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How to Guard Your Heart

Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace pose for the cover of The Art of Relationships Podcast.

How do you safely open up to someone without crossing emotional boundaries? In today's podcast, Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace discuss the value of setting emotional boundaries in any relationship, giving practical examples of how that might look in your life.

Speaker 1: Welcome to another Art of Relationships podcast. We are grateful for listeners like you. Let's get right into it. 

Alisa Grace: Hey, welcome to another Art of Relationships podcast, brought to you by the Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships. I'm Alisa Grace, and I'm here with my awesomely handsome co-host, my husband, Dr. Chris Grace. 

Chris Grace: Hey, good to see you, Alisa. Good to be here and doing a fun podcast together. 

Alisa Grace: It's good to see you. 

Chris Grace: And it's good to be seen, man. No, it's fun. I think coming off of a little bit of a break here that you and I had, it was so fun. COVID kind of allows people to have a break, but to be able to get away and just to relax was so necessary. 

Alisa Grace: It's so refreshing, isn't it?

Chris Grace: Uh-huh (affirmative). 

Alisa Grace: We really needed that. But we are ready to go. We are excited to be back in the saddle for this coming fall. We still live our lives on the idea of semesters, fall and spring semesters, because we're in academia at Biola University. But we're really looking forward to having students back on campus. We're looking forward to being back in the classroom with them doing one-on-one, face-to-face with them. 

So, Chris, today we're going to be talking about something really important, and that is the idea of emotional boundaries. Why do you think emotional boundaries are important? Why do we even need to pay attention to that? 

Chris Grace: I think what's important is... In an earlier or different podcast, go check out the one we did on emotions 2.0, because what it did is it listed all of these emotions that we can experience during times of conflict, or even times of healthy relationships. We gave you a list. 

I think it's really important to get the sense, Alisa, that when we do have these feelings of wanting to be known and heard and known by others, right, it's really powerful to talk about deep issues with other people, and especially at an emotional level. 

So as soon as I begin talking to somebody about that made me feel valued or treasured, or whatever it might be, when we start what we're doing, I believe, is exposing a little bit more of our souls.

I think what that means is when we begin to do that and feel listened to and heard and understood, it's almost like a drug, right? It's like this... I like talking to people that hear me and listen and I feel understood by, which is why you and I love our marriage, and we've been doing marriage for let's just say a long, long time, many decades. 

Because of that it's just so natural to go deep with somebody, and that's appropriate in a marital relationship. But in any relationship, whenever we go deep and feel heard it's like almost we want more of it.

So I think that that means if you're a teacher, or you're in the ministry, or you're just in a relationship with somebody, or you're in an office space with other people that really maybe get along, or maybe even don't get along, what happens is we get to connect with other people and it's really fun, but a boundary... Alisa, a long answer to your questions, why do we need emotional boundaries, is because if we become too dependent on other people for their approval or their attention then all of a sudden we are just seeking and getting all of our kind of emotional connectedness and knowing from other people, and I think healthy relationships come with certain boundaries. 

I think God put them in place to protect us, because of really the incredibly high cost when we don't do them well. 

Alisa Grace: Uh-huh (affirmative). That's so true, Chris, and especially when you think... Gosh, when I think of a dating relationship, it's only natural that as you get to know somebody and you like them that you have the desire for them to know the real you and like the real you.

So you may be really tempted to go deep really quickly, but the problem comes when we're tempted to go too deep too fast, especially emotionally, we risk being left with a broken heart and a broken spirit, in taking our relationship deeper than we meant to or deeper than it should be at a really early stage. 

That could even go for friendships. I mean it can get a little awkward really quick if you're just with a brand new friend and you're suddenly spilling your deepest, darkest, heartfelt secrets or thoughts or whatever. It's like wow, we just went for coffee for the first time. There's a sense of measured pace and doing it at the appropriate time in the appropriate way.

Chris Grace: Isn't it funny, Alisa, sometimes how like... I think people could relate to this. They've probably been on a plane sitting next to somebody and that person all of a sudden just starts opening up and telling you about deep things-

Alisa Grace: Their divorce or-

Chris Grace: Yeah. Everything they're going through. It's almost like they have found this situation... They're not really looking at you. They're sitting side-by-side, so that's less intimidating. You could almost not even know what they look like, and all of a sudden you start sharing your heart, or this person is sharing all these deep things with you, and it's really easy to make a deeper connection that way, right?

