Boundaries

the-most-important-boundary

The Most Important Boundary You Must Set

By Alison Cook | December 18, 2019

The most important boundary you must set might surprise you. It’s not the one you need to set with your kids, your toxic friend, or with your in-laws for that matter—as important as those boundaries are. The most important boundary you must set is the one that protects your most important asset. It’s the line...

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spiritual-bypassing

The danger of bypassing your emotions

By Alison Cook | September 11, 2019

Have you ever stuffed your emotions because you thought they couldn’t be trusted? I did, for most of my young adult life. In fact, I stuffed my emotions because I thought it was the “Christian” thing to do. I would tell myself things like: I’m not lonely. I have Jesus. I don’t need therapy. I...

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boundaries-with-mom

Why boundaries with your mom matter

By Alison Cook | July 10, 2019

“I love my mom, and I want her to be a part of my kids’ lives,” Nicole told me, during our first meeting. “But I feel so much guilt. She would spend every second with us if she could. And I feel terrible telling her no.”* Nicole felt she was abandoning her mother by setting...

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boundaries and heartache

Boundaries can help heal a heartache

By Alison Cook | June 17, 2019

I’ll never forget the first time I discovered that boundaries can help heal a heartache. Decades ago, I drove home a few weeks after a painful break-up. As I parked in front of my apartment, a favorite song came on the radio. Suddenly, the tears I’d been holding back for weeks came pouring out. In...

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boundaries-with-guilt

Why you should pay attention to guilt

By Alison Cook | May 29, 2019

Do you feel guilty all the time? If you do, please know you’re not alone. A constant sense of guilt is one of the most common challenging emotions I come across in people. Sometimes guilt is a subtle feeling—a nagging sense of all the things you’ve done wrong. Sometimes it’s not so subtle—a sense of...

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friends with fear

How to make friends with your fear

By Alison Cook | May 15, 2019

I’ve learned to make friends with my fear. I know that may sound strange. But after years of denying it—and having it pester me from afar—I’ve learned that befriending fear is the far better way. Many of our teachers and leaders tell us to watch out for fear. They say it holds us back and...

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4 steps to befriending your anger

By Alison Cook | April 30, 2019

The other night I felt angry. I noticed it deep within, way down at gut level. It welled up within me, and it was all I could do to hold it in. And I took notice. Because it took me years to understand the importance of listening to anger. Instead, I used to bury it....

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self-doubt and desire

When self-doubt battles with desire

By Alison Cook | April 10, 2019

I ripped off some band-aids these past few weeks. Numbing band-aids. Long story short: I had made a decision that was based on fear. I didn’t realize it in the moment, but I had decided to participate in a project to stave off self-doubt. God’s Spirit is funny how it works with us. I knew...

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joy

The importance of play

By Alison Cook | April 3, 2019

I planned to write about weariness today. And honestly, all I want to do is go outside and play. It might be because the hope of spring is finally descending on us here in New England. (There’s a reason we have Tom Brady, guys. Have you spent a winter in New England? We need *something*...

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9 ways to set boundaries with loneliness

By Alison Cook | March 27, 2019

It takes a long time to make an old friend. I learned that the hard way in the first 2 decades of my adult life. Job changes, moves, graduate school, and my family of origin leaving the small, close-knit town of my youth left me struggling with loneliness as I navigated into adulthood. We need...

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What if loneliness was a gift?

By Alison Cook | March 21, 2019

Loneliness gets a bad rap. And for good reason. One of our deepest, most basic human needs is to experience healthy attachment—or in non-psychological terms, to experience loving connection with someone who sees us. When you stop numbing, one of the first painful emotions you may encounter is loneliness. And loneliness is a double-whammy. It often...

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7 vulnerable feelings that surface when you stop numbing

By Alison Cook | March 13, 2019

As you peel back the layers of numbing behaviors, you might notice new feelings that surface—vulnerable feelings that may be uncomfortable or unpleasant. There’s a reason we numb. Don’t be alarmed. Those painful feelings are presenting themselves for healing. Look at these feelings as an opportunity to take a You-Turn and gain insight into your...

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