Joel Osteen talked on setting boundaries.

Started by

Every Sunday night my mother and I watch two TV shows together. One is Joel Osteen on TBN. Tonight Joel talked about the importance of setting boundaries. He talked of people who ask a lot of us, and who ask more and more. He talked of how these people can make us put our own lives on hold and how we give up our happiness in order to keep them happy. As my mother watched, she asked, "Am I doing that to you?" I didn't say anything. She listened more and said, "I am doing that to you." I don't know if she'll remember the show tomorrow, but I hope it helps her understand why I say no when she asks me to do just one more thing.

I think people of the group would get a lot out of the show. I found it excellent. The take-home message is that it is good to be useful, but not good to be used. It is okay to help other people, but there is a limit. No one owes their own happiness to another to try to make them happy. Some people will just never be happy until they find it within themselves.

12 Comments

Thanks JessieBelle for sharing. Yes, being used can sure kill the joy in any relationship. Even if your parents don't mean to, it doesn't make it feel any less painful to experience it. For your sake, I hope today your mom wakes up remembering the show.
For the rest of us, it is a message worth remembering.
My mother had a hypoglycemic episode last night, so we were up late getting her blood sugar up. When I made it to bed I was thankful that we caught the drop in sugar, but wondered if it would help to wipe out any memory of the show.

This morning I woke up thinking of some of the things I have to do. Then I realized I don't ever do anything fun except maybe getting on the computer. I thought about fun things to do and was totally blank. Gosh, I have gotten boring. I don't even know how to have fun anymore. :)
My husband has hypoglycemia attacks also. It scares the stuffin' out of me! I've been keeping a log and it seems he has a personality change prior to the attack. I ask him if he's ok and he says he's fine. Then bam, an hour or so later, the attack starts, no warning, no apparent reason. He may eat something one day and be fine. Two days later he eats the same thing and gets an attack.
Maybe this is what your mom is doing, I'm just guessing. She doesn't know the attack is coming but may have a feeling that something isn't right. This is our experience, just food for thought.
I'm sorry you have lost your ability to have fun. That is sad. It's very easy to get to this point when all you do is take care of someone. If I lived near you, I'd sure be happy to help out :-)!
My sister saw this episode with Joel Olstein and told me I should watch it. I'm pretty much the caregiver for my mom and I always try to be there for her. But now I realize, she doesn't have to go someplace everyday - it's ok for her to stay home a few days a week. She lives in a Sr. Apartment Complex and can always go to the community room or go out on the patio when the weather is nice for socialization.
My mother has them in the middle of the night occasionally. Her glucose goes down to about 45 and she becomes almost completely helpless. This has been a fairly recent development and I can track it back to some things she has done in the evening. I am glad that she wakes up and finds she needs help. Last night made me realize that I am going to need to start cooking for her on weekends, too. Weekends were the cook's (me) days off, but things change. I hope we can avoid it happening again.
The more we do for people, the more they rely on us. I think the younger generation (in my case 50) lol - I believe we have learned how to be self supportive. I do not rely on others for my happiness. But I know in my grandmother's time and even a little in my mother's time the mark of how much your family cares about you is how available you are. My grandmother used to stand at the window and watch for my mom. My mother worked and had a family. I know that my mother built up a resentment for my grandmother that carried on for years. I want my children to have their life and their freedom. I am not ill nor do I ever PLAN on being ill. But I know the day will come. I hope that I have learned how to handle and cope with such an event. I am happy running my hands and fingers thru the warm dirt. Happy on the lawnmower. Washing my car. All the things that I can do on my own and will continue to do as long as I am able. Then I will deal with whatever the good Lord brings my way. :) Love and hugs to all.
rjdawson, the show really hit home for me last night. It was like Joel was talking directly to us caregivers. It sounds like you have set up some boundaries that are good for both you and her. Our parents can start depending on us so much that they don't feel like they need to seek out other relationships. My wish for your mother is that she makes good friends at the apartment complex, so that when you call to ask her if she wants to go somewhere, she'll tell you she has plans with friends. That would be cool.
stacylee, I think the best gift some people have is internal happiness. I've met some people who are never happy, no matter what. Then I've met others who are happy even under the worst of circumstances. Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle.

I don't worry about becoming a burden to my children, because I don't have any. I doubt my rabbits would make very good caregivers. :) What I hope for myself is that I live healthy enough until poof! it is all over. We never know what the tomorrows down the road will bring, though. I guess the best we can do is hope Nature is kind to us.
I have done some things to make life easier for myself as a caregiver also. Yesterday morning when I was cooking breakfast, I cooked two extra sausage patties and went ahead and poached dad three eggs. I put everything on a paper plate and covered it with plastic and foil and then popped it in mom's fridge. So this morning when she gets up, she only has to put it in the microwave for a minute or so. The eggs will be perfect and all she has to do is pour juice. It helps everyone. It's amazing how you can get used to eating off paper plates and plastic utensils. And still live to tell about it!!!! LOL (my mom has beautiful dishes and never ever thought you could have a nice meal without them) Boy how times have changed. You do what you gotta do.
I was the primary caregiver for my Mom for years, then one day she didn't wake up. My girlfriends (the few I still had) sent me to their church for bereavement counseling and one day the leader told us to be good to ourselves. I had no idea what she was talking about... didn't remember the last time I laughed or why.

Then one day a few days later I decided to take a walk, I signed up for lectures at the library and got my nails done!! Wow that was HUGE! It was the encouragement of the woman who told us to be good to ourselves that got me started on looking around for things to laugh about.

Joel Osteen always starts with a joke. My girlfriend told me about that program last night when I met her for coffee. Slowly, life is getting good. I for one have to be deliberate about looking for ways to have fun... because after many, many years of caregiving, I forgot ... well, I have to go get changed now, because I signed up for a yoga class in a half hour. They told me where I can download free yoga classes on line. Gonna try that next.

Have a wonderful day everyone, and please be good to yourselves! You deserve it!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support