It's kind of like saying... It's like a mini microcosm of disability, what it feels like to be heard and understood, and some people just maybe do it kind of inappropriately. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. That could be really true. I think back to the point when you and I... When we first met, we met at this wedding in Colorado, right? So we started dating long distance. I was in Texas, you were on Colorado, so we did a lot of our courtship, our dating, through letters and through cards. 

So the other day I was in our shed outside and I found a box with all of our cards and letters that we had sent to each other over that year. They're in a little shoebox and they're actually arranged in chronological order, if you can believe that, and just tucked away in this shoebox in our garage. 

But a few months ago I pulled that shoebox out and I re-read some of our cards and our letters to each other, and it was as if I just stepped back in time 30 years. It was like all those emotions came flooding back as I read those cards, like the excitement of our new relationship. I was so uncertain if you felt the way that I did, and I was really hesitant and guarded about letting my heart run away with me. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, and I knew you were. How about my very first card? I think you probably even remember what kind it was. 

Alisa Grace: It was one of those little Precious Moments cards. It was awesome. 

Chris Grace: I just meet you at a wedding, I barely know your name, and that's a longer story. We'll get into that another time. But I finally find your address and I'm in Colorado and I write you in Texas, and I don't know why, but I picked a Precious Moments card. It was kind of funny, kind of cool, interesting. 

Alisa Grace: It was sweet. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, it was. I really wasn't going for sweet. I was thinking kind of cool and suave, but back then I just didn't know what you did. I just remember writing this letter and asking my buddies... Okay, Alisa, you bring up an interesting point. Let me ask you this. 

Maybe there is something good and redeeming about letter writing that we need to think through, and here's my thought, is it lets you edit your thoughts and emotions and your boundaries. Because sometimes if you're with somebody you might just lower your boundaries and share deeply, blah, blah, blah, that you would never do with a stranger or somebody you barely met, and therefore I wonder like when people these days text in relationships more and more, they message them, right?

You get to know somebody by figuring out a way to maybe liking a comment or liking a picture, and then eventually you might even be able to post something about it, and maybe even message them at some point. 

Alisa Grace: Send them a video, YouTube video. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, send them something. But here's the interesting thing. How many of you all have ever been out there thinking about how should I go about this? Should I send a direct message? Should I just comment? What my comment should look like?

Alisa Grace: How long do I have to wait before I respond?

Chris Grace: Should I wait three days?

Alisa Grace: Yeah. 

Chris Grace: So all of these are setting boundaries on our emotions and what we share with each other. I know when I wrote letters to you every word was thought through. Do I sign it love, Chris? 

Alisa Grace: In Christ. 

Chris Grace: In Christ, which is exactly what I probably signed on the first 20 letters to you, in Christ, or whatever, with his love, or something. Then eventually when I signed it love, it was a very... Every word was intentional and we set boundaries that way. 

Alisa Grace: And if I remember, even the stamp was intentional, because one time... I wasn't aware of this. One time on one of those letters you put the stamp upside down and I didn't even notice it, but my Mom did. She's like, "Grace, look, he put the stamp upside down," and I'm like, "Yeah. So what?" She goes, "That's like a symbol for love," and I'm like, "Really?" 

Chris Grace: No, it is. Yeah. Somebody... Growing up... We may have to explain to some of our younger listeners what a stamp is, but you put it on a letter and you mail it. No, not really, we're just messing with you all millennials and Gen-Xs and Gen-Zs. 

But mostly... Not millennials. Actually what happened is we have little cues and little signs that indicate our boundaries, like should you say this word or not? Should you do this? Because it reveals a little bit about us.

Alisa Grace: I just remember as I read those letters for the first time when you sent them I would just be constantly asking myself, like analyzing them, like does he really like me? How can I be sure? I would read and re-read every single card to try and just decipher any hidden message that you might really like me as much as I was starting to like you. Now that I go back and read them, I just can't believe that I had any doubt, because it was so obvious. 

Chris Grace: So you were protecting your heart, right?

Alisa Grace: Oh, absolutely. I don't think I knew that at the time, but I know it now. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. And I know that each of us probably need to do a better job... Okay, here's two different kinds of people, people that need to do a better job of protecting their heart because they just let it all out and they share all these deep things with people, and they kind of overwhelm others, you know. Their friends are like, "Oh, my gosh, just go back. Let's don't start with your childhood. How about what we had for dinner? Let's talk about that."

