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My take on boundaries

Hello & welcome back!

I recently read an article on boundaries which I didn’t agree with, but felt with the holidays upon us it was a timely topic.

I don’t necessarily believe in boundaries and I’ll tell you why. As I tried to implement them into my life a while back I felt a sense of defensiveness, on guard, and as though I was creating a separateness from those I loved and cared about. Even people I had to be around on a regular basis I wanted to learn cooperation and enjoy a peaceful existence not have more rules to follow. I knew my true nature sought love and connections and boundaries weren’t going to get me there.

Every time I accept someone or a situation I know instinctively and immediately what to do and how to handle it. I want to be clear acceptance doesn’t mean you love, agree or understand; it means you see clearly what is in front of you without attaching a story to it. Acceptance is factual not judgmental. When you feel negative emotions it means you have made it about you and created a story.

Boundaries hold others responsible for how you feel and keeps you in resistance, wanting, wishing, or demanding someone or something be different than what is. Boundaries say the situation or person is unacceptable, I want you or it to change so I can feel better, but that isn’t how life works. It is arrogant to want another to change to appease you, even if you feel you are being abused. It is better to accept a person as is and if it is so awful accept it and decide what to do about it, instead of continually forcing change or hoping for it, get the heck out of there. When you are able to accept fully you will have no emotional attachment, so if you do leave a relationship you will feel neutral. In other words you can’t accept and still be pissed off. True acceptance doesn’t include emotions, good or bad, as a matter of fact it is drama free and the complete opposite of boundaries and resistance.

Your emotional turmoil stems from conditions you place on people and things you have no control over. It means you have attached an emotional story that has decided another has to behave a specific way for you to be happy, but with acceptance you can be happy regardless of how another behaves. When we take responsibility for our feelings we know no matter what happens, no matter how anyone is, we will be just fine, no lightening bolt will strike. 

When we tie others behavior into how it will make us look or feel, we are taking it personal and have assigned negative meaning to it. Even if you feel embarrassed it is better to accept your embarrassment then continue resisting the person or situation. By accepting another doesn’t mean they get to walk all over you nor does it excuse their behavior, but through acceptance you will know exactly how to handle or deal with the person or situation without getting emotionally invested. You will act or not, either way your actions will come from a grounded place. 

The article went on to suggest you approach the person you set boundaries with in a loving and caring manner. I believe the most loving and caring thing you could do, for anyone including yourself, is accept the person as they are opposed to trying to mold them to be how or who you want them to be. Even if you believe it is in their best interest, just accept where they are. It is your illusion, made up story, or fantasy. Boundaries are conditions placed on relationships and I also consider it a backward concept. The concept states you have to be a specific way in order for me to accept you, love you, or be happy with you. In reality acceptance comes first, people or situations show up, you accept it as is, and then you decide what, if anything, to do.

Life is about free will to choose what is best for you. Anything undesirable or that effects you negatively you can either influence change or leave. After all rain is just rain it isn’t personal, yet our thoughts make it so by assigning positive or negative meaning to it.

Practice acceptance by choosing a person you are having difficulty with and write down exactly who they are by using fact based words only, not emotional words or stories. When I did this I drew a stick figure and wrote the traits around the drawing. Record all their traits, don’t judge the traits as right or wrong, good or bad. This isn’t about picking the person apart, but a way to just see them without emotions getting in the way. After you complete the list look at it as though it were the real person. Accept this is who they are, understand they can’t or won’t change, at least not in this moment and maybe never, decide right now what are you going to do about it. How can you guarantee, if you decide to be in their presence again, to keep your emotional well-being in tact, how can you remain feeling good? Your life is your process, it is about how you are going to show up in it, your life or happiness is not determined by how others show up.  

Have a very happy and safe holiday! Much peace and love ~ Sandy

Copyright 2013 by Sandy Lucas

 

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Get out of your own way

Hello and welcome back!

