Dysfunction – cooperating with?

By Dave Henning / April 26, 2023

“In every relationship there are patterns of relating.  If you change the pattern and the other person doesn’t agree with the change, there will be agitation.  The tension exists because you are doing the difficult work of no longer cooperating with dysfunction.”- Lysa TerKeurst

“What people don’t work out, they act out.  When someone doesn’t work through their issues, they’ll make their issues your issues.”- Jim Cross

In Chapter 6 (“They May Never See Your Boundaries as a Good Thing”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst compares calm to setting a thermostat at the correct temperature.  To keep a house cool on a blazing hot summer day.  If you leave the doors and windows open, though, you still feel the effects of the outside heat.

Certainly, the wrong technique involves standing at the open window, telling the heat it can no longer enter your house.  Instead, you need to shut the windows and doors so the air conditioning works effectively.  So you create the atmosphere you desire.  Above all, the heat coming in creates more than just discomfort.  It can also cause damage.  That’s the effect of constant heat that goes unaddressed for too long.

Similarly, Lysa observes, it’s brutally devastating when someone turns your life upside down.  However, the author stresses, that life event may help shake loose some emotionally unhealthy issues you need to attend to.

Therefore, Lysa counsels, don’t let the tension caused by relational strain surprise you.  And, she encourages:

“When you decide to establish boundaries and the other person tries to label you as controlling, difficult, or uncooperative, see it as a compliment.  Yes, you read that right — see it as a compliment.  They are frustrated with you because you are no longer willing to participate in the unhealthy patterns of the past.  You have decided to raise your actions and words to a higher level of maturity. . . .

Grieve someone’s refusal to keep growing, but don’t beg them to see your boundaries as a good thing.  They may never see your boundaries as a good thing.”

Today’s question: Have you ever found yourself cooperating with dysfunction?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Light exposes the darkness”

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Dave Henning

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