Then there are others who really are reticent, careful. They don't share deeply and-

Alisa Grace: Or they're afraid to and they can't. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. They may get shut down. I think, Alisa, one thing we could talk about... So we're talking about emotional boundaries, right? 

Alisa Grace: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Chris Grace: Emotional boundaries are important because they protect the heart, right? We know that that's vital. In fact, we have some great Biblical passages. I think about Proverbs 4:23, that talks about-

Alisa Grace: Oh, I love that one. 

Chris Grace: Right. "Because it's vital to guard our hearts," says the writer of Proverbs, "above all else." Why? Well, because... And here's... It says, "Your heart is the wellspring of life."

Alisa, you're reading all these letters and you're wanting to know, but you're also very protective because it was just scary sometimes to let your heart be out there. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. Well, I had been hurt before in relationships, so I think I was pretty guarded. I don't think to the point where it was unhealthy, but I was pretty guarded, and I think that was a smart move at the time.

Chris Grace: Yeah. Okay. So 4:23 Proverbs if you want, the wellspring of life. The New Living is a great version. It says, "Your heart determines the course of your life." That's like the river, the course, the boundaries. So think about that. So now boundaries are important again, and... I read recently in the Complete Jewish Bible, it talked about the heart is the source of life's consequences. In other words, whatever is in your heart overflows out into other parts of your life, impacting everything. 

Alisa Grace: It's that sense of your whole being. When it says to guard your heart it means... It includes your will, your physical being, your moral character, your mind, even your inner spiritual world. So it's that sense of who you are. 

I love that that scripture says that it's the wellspring of life. When you think about the context that that scripture was written in, wellspring is like a fountain of water, or it's like an abundant source of something that's really good, right? 

So this was written in a geographical location of arid deserts, so a wellspring is going to be understood to be vitally significant. So in other words, whatever is in your heart is going to overflow out into the other parts of your life. It impacts everything, so you need to guard it well. 

Chris Grace: So, Alisa, here's you, we're writing these letters, you're in a relationship, or starting one. Let's say a listener is out there thinking about okay, I need to reach out or... What is wrong with being... Maybe I am too sharing. 

By the way, I think I fell on the other side. I know in my relationships that I spend way too much time going too quickly. I felt like here I was, a psychology major, thinking it's really important to get to the emotions and the heart of what you're thinking. 

I'm sure I had inappropriate, by that I mean deeper conversations, than I should have, and I tried to make it go too fast. I think-

Alisa Grace: That's why all those girls fell in love with you in high school, wasn't it?

Chris Grace: I don't know about that. 

Alisa Grace: I know. I know. 

Chris Grace: I do know, though, that you should be able to do this and you ought to be able to do this with a select few people, close confidants, right?

Alisa Grace: And timing. Timing is everything. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, timing in the relationship. Otherwise, Alisa, what happens is, as you were referring to, we set ourselves up for this disappointment and we really do court disaster. Our heart goes to places it shouldn't go.

Alisa Grace: Right. You know Debra Fileta, she's the author of that really great book on dating called True Love Dates, and she said this about emotional intimacy. She says, "More powerful than a kiss, more seductive than an embrace, there's something that happens when two people connect emotionally, something that has the capacity to outweigh even the physical, a sort of emotional sex or promiscuity that can be just as harmful and heartbreaking when it moves too deep too fast."

Chris Grace: Yeah. I think that's really... She's really such a great author. It's called True Love Dates. She has other books, Choosing Marriage, and we've had her on this podcast. Go back and listen to Debra Fileta. She's a good friend. 

Alisa Grace: So, Chris, let's say that you're dating somebody new. Let's say some of our listeners are dating somebody new. How can you tell when emotional intimacy is pushing the limits of what would be appropriate or wise? How can you tell? How far is too far, or how fast is too fast? 

Chris Grace: Yeah. I do think it's the question. Here's what I would say. Alisa, you and I have both talked about setting some guidelines. We have these guidelines that we think are maybe healthful and reasonable, and maybe God honoring emotional boundaries that you should set up. 

This could be whether you're teaching and students when you're interacting with your peers, if you're dating somebody new.

Alisa Grace: A new friendship. 

Chris Grace: A new friendship. I would say let's give them a couple of ideas and some guidelines. What do you think? I think you mentioned one earlier, but discretion. Discretion is really important and discretion is your friend. 

Alisa Grace: What do you mean by that, friend? 

