Creating Healthy Boundaries

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“When confrontation arises, we face it without aggression. When someone opposes us, we do not give in to anger. We view no one as a competitor because we do not seek our own way.

We know our strengths and we know our weaknesses. We use them each for benefit. We are not trying to fix ourselves or others so we move naturally and easily along our path.” –Tao Te Ching (translation of verse 68)*

Sometimes, you just gotta walk away. Take a deep breath, and take some steps back. Are you dealing with someone that you still want in your life but your relationship isn’t quite meshing? Have you been trying to convince them of a point of view, an attitude, a new way of being, a belief? There are times when no matter how many words you say, conversations (or arguments) you have, a person will not change their view. And that’s okay! Instead of getting stuck with spinning tires, lay off the gas, and turn the motor off! Breathe. I’ve been learning and practicing this essential trick for the past few months with my family.

Here’s a secret to letting go: realize it’s not the person that you are walking away from- it’s their behavior. I struggled with that concept for a long time until Dave led me to a personal epiphany. So many times people are quick to judge. Quick to doom a situation. Quick to give up and think that they have to get rid of the person that they are in conflict with. Yep, that’s where I was! In my mind, I was never going to have my family back, because they will never change, and the only solution to heal the pain then was to detach completely. And that felt pretty crappy. I still yearned to talk to my family and remain in close connection.

I had to give up what was in my way since they weren’t willing to give up what’s in their way.

It didn’t take me long to drop all my “nevers”. Why worry about some invisible future that may or may not happen? I held onto my mindset of being in the now. Right now. No other moment. Not in the past or the future. Eckhart Tolle sums it up quite well- “What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.”

Sometimes it’s crazy hard to let go, and just be in the present moment. Therefore, it’s even more difficult to create those healthy boundaries! Typically, you remain trapped on the hamster wheel, spinning faster, and faster, (coming up with more and more arguments as to why “you’re right”) and eventually, your legs run out of stamina and you’re flung off and splattered against a wall- defeated.

If you’re truly dealing with someone you authentically care about, show them! The greatest gift you could give them is a boundary! With a boundary, you can still communicate. In my case, the boundary was not physically seeing my parents because they refuse to acknowledge Dave. That hurts both of us. Yet, I created the possibility of still being as close, and loving as I can to them. I call my mom often, and we chat for hours! We haven’t exchanged gifts in about 3 years…last year was the first! I could speak with my dad more easily, too. What it boils down to, is that I can just be myself.

After all, when you’re just yourself, your completely honest self who’s not trying to resist, not trying to change, or feed into drama or create it, who could hurt you?

Beauty reigns in simplicity. It all starts with a conversation. Talk to the person you care about that you feel you have to create a boundary with. Stand firm in your belief. If the other person becomes angry, or sad, remember to not take it personally. They have a right to their feelings, too! It’s also healthy to let them express everything they need to. There will come a point in the conversation when those options are exhausted. There will be an energy shift where you feel a mutual understanding being reached. This is a good place to end the conversation peacefully. Express your care, and love for that person, and hopefully they will return it back. After this, all following conversations should be easy.

How can these boundaries be overcome if one person isn’t willing to budge, yet continues to be civil and close, but distantly?

I’ve come to believe, with Dave’s insight, that if the person in opposition truly cares, and feels that they want to reestablish a connection, or mend some aspects of the relationship- they will. They will be the one to come to you to mend some broken fences. (I have yet to experience that, fully.) But! I am happy to say that that has happened with an Aunt of mine. Dave and I are becoming closer with her, and the feeling is amazing!

Pro Tip: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever blame the person that you’re upset with. When you blame someone, you make them wrong. In situations like these, no one is right or wrong. Keep that in mind when attempting to work it out.

Hold a space in your mind, in your heart. Your boundaries won’t last forever, but in the meantime, they will be healthy!


 

*Image result for a path and a practice by william martinQuote taken from one of my favorite, most influential books- A Path and a Practice by William Martin.

 

 

 

Flow Like Water, Sing Like Wind

“The best way to live is to be like water. For water benefits all things and goes against none of them.”

“One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things. He moves in harmony with the present moment always knowing the truth of just what to do.”

