ourselves. In fact, many of us have been taught not to trust ourselves. Many of you may have been taught to distrust yourself. Based on a specific Bible verse that says, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked." This is from Jeremiah 17:9-10.
But what most people fail to recognize is that the very same prophet who spoke of the tremendous deceitfulness in the human heart. And listen, we can deceive ourselves, and we're still going to get there, I promise you. To all of you asking me for the episode on trauma and sin, it's coming right around the corner. It might be next week, it might be in two weeks, I'm not sure which, but it's coming. I'm working on it right now.
But we can go astray, that's what sin means. Sin means miss the mark, we deceive ourselves, shame enters in. We start covering our tracks, and we start missing the mark even more. And we start setting off on a path that is away from our true selves and away from God.
So Jeremiah wasn't wrong. Jeremiah was seeing in his day, these are religious folks, in many ways, that Jeremiah was prophesying about. He's like, "Man, you're deceiving yourselves." And the human heart is capable of that, and I don't want to suggest otherwise. I know it to be true in my own heart and I know it to be true in this life.
However, Jeremiah is the very same prophet, who, also, prophesied the solution to this problem of our hearts that can lead us astray. And he talked about the coming of God's Spirit when he said, "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts." This is from Jeremiah 31:33.
So what is Jeremiah alluding to here? Well, he's prophesying about the coming of the Holy Spirit. That in the past, during his time, the law, the code that kept you on the path of being true to yourself and to God, was external.
It was the Commandments. It was the code. But Jeremiah is saying something new is going to happen. God is going to write His law on our minds and write it in our hearts. This is through the power of God's Spirit. That had only been made available externally, up to then, is going to become available internally through the power of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus talks about this in John, chapter 14, He says, "I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit who will live in you."
And this is an unbelievable reality because of the Spirit who lives inside of you. You have access. First of all, you have access to the goodness in you because when God created you, initially, He called you good before shame entered in, before sin entered in.
So we hold these two truths side by side. There's goodness there and there is the capacity to go our own way. Both of those things live side by side. But through the power of God's Spirit, as we cultivate that space inside, where we bring all of who we are together with all of who God is, we can stay true. We can become trustworthy. We can honor a sense of reliability, honesty, capability, and strength in our own souls.
We can cultivate that trust in ourselves, not because we're perfect, not because we're not still able to deceive ourselves, but because we keep coming back to the work. We keep coming back to the work of going, "Dear God, I see. I see this part of me that is angry. I see this part of me that wants so desperately to go take this into my own hands. God, and you see that part of me too." And we begin to hold ourselves together in a spirit of truth.
There's so much to unpack here, and I'm going to stop there because we're going to get more and more, and deeper into the theology of that in weeks to come.
But through the power of the Holy Spirit that comes to live inside of us, we can learn to trust ourselves. It's a process. It's a practice. It's not a once-and-done kind of thing. It's a practice of bringing all of who you are into the presence of who God is.[00:17:20] < Outro >
Thank you for joining me for this episode of The Best of You. Be sure to check out the show notes for any resources and links mentioned in the show.
You can find those on my website at dralisoncook.com. That's Alison with one L- cook.com. Before you forget, I hope you'll follow the show now so that you don't miss an episode. And I'd love it if you'd go ahead and leave a review, it helps so much to get the word out.
I look forward to seeing you back here next Thursday. And remember, as you become the best of who you are, you honor God, you heal others, and you stay true to your God-given self.