Where is the line with you?
I am elastic
I want to go out
Of my way for you
I want to help you
- Björk Gudmundsdottir
2023 is supposed to be the year of boundaries for me. It's not as simple as drawing a line in the sand. I am kind, and I have noticed that if someone asks me for a glass of water, I generally give them the entire kitchen sink. Why? Because I am a people pleaser. The first rule of Boundaries Club is that you will disappoint people. The world will not fall apart. The tide will roll in and out and you will still have people in your life who care about you.
I need to please people because I am still that awkward little girl who carried a satchel to school. A satchel. Did you know I did not get my first backpack until after having children? It's all about perspective. Instead of embracing my unique qualities, I wanted to fit in. What are the advantages of being different? A satchel is very handy for swinging at bullies. I learned to stand my ground at a young age because I was different. Why cede any territory now?
Ani DiFranco sings in 'Joyful Girl' "because the world owes me nothing, and we owe each other the world." I take on so much responsibility, and perhaps this is a cause of many of my self-inflicted wounds. I believe I owe people dignity and treat them like human beings. I guess the line with me is not setting myself on fire to keep everyone warm. Nature has no expectations. The trees do not set growth goals. Ecologists are revising their view of nature being in balance. It's constantly in flux. We impact our environments, and our surroundings also affect us.
I am responsible for my choices. Being honest with myself is part of the boundaries journey. What role do I play in what is happening? How do I respect my needs without harming others? How do I create yes/and situations? Setting a boundary does not mean running roughshod over others. Thinking about my relationships as ecosystems can help me think more holistically about my interactions and establish spaces that make sense.
I have options. Even when horrible things happen, I can choose how to respond. I think about what is in my control and try to gain perspective on the situation. Lines in the sand get washed away. I keep trying to set boundaries against versus within.
I am grateful for the hard lessons. A comfort zone does not allow for much growth. I need to prepare the soil, remove the weeds and rocks, and add nutrients. Then I can successfully plant seeds and have a better chance of them taking hold and blooming.
It is time to shed my skin. The process will leave me raw and in a bit of pain. Shedding my old ways is critical to making new patterns. I will help myself. Where is the line? Always one step ahead. Namaste.