In a moment of silence, I had an idea which will come to fruition in 2022. Here is a sneak peak.
Once upon a time, a person struggled with their boundaries. They were very concerned about the opinions of others and swayed back and forth, helpless against the onslaught. Or so they thought. Helpless? Really? Is your mantra not, “You’re the boss of you?” What was happening here? They took a moment to be still and took three deep breaths. “Am I truly helpless?” they asked themselves. “Why do people’s opinions matter so much to me?” They reflected on an amazing post by Yinka Ewuola about feedback and from whom they wanted to receive feedback. They decided right then and there, “if they do not like me, then I am thinning the herd. My energy is too precious to squander it trying to seek the approval of others when I only need to approve of myself.”
“Am I happy here?” Perhaps they had put up the wrong boundaries, keeping everything out including joy. In trying to protect themselves, they had inadvertently also blocked joy and happiness. How would they be able to let their light shine and illuminate others if they were too worried about being burned? As they continued their meditation, they tried to remember a happy moment. It was a light-hearted moment with family gently joking with them. They laughed and laughed at the memory, unable to form coherent sentences. “Ah! Connecting with other people and accepting who I am brings me joy. However, if I am too afraid to interact with them, I will not be able to enjoy the collaborative spirit.” They realized their fear of judgment was making their world smaller.
They took a good hard look in the metaphorical mirror. How did they learn this story? They remembered another brilliant insight from Alan Ibbotson about resolving conflict which was to Assume Benign Intent. Perhaps that was the key to the conundrum. They remembered their child kicking and screaming when their parent tried to brush their hair. The parent only wanted to help and planned on being very gentle, but the child did not assume benign intent and put up a fight. How much easier it would be if the child allowed the parent to help them and teach them. How many other stories were causing them to miss out? “I’m the only person dimming my light” they realized.
It was a hard truth to hear. As they sat in their bubble of invulnerability, they realized they would have to set up new boundaries. The boundaries would need to be semi-permeable to allow collaboration. Yes, that would mean being vulnerable. It was nice here in their meditative space. They had shut out the entire world and were deeply focused on their breath. Their breathing had calmed and a sense of languor and ease washed over them. When they slowed down, everything was clear. They knew what to do. The question is, would they do it? Would they truly be the boss of themselves or fall prey to the whims of other people’s opinions? In this adventure the choice is yours. What are they going to do?
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