Chris Grace: When you talk about discretion it means that you are careful, you don't let your guard down very quickly. Slow and steady. You do this a little bit at a time, right? You don't share... I think, Alisa, you talked about this a lot in some of your blogs and working with young couples and when you go speak to women. 

You don't share your most intimate personal details or secrets really at any time or stage of the relationship because you're not there yet. You have to protect that deep intimate part of who you are, right?

I think Debra Fileta at one point, just quoting her again, says, "Be real, be genuine, and be honest, but never without the anchor of boundaries and the weight of wisdom." Isn't that awesome?

Alisa Grace: I love that. I love that. In other words what you're saying, Chris, I think is that you want to wait until you know you can trust somebody with those things that really matter to you. So that takes time. There's no way to get past the fact that that just takes time, getting to know the person, and building that foundation of commitment and trust before you go too deep.

Chris Grace: Okay. So discretion is your friend. Time is your friend. Slowing down, right, and be real. Be genuine. Be honest, but never without this anchor of boundaries. So what's another boundary? You probably want to set these not during a relationship. 

Alisa Grace: No. Gosh, there's a great thought, is that you really want to think through these boundaries before you get into a relationship. You want to sit down and take account of what you think is important, because in the heat of the moment is not the time to decide your boundaries. You don't want to put yourself in that kind of situation. 

You probably just want to set time aside to think through and pray through those boundaries, and invite the Holy Spirit into that. Ask him to guide you in establishing reasonable, healthy, God honoring emotional boundaries that will protect both you and the person in the new relationship with you. 

Chris Grace: Some boundaries are... It just depends on the context and the relationship, right? I'm not going to go out there and share with everybody about my cancer and all of these things. It just depends on if the person... They have to kind of... I want to think through that boundary and be careful that I don't overwhelm everybody that I see, like, "Oh, let me tell you about all the things I went through with chemo, the year long battle."

Alisa Grace: Yeah. That could be scary. That could scare somebody. 

Chris Grace: And yet I have a very different boundary when I go in and I see my doctor, right? I go in and we talk about parts of my body and anatomy that no one else does. I went in to-

Alisa Grace: Welcome to marriage, huh? 

Chris Grace: I went in to one appointment and I was about to get radiation and chemo, first day. First day of radiation... Alisa, I'm staring at you. You know this story of course. Because the nurse steps out and calls, "John, come in. You're next." "Susan."

Alisa Grace: "Mr. Smith." 

Chris Grace: Mr. Smith comes next. And then she walks out and says, "Dr. Grace, you're up," and I just went, "Dr. Grace? Why is she calling me Dr. Grace?" I went, "Oh, no, it's one of my students," and sure enough she's sitting there smiling. "Hi, Dr. Grace. Do you remember me?" I said, "Oh, yeah, I remember you. Of course I do." Now we're going to talk about my colon and my colon cancer. 

Now all of a sudden she's asking questions. "Are you bleeding? What about other things?" Like oh, my gosh, I'm sharing details with you that... But that's appropriate time and context, right?

Alisa Grace: Yeah. Exactly. 

Chris Grace: You set boundaries before-

Alisa Grace: Exactly. 

Chris Grace: Another one, Alisa... Okay, so we talk about discretion and timing is your friend. You set boundaries before you need them, right? You pray about them. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. And I think another one... Number three would probably be to maintain your friendships. I think it's only natural when you're with somebody that you really enjoy... It's this new relationship. It's lots of fun, and you just want to spend more and more time with each other, right?

But it's really crucial that you also have time apart so that you can continue to cultivate other healthy relationships with your friends, with your family, with your coworkers. Otherwise you risk becoming enmeshed in this relationship and you both lose your independence, and you prematurely become emotionally one. 

So that's what you want to guard against. Don't let your dating relationship isolate you from enjoying time with other people, right? You want to keep interacting, keep participating in your existing relationships with your family and your friends on a regular basis. 

Chris Grace: We all have certain numbers... Research shows that almost everybody has one to three very close intimate confidants. 

Alisa Grace: Right, that inner circle. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. Then others have... Beyond that you have up to eight maybe or more, those that are you'd say close friends, people you call, go out with and do certain things.

Alisa Grace: Maybe you're small group... People that you share life with. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, eight to 10 to 12. Then there's even more, those people that you talk with, you maybe aren't that close with, but you're friends. You see them and you're like, "Oh, good to see you." We're friends and we have a lot of history together. 

