Practicing Generosity with All Your Strength
Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary. - Doreen Virtue
The Strength quadrant of the Living Compass addresses how we care for our physical wellness and how resilient we are in managing stress. This time of year can present unique challenges to both caring for our physical well-being and regulating our stress as there are ample opportunities to indulge in excesses—how much we eat, drink, spend, and how busy we choose to be, just to name a few.
One healthy practice that allows us to be generous with ourselves is the practice of setting reasonable boundaries. As the quote from Doreen Virtue says, “Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” When we set good boundaries for ourselves, we feel less stressed, more rested, and have more energy. When we don’t, we feel just the opposite—tired, cranky, and maybe even taken for granted or resentful of others.
Setting boundaries involves learning to say “no” and not feeling guilty. Saying “no” is actually a way of saying “yes” to our own well-being. As you look ahead to the time between now and Christmas, what boundaries do you want to set that will help you feel less stressed? What do you want to say “no” to and what to you want to say “yes” to, even if your “no” might disappoint others?
The first step is to honestly believe that it’s okay to set healthy limits and goals for ourselves. Then, with practice, we will find that the positive benefits of setting healthy boundaries far outweighs the discomfort we may experience in doing so.
Making it personal: In general, is it hard for you to set healthy boundaries for yourself? Is there something that you are struggling with saying “no” to this holiday season? If so, what might help you get over your discomfort so that you can be generous with yourself by setting healthy limits on your time, energy, or finances?
Follow along with us this Advent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.