Healthy Flexibility: A Lesson in Boundaries
September 01, 2020
Submitted by Luke Dalfiume, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Co-Owner, John R. Day & Associates, Christian Psychological Associates
(an excerpt from The Princess Journal: A 365-day Devotional Challenging Women to Accept Nothing Less Than God’s Best, Sarah K. Holland, M.A., LCPC)
Nearly every Friday, my colleagues and I treat ourselves to McDonald’s for lunch. This past Friday, I ordered a cheeseburger Happy Meal just to get the toy. I was ecstatic when I found the elastic, Mrs. Incredible figurine in the bottom of my golden arch box amidst some straggling, greasy fries. I love The Incredibles’ movies. I recently took my son to see the sequel. I love the idea of ordinary people having extraordinary powers. I have smiled every morning I see the statue of strength on my desk, until this morning.
As women, we are considered heroic in society for our flexibility. The more we stretch, the better and stronger we are as women. Sadly, we judge each other based on this.
The way Helen (Mrs. Incredible) can twist and turn is truly incredible, but every time she does, she loses her shape. She loses herself.
Furthermore, I recently re-watched The Runaway Bride, a classic where Julia Robert’s character is so undefined as a person, she takes on the preference of egg preparation of each significant other with whom she identifies at the time. That is the crux of the movie in a nutshell, or in this case, eggshell. Although I have never lost myself or not known myself to this degree, I have found myself at different times in my life, bent to the point I have been heartbroken. I have not stood my ground and fallen more times than I’d care to admit, seemingly in love, but simply on my face, which is right where I needed to be with God. One of my mom’s favorite phrases and calligraphy plaques was the following:
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” –Alexander Hamilton
Sacrifice and compromise are important in any relationship. However, if you are willing to continue to stretch yourself so thin you almost snap and the other person is not willing to flex, the relationship is neither reciprocal nor healthy. Stop stretching, step back, and reassess your boundaries. You will still be and possibly even more incredible for doing so!
For more information or to book an appointment, contact John R. Day & Associates, Christian Psychological Associates, located at 3716 West Brighton Ave., Peoria or their additional locations in Normal, Canton, Pekin, Princeton, or Eureka. Call us at 309-692-7755 or visit us online at www.christianpsychological.org.
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