Alisa Grace: Facebook friends. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. And then you have the Facebook friends at that next level, people you really don't know very well at times. You used to. Then you have that very wide circle, right? 

I think that's the idea, is you need to... If you're starting a new relationship, like in a dating relationship like you said, well, maintain those other friendships that you have. Don't give them up and get rid of those one or two inner circle friends, or even those eight to 10. Keep them involved in your life. Keep investing in them and don't just pour all your energy into that new relationship, whether it's dating or something else. 

Alisa, another one might be... You know we talked about guarding your spiritual heart, right, and that idea of how it's really important to keep pursuing your relationship with God. If this is dating, prayer is extremely important to guard your spiritual heart and say, "God, what am I doing here? Is this good for us? How do I make this an important part of my future by starting off with a foundation of, God, you're present in this relationship?" What do you think is another one? 

Alisa Grace: Well, I think in addition to that... We get that question a lot from our Biola students, because we're at a Christian university. Sometimes they ask, "I hear that you should pray to together, you shouldn't pray together. What do you think in a dating relationship?"

I think as it's starting off and it's early in that relationship you just want to avoid praying hours on end with somebody you just met or that you just started dating. Why is that? Well, it's because prayer is meant to be a deeply intimate part of baring your heart and your emotions before God.

So you definitely don't want to go too deep in this area too soon, but there's also the balance on the other hand, is that you don't want to wait indefinitely either, because you want to be able to talk about your spiritual journey, your history, or where you're at with the Lord right now. 

You want to hear what God is teaching the other person, what they're doing in that other person's life, because once a relationship has progressed to seriously dating you really want to make spiritual activities together a key part of your relationship, because if you don't what happens? 

You're going to really miss out on an important facet of this other person and discovering and learning how he or she responds to the Lord. How do they handle it with the Lord when they are disappointed, when they are angry, when they are upset, when they're afraid? 

You want to be able to see how they manage that relationship with the Lord on a day-to-day basis over an extended period of time, but you just want to be careful about going too deep early on.

Chris Grace: What's another one, Alisa? Those are great. Do you have any other advice that you give when it comes to any kind of relationship and setting emotional boundaries?

Alisa Grace: I think that people need to be more aware of, more thoughtful of, is waiting to use the words I love you and waiting to talk about a future together. You want to take time to build a strong foundation of commitment and trust, and that's where that very first one we talked about, about the gift of time, comes in.

You shouldn't rush this. You want to take time to allow your relationship to go through maybe at least a couple of seasons of winter and spring, summer and fall, before you start using those three little words, because saying I love you should mean something. It should mean something deep. It should mean something important, and not just be thrown around casually. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. I think if you apply this to what we've been talking about, emotional boundaries outside of dating, it would be you don't go that deep with... It goes back to that idea of setting emotional boundaries, and I love you is really opening the door to this deeper part of your soul. 

So if you're in a work relationship, while you wouldn't necessarily say, "I love you," that wouldn't be a normal part of it, you still... The idea, Alisa, I think you're saying is you don't open that deeper part of your soul just to anybody, and time is your friend. You have to go through this journey of building trust. 

You can't just do something without that other person maybe even earning that. Just enjoy the relationship as it is now  without going deep. What do you think? 

Alisa Grace: I love that. I think what we see sometimes are couples that rush to talk about a future, a possible future together. They've been dating for two months and they're already talking about, "Well, you know, maybe this is the one that I'm going to marry. What about when we get married? How many kids do you want? Where should we live," that kind of stuff. 

I think we can't undersell the importance, or oversell I should say the importance of being content in the now, what you were saying about savor the present. Assess it, invest in it, and just enjoy your relationship right now. You don't need to rush into that and get so distracted, because you talk about is where your heart goes, and when you start talking about a future together too soon, when you start saying I love you too soon, then your heart is going to follow, and you go too deep too soon. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. These are really good. As we're starting to wrap up we'll give just a few more emotional boundaries to set, but I kind of alluded to one. You don't just share all of your life traumas right away, right? You don't just... Let's even include everything that's gone on in my life. Maybe even in the dating relationship you could talk about your past indiscretions or... A boundary says no, I don't share that right away. I tell the truth, but I don't have to share every single detail, right? 

Alisa Grace: Right away. Right. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, right away, especially if somebody says, "Oh, it's good to know you, blah, blah, blah. Let's go out on a date. Let's go get coffee," and by the end of your second or third date this person knows everything about you, your traumas and your history. 

