----------- soulful transformation through the stars. -----------

24 Aug 2010

boundaries

our property, like every other in the known world, comes with boundaries. we know where our land starts and ends, and so do others. but we have no walls. that is, anyone can enter.
the message is, we're not afraid, we're welcoming, but i'm not going to be okay with you using my front lawn for a BBQ, 'kay.

without emotional boundaries we look up one day to find we have become doormats, or we're going unheard, or we're being taken advantage of, and so on.


a friend recently set up some boundaries. that is, i feel that this is what she's done. i feel that in her mind they are 'appropriate boundaries'. but with the subsequent consequences of this i see that what she's built are walls.

walls protect us, and walls are also barriers.

connections of value as well as soul growth do not occur with walls up.

now i'm not saying building up walls is a bad thing. on the contrary, sometimes it's essential.
we are not all capable of soulful connections or ready for soul work.

if we have the experience of paranoia, disliking being vulnerable, afraid of facing our Shadows, belief in a loss of personal power, or lack of trust with the world, well then, we cannot live without constantly putting up protective barriers.

those feelings, experiences, and beliefs, must be dealt with before a person can jump on the deep soulwork train. and when i say 'must' i never mean should, but rather it doesn't work any other way.

a person i know where i live doesn't like me. she could have set firm boundaries and we could get on civilly as we mix in our mutual circle. but she chose a strong, high, wall instead. she believes it's the only choice. worse, and spiritually a not so good thing, she encouraged a mutual friend to do the same. passing her fears to another through subtle emotional manipulation - you have doubts? see, put up a boundary now. behind those words - i'm afraid, this is how i react in fear, if you do the same i am justified.

so, while boundaries are very very good, i do wonder if someone using the term is referring to a healthy line, or a barrier. if they're referring to fleeing, running from facing something or someone, denial, or cutting themselves off from possibilities. it's not the walls that are a problem, but the thinking that walls are the same as appropriate boundaries.

walls are an external crutch that do work. but while we feel safer and thereby happier for a bit, there is always an underlying lingering bad taste. walls provide safety, not peace.

many of us have need to learn the empowerment of setting boundaries. how many of us are aware of needing to learn softness?

thing is, boundaries empower us, and others. walls keep us safe, until we're ready to face the world, including our own inner selves. but they have nothing to do with self-empowerment.

9 comments:

  1. oh such a good post, am thinking about it now and nodding and feeling those words xx

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  2. Interesting perspective. I suppose it's part of human nature to form boundaries. We have a need to also keep to ourselves and allow only certain individuals into our world. Some physical walls can be good to create more intimacy and create some personal space. Also they can be good to distract the eye from visual clutter - it maybe even be children ;)
    Does she have small kids? Probably not.
    Try not to look at it so negatively, maybe it will create a better relationship with you both as neighbours if you do add some separation - does that make sense... ;)
    I would try to just go with the flow and suggest that maybe she plant some ivy in between the stones to soften the look. It can be very pretty actually once a little green is added. (you can just do that on your side even ;).
    I hope my perspective will create a little peace in your neck of the woods (and stones) ;D
    Hugs.

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  3. intersting post.. i've recently been doing both i think, and for the first time it does feel empowering as opposed to keeping me safe.. perhaps it's just taken me a long time to learn the difference and act on it.. to find that balance, and also to realise that there doesnt have to be one rule for all.. it's about flexibility and trusting ourselves!

    I feel that in building boundaries with those people who see me as a doormat - and its taken some time, in respect of continuing to have a relationship with those concerned.. rather than ending the connection.. and i'm the one who has allowed this with certain people over the years leading to that feeling of being deeply unheard - these boundaries are in turn helping me to drop my defenses.. to break down the barriers i've built and, again in turn, allowing me to learn to have more respect for myself and others.. learning to trust.

    i too find what Sarah said is very true.. in that i feel that some people put up boundaries against me, as a way of rejecting the triggers that are set off by our relationship.. i think we all do at some point/to some extent.

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  4. Wow...a powerful post Mon! I thoroughly dislike that a mutual friend has done the same...urghhhh. A good learning post for me. xo

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  5. i think i'll have to ponder what you are pondering a bit...

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  6. This is a good one for me since I have struggled with setting boundaries. And, I have definitely also put up walls in order to feel safe at times.

    I'm still learning. I said no yesterday, which was an assertion of a boundary for me. It was very difficult for me to do, but I did it. It feels like a small victory, but I still feel uncomfortable having done it. I needed to be able to potentially disappoint another (which I hate doing -- the part of me that needs the approval of the "other") instead of abandoning myself.

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  7. I love the distinctions you make here about walls and boundaries. I understand and agree with you. I put up many, many walls in my past because I was ... scared. Scared of me, scared of everyone, scared of the world. It is only recently -- gosh, in the last year or two -- that I've begun to accept and understand my own fears, and this has helped me perceive others differently and with more compassion, which has in turn helped me understand that walls are unhealthy, not just for me, but for the world. Walls so often contain negative energies (fear, anger, frustration) reverberating outwards, and I feel this robs us of good energy. It takes much more work to be negative than to be positive, if that makes any sense. I think I read this somewhere.

    Boundaries can be healthy, you're very right, and lately I like to think of my boundary as a big clear wall ... as empty energy ... I read this somewhere too ... I empty myself of energy and set it aside for the time being when I don't want others to pick up on my energy or to feed off of it (really helpful when I'm upset or angry ... it helps me calm down and see the 'larger' picture).

    I'm sorry about your friend. This happened to me about two years ago when Jeremy and I moved in together. A close friend set up walls, and I was so, so hurt ... for a long time. Dreamed about her the other night. I understand, but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. I want for people to be open, compassionate, understanding ... but often it seems it's so much to ask for from others. Hurt is so deep, and people learn to react by hurting others in unnecessary ways, ways that hurt them too.

    Much love and peace,

    Juliana

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  8. In my last paragraph, I should have said this in the past tense (not in the present because this looks confusing): "I understood, but it doesn't mean it didn't hurt ... that she rejected my friendship so openly."

    xo

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  9. great post and comments, no time to elaborate now, but thanks:-)

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