This book, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, is transformational.
I first discovered it when shopping on Amazon for a dear friend of mine who recently suffered a miscarriage. She fell into a depression and was struggling with the loss. There was nothing I could say to make it better, but I did want to send her something uplifting. So I bought her an essential oil by Plant Therapy called Tranquil. I love the scent, and hoped it would bring some comfort to her.
While I was ordering it, I saw this Boundaries book pop up in one of those clever online marketing tools…customers who bought that, also bought this…
The reviews said it was biblical based, which made me cautious, because maybe like you, I was thinking I hope this isn’t bible thumping or judgmental. I decided I would take a chance and order two copies: one for my friend, and one for me.
We received our copies around the same time. My cell beeped with this text message: “Oh my God, this is so me!”
I texted my friend back that I know, it’s me, too!
We formed our own little duo book club, sharing our love for this book and it’s clear teachings about boundaries.
It’s true, it does reference the bible, but with good reason. It addresses the many Christians who have been misguided to believe that God wants us to be martyrs, ceaselessly giving to others and believing it’s selfish to say no. The psychologists who wrote this book are Christian men, and their interpretation of the bible is radically positive and refreshing. The authors show how God wants us to set boundaries, to give within our limits and to be happy. They throw in a few positive bible verses to back their beliefs up. This book is especially useful if you tend to over-give and often push past your limits.
This book is filled with insightful psychological tips to create healthy relationships at work, at home, with yourself, your partner, kids and families. The bible is just a way to bring the spiritual component in, to acknowledge this bigger reason to give ourselves permission to create and respect our boundaries. It’s all about feeling worthy of claiming your health, inner peace and happiness.
You may be surprised how often you may have crossed boundaries with loved ones, especially spouses, siblings and parent and kid relationships. These are subtle behaviors that are so common, and also the core problem in a lot of stresses we experience with loved ones. It also offers great work advice, explaining how projection can interfere with the present moment and how a boss or co-worker can trigger an unhealed relationship you’ve had from the past that hurt you due to poor boundaries, and how strong boundaries can help heal present problems. This book is equivalent to paying for an expensive healing course. It’s packed with information, and will empower you to have healthier and happier experiences at home, at work and with yourself. It addresses burn out, resentment, guilt, difficulty saying no and much more.
One of the lessons this book teaches is the difference between being responsible for someone and to someone. The second most important lesson is that no one has the power to make me feel guilty. I give them that power from having weak boundaries. I am responsible for my own emotions, the same as others are responsible for theirs.
Those of us from dysfunctional homes may have learned this is being mean or selfish, especially if we grew up feeling blamed for our parents unhappiness, or if we had spouses or in-laws who blamed us for their dysfunctional behavior. This book clarifies the confused thinking that leads to unnecessary suffering so we can make confident decisions based on self-love and loving others the way we feel guided, instead of how they demand us to be. It helps us discern healthy relationships from unhealthy ones, and provides clear guidance what we can do about it.
If you were raised feeling responsible for your parent or family member and often putting yourself last, this book can be so healing. For anyone who experienced trauma or co-dependent relationships, this book can be so healing. For anyone who works in therapeutic settings, this book can be so helpful. Really, I think for everyone, this book can be helpful and healing.
This book has been so popular and effective, the authors have provided even more support with their additional books: Boundaries in Dating, Boundaries in Marriage, Boundaries for Leaders, Boundaries with Kids and Beyond Boundaries: learning to trust again in relationships. If you’re interested in checking them out, here’s the link on Amazon.