Alisa Grace: You're mistakes.

Chris Grace: Maybe they're a good listener and... Yeah, and they're like, "I want to hear more and more," and you probably at the end of the day... To do that just is not a good boundary to set.

Alisa Grace: Yeah. I love what Brené Brown says. She's an expert on shame and authenticity, and she says, "You should only share with the people who've earned the right to hear your story and those that have proved themselves trustworthy and safe." And, again, there's that phrase, the gift of time. You cannot rush that. You've got to give that relationship time to develop. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. So boundaries... You really don't want to talk about your past indiscretions too frequently and too often. 

Alisa Grace: Too soon. Yeah. 

Chris Grace: You wait to talk about things, as you mentioned, Alisa, that open that soul, like love. We talked about guarding your spiritual heart. We talked about maintaining your friendships and that time is your friend. Those are also really good advice to give to people to keep that boundary. 

I think, Alisa, that idea of knowing that what God talks about is how we're devoted to one another in brotherly love and we honor each other above ourselves.

Alisa Grace: I love that.

Chris Grace: Yeah. 

Alisa Grace: I love that, because the Bible doesn't necessarily talk about dating so much, but it does have a lot to say about how we treat each other. What we have to keep in mind is the person we're dating, our friend, is a brother or sister in Christ, right?

Chris Grace: Yeah. So it's not only just dating, right? The person you're dating, or the person that you're talking with, or that you're friends with, or in your relationships at work, whether it's... They're beings that God has created and they call them brothers and sisters, so we better be very careful when we're talking about honoring them. Our motives need to be pure, especially in these kinds of relationships. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah, in your thought life, your behavior, and you want to carry out that relationship in a way that honors God and that it brings honor not only to yourself, but to the other person, and not pain and not shame. 

Chris Grace: Well, I think those are great emotional boundaries, Alisa. I think once you do those kinds of things, whether you're needing help because you need to expand your boundaries a little bit more and share a little bit more about yourself... Alisa, you and I have always met and interacted with some people who just don't do that. They get into problems in relationships because they are too protective of the heart. They've been hurt. 

I think if that's the case, Alisa, here's some advice. If you have been hurt in a relationship and you just are afraid it's hard for you to open up, it's not you're worried about boundaries, it's making them more open, more permeable, start obviously talking to God about your hurt. It may be important to get even professional help and talking with a counselor, to be able to say, "Can you help me process these emotions, because I've been so hurt, so messed up in this relationship, and I'm just afraid. I don't trust other people." 

If you're in that case, you know, we're not trying to minimize that. You really do need to seek out some help and it could be helpful. 

Alisa Grace: Because it's going to have implications the rest of your life if you're that guarded and that protective because of some past trauma to yourself, past pain. You really do want to be able to peel back the layers of the emotional onion, so to speak, and get at that, and bring... Allow the Lord through some Godly counseling, through a trained professional, to bring health and healing to that area of your heart so that you are a healthy partner for someone else. 

Chris Grace: By the way, we've had listeners on this podcast call us at the CMR, because one the cool things we provide is free relationship advice. It's not counseling, but you can always come by at any point if you're in the area. But even if you're not in the area, you're listening right now in Alabama or Chicago, the go ahead, look at the CMR website.

We'll take your call and give you some advice, and some therapists maybe in your area, or some help you can do, or just check out our resources. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. We've been really good at doing that through Zoom thanks to the pandemic, so distance is not a problem. 

Chris Grace: Right. Then for those I guess on the other side that are too freely expressing their emotions everywhere and are not guarding it, I think a lot of what we've been talking about is for them, to help them really protect what they do. Alisa, it's just so interesting to talk about boundaries.

Alisa Grace: I love it. 

Chris Grace: I do too. It's really helpful. I think the next podcast maybe let's look at something like what is emotional safety? What does it look like? Because I think for wherever you're at to know how do I become or feel emotionally safe, how can I set an environment in my home or in my relationships or at work that's emotionally safe-

Alisa Grace: I love that. Great idea. Let's do it. 

Chris Grace: Okay. Well, it's good having you listeners out there. Thank you for supporting us and coming by and checking out our ministry of doing this.

Alisa Grace: Yeah. Check us out on our website at, and we'll talk to you next time.

Chris Grace: Talk to you next time. 

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to The Art of Relationships. This podcast is only made possible through generous donations from listeners just like you. If you like it and want to help keep the podcast going visit our website at and make a donation today.