I realized the other day that I have been thinking of boundaries in terms of big, complicated things; I am beginning to see it is more about small increments that build into bigger boundaries. I was in a meeting the other day and a member of the group wanted yet another group photo to put on Facebook. My good friend said she didn’t want her picture taken that day – another day it might have been different. Yet he insisted every one be in the photo even though my friend made it clear she wasn’t interested. I didn’t particularly want mine taken but I found myself ending up doing it because it was too much trouble make an actual move to stand out of picture range. Meanwhile, my friend went up behind the guy with the camera and I realized – she had created a boundary and STUCK to it while I didn’t. Creating boundaries happens in small increments and situations than some big broad barbed wire and fence way. It has given me pause ever since to look at situations in my life differently.
I think I am beginning to create boundaries without quite knowing it. A while ago I was talking with someone about politics – a volatile subject any time – and he began telling me what I think and believe. That bugged me, so I told him “Don’t assume you know what I think or will do!”. Most of my life I usually just kept quiet and let someone think what they like. My response came because this is a person I see every day and I suddenly was tired of having him decide what I think and want. So often it doesn’t seem like a big deal and not worth the expended energy to “set someone straight”. But I am beginning to think that when I do it with the small things, it builds into the bigger things where my integrity is involved. It is important to let people know it is not okay to walk all over me because I have something to say about it. I just had a picture come to mind of drawing a line in the sand – this and no farther.
I realize now a lot of it comes from not feeling worthy, not good enough or eligible to have boundaries. Other people did and certainly let one know when you came too close to the edge. Somewhere along the line I began to think I had no right to boundaries – if I even knew at the time what they were – just one more thing I lacked. In Ike Pono I began to learn that I take on other people’s emotions and that makes me feel really lousy. The trouble is, I want to help and that was the only way I knew how to help. Now I am more aware and I care, but not so much. I am not going to take on other people’s emotions to the detriment of myself. It is not my job to make people happy, to solve their problems or take on their emotions – I can sympathize and care, just not so very much any more. Our neighbor couldn’t find her cat for 2 days and was so upset and worried. I realized I was concerned but I was not going to take it on, go look for the cat and all that. Fortunately the cat came home and all was happy again.
I was working with Debye in a massage session and we talked about this because I am in a situation where it is very emotional and I feel myself being sucked into the emotions and I don’t want it to happen. I saw a picture while we were working – the calm side is smooth, light brown sand in the sunlight but there is a line. Crossing that line means suddenly dropping off into deep turbulent waters with dark stormy clouds that suck me into misery, depression and heavy gloom. Not boarding that bus! I find I still on autopilot and get sucked in to the emotions without realizing it at the beginning, but now I am more aware of it and working on recognizing what is happening. For me that is a big revelation and step for me.
I realize it is part of my upbringing of being “a good girl”, follow the rules, don’t answer back and don’t put yourself forward or think well of yourself. I see also it is part of giving my power away all these years rather than standing up for myself, not allowing someone to tell me how I feel or what I want. I know I have a need to please, I want everyone to like me and be accepted – at the cost of myself, my well being and denying who I truly am. Since I didn’t see myself as good enough, I didn’t think I had the right to my power – heck, I didn’t even know I had any. Eleanor Roosevelt has some really good quotes about life and one I particularly like is “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” It’s one that is uncomfortable to hear because it is so true, yet makes me think and see things in a different way.