When we believe our negative thoughts and attach our identity to them there is a ripple effect that stretches far and wide. By taking the negative thoughts and believing that what they say is the truth of who we are we bolster the energy behind it which is toxic to ourselves and others. Whenever you feel anything but love, joy, and peace you are living from these thoughts, from a false sense of self. To understand the warning signs we need to recognize when we form any kind of negative judgment, feel strong emotions, and use the words, should, shouldn’t, must, mustn’t, never and always we are building a dam and stopping life’s flow. Labels are another tell tale sign we are in life’s way. The labels we either assign to ourselves or heard from others and believe they are the truth about who we are leads us on a downward spiral and further away from our true selves. When we believe these labels and negative thoughts or the stories our minds spew we doubt our abilities, we second guess our decisions, we make excuses out of fear, we suffer, and feel powerless. These negative thoughts make everything so complicated that we eventually disconnect completely from the truth. Instead of questioning or not believing this insane mind chatter we support this false identity by using emotions to emphasize the truth behind these negative thoughts. “It’s raining, now my picnic is ruined.” Feeding this inner thought pattern means you believe the rain is somehow your or someone else’s fault and lash out. Allowing our thoughts to immobilize us of having a loving and peaceful life permits the cycle to continue going round and round creating more and more inner and outer dysfunction.

For an even better understanding I’ll go back to when the thoughts began. The ego needed conclusions, answers and reasons, to our experiences that we tied strong emotions to. Due to these reactionary conclusions the ego designated a self-image, believe it or not, to keep us safe. What causes us to get in our way of who we really are is when we believe we are this false self and that we need saving. We’ve been brainwashed by our own thoughts. If we all knew the simplicity of life, and how we are here to cooperate and help each other there wouldn’t be all the drama that people have gotten addicted to. We are love, peace, and joy. That is the truth, everything else was made up to somehow protect us, but caused destruction instead.   

The way to get us back to our true selves and release the chaos and stress these thoughts created is to deal with facts only. Leaving off the verbs, the second half of sentences. For example with the above sentence, “It’s raining,” by leaving off the judgment, “now my picnic is ruined”, leaves a gap, it allows an openness, a space for solutions. By not tying a story, verbs, or emotions to the truth allows only the truth to emerge. “It’s raining.” You lessen the hold these thoughts have on you by simply not believing “now it’s ruined” just see it as a story, a judgment, your mind created. The true self accepts the rain and finds a solution or makes the best of the situation. The false self gets in its way with emotions, negative thoughts, and a story. 

Here is a formula for any thing you want to be better prepared for or whatever you find undesirable and want to change without using a story or emotions. By using the five “W” words; why, what, when, where and who to your planning or desires. Use it, apply it, practice it until you simply plan without excuses, or self-doubt, or second guessing yourself or getting wrapped up in stories and emotions.

I’ll give you a general example. Let’s say I want to plan Thanksgiving. Why am I planning? I am planning for the Thanksgiving holiday. When? Two months from now on Thanksgiving Day. Where? At my daughters house one hour away. What? I will bring dessert, I’d like a new outfit, and would like to bring small gifts or plan activities for the children. Who? There will be eight adults and four children. And since I’m bringing dessert I know one loves pumpkin pie and another likes apple. No emotions involved, just a simple plan. I can now get out my calendar mark the date and make a list for the needed purchases I can pick up over the next couple of months.

 

Let’s say your planning for a new job. Why am I planning? I am in the process of getting a new job. When? My desire is to have a new job within the months. Where? Anywhere that is fifteen to thirty minutes travel time, one way.  What? I will spend one hour or less today updating my resume and print off several. I will search the area for possible employment opportunities until I find one. Who? I will let others know of my search. I will use a hiring agency if necessary.   

Notice how emotions don’t play a role when  you use this formula. There is no talking yourself out of anything. It is action oriented versus emotionally driven. Give it a try. What do you have to lose, except the stress those negative thoughts create! Hooray! 

Peace ~ Sandy

Copyright 2013 by Sandy Lucas