-Tao Te Ching- Verse Eight

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Go with the flow. A statement so simple and clear. One that’s given in abundance, and yet unbelievably difficult to achieve when you get swept up in the hurricane of life. You could be spinning and spinning, and resisting the entire way. In resistance, you won’t find peace. In order to catch up with yourself and your life it’s essential to let go. My recent experience with a stray cat and a scare with rabies is a prime example.

My boyfriend, Dave and I decided to take in a stray cat who we’ve been seeing on and off for a few months. He is not neutered and presumed to have been part of another human family at some point due to his affection. We got minor bites. We then chose to take him to the vet to get him checked and get him a shot for rabies. And so, we did and when at the vet, the woman that took care of “Ghost Kitty” as we’ve been calling him, recommended we go to the ER or urgent care immediately as we got bit prior to the visit. Well, we didn’t think that was appropriate because we were required to keep the cat quarantined for 10-14 days and if he were to pass away, then we’d know he’d have rabies. Two days after this visit, I got unpredictably bitten extremely hard on the leg. Naturally, fear set in and then I debated on getting the rabies vaccine again, but was tortured because I wasn’t sure it was actually necessary and I was concerned for Ghost. For three or four days I travelled this roller coaster of worry- “Am I okay?” “Will I be okay?” “What do we do now?” “Is the cat going to live?” etc. I felt physically weary and mentally worked up for these days and even lost sleep.

To make a long story short, Dave and I did decide to get the vaccine and a day before that, I decided that in order to feel better, even before the shots, I had to let go of the fear that was gripping my mind. Basically, my mind was the only thing that was torturing me. It really was a case of mind over matter. Once I shook the feelings of nervousness, all of my physical stress vanished. Even better, once Dave and I had the first round of shots, we felt totally assured that we were fine, the cat was fine, and life can move on. We chose to move on and live! There was no sense in worrying.

That being said, there’s a smaller example that I’ve been struggling with on and off and that’s with money. I don’t have a steady job right now that is bringing in income. I’m working on a freelance website for editing, but those jobs are hit and miss. I’m working with my boyfriend at his storage business, but we only get one or two days a week there, and I have an ebay store and sell stuff, but that’s also hit and miss. In order to not get “stuck” in the corporate world of, “work your ass off every day just to get by”, I’m not running out and applying for any job that will get me that quick buck. Now, if I were living at home, I’ll admit I’d most likely be doing that…I must consider myself considerably lucky to be living with Dave and having him help me out every step of the way. Anyway, again, I realized I can’t keep freaking out that I haven’t as much money as I’d like. That’s totally in my control and it’s up to me to make that happen if I want it to. Along with no one doing that for me, I know that if I constantly worry, I will get nowhere either. Going with the flow and dealing with what is currently in front of me is all I can do.

Life is in constant motion; you and I are in the flow daily. Within that larger flow, we are in our own personal flow that we constantly create. Today, and every day I wish to flow like water and benefit myself and those that are around me in a blissful and peaceful state. I’ll admit, I’m not an expert at this yet; I lose my patience frequently, I rant when I’m upset over a circumstance that isn’t going in my favor, and I’ll often become negative about a situation/task if I become stressed over it. Yet, I am working to eliminate all of those behaviors. Dave is being a tremendous help to me as are those I choose to have around me. Positive friends with good vibes can get me there all the way!

So, how can YOU go with the flow today? What’s on your mind that’s bothering you? Is there a situation you’re in right now ether in your personal or work life that is just slowly chugging along and you feel like you won’t make it up that hill? If so, just pause, breathe, and realize that all things come to pass. Let the worry drain away and notice that you are in control, and if you feel that you are not in control, you can release the unnecessary tension and drama to better live a life where you can flow like water and sing like the wind that blows free over mountains, oceans, plains and valleys. Find peace with whatever you’re dealing with and think positive! Tell yourself, “Nothing can bring me down!” Deal with what comes as it comes with a peaceful heart and there will be no trouble. Life is a progress— a progress of steps, accomplishments, and failures. All of which are organic. Stress and anxiety are not organic. So, let go and go with the flow!

Namaste!