For the last couple of months, who am I kidding, my whole life, really, I have been on a journey. At the center of that journey is me, my desire to know myself, give love, engage in mutuality with others and cultivate the space I need to grow into who I really am, uncover my gifts and offer them to the world. A big part of navigating all of that has been learning how to extract toxic patterns from my life and set healthy boundaries with myself and others. Notice I say extract patterns, NOT people.
People are inherently pure. People are inherently love. People are doing the best they can and trying to choose the experiences that they, themselves need to grow.
People are not inherently toxic but sometimes the energy and choices that they are aligning themselves with can be. Perhaps not even to them, who am I, really, to make that call? I'm certainly not their Soul. I do not know what experiences or even substances they may need to dance with for their own growth. All I can say without recrimination, is that the choices, substances and energies that some are entangled with, feel toxic to me. And that is where the bottom line lies, for me.
I cannot in good conscience and accountability to myself entangle with those energies. I will not foster connections based in misogynistic dynamics or distorted by substance abuse or bullying. Love the person yes, indubitably. And realize people have no choice but to embody the choices they make and as people with free will, we all choose to bring certain behaviors through our bodies and into our realities. To deny the effect that our decisions have on others is shortsighted at best, and can be selfish, abusive or even dangerous at times.
The point of relational boundaries is very simply this, distinction within the experiences of wholeness. There may be one energy ultimately a unified field of consciousness and that is manifesting through a billion and one flavors. Baskin Robbins ain't got nothing on consciousness!
Consciousness, whether acting in a conscious or unconscious way is full of variety, is full of choice, is full of possibility, none necessarily better than an other, just different.
Individuation is key in our journey into being a fully realized, loving, powerful, capable expression of that consciousness and that means a judicious use of our capacity and right to say, both yes and no, to patterns, activities, substances, behaviors and sometimes the people that are choosing to embody them. Health at all levels is a direct by product of individuation. We are not extensions of anyone or anything. We are whole individuals and a profound powerful part of our experiences here in this world, is our right to choose what and who, that journey needs to include. Sometimes that means we limit our time with certain people, sometimes that means we walk completely away. This does not mean that we cut off love from ourself or from an other, it means that we choose to let that love move in a way that is truly healthy and honoring for us.
A relational boundary is looking at what patterns I want to host in my body, in my life, in my reality. A healthy relational boundary is me taking accountability for how I feel, allowing another to have their experiences, no matter how unappealing or even awful those might appear to me, no matter how badly I may want to reach across time and space and choke or embrace them. I go back and forth on that one. Still human. Boundaries are not stagnant lines drawn in the sand, they are living breathing energetic agreements that truly allow individuation, communication and compassion to flourish.
Real compassion is me being responsible for my own feelings and experiences and ultimately my own happiness. I cannot be held responsible for any one else's feelings or experience. I can take responsibility for how my behaviors effect another and I can choose how to respond to another's behavior toward me. I cannot protect. I cannot save. All I can do is love. For that love to be authentic, it has to begin with me. I must honor love in the way that I need to feel full, whole and happy within myself and in my agreements.
Choosing congruent agreements is a powerful expression of choice and I will continue to feel my way into how that manifests moment to moment day to day. They cannot become stagnant or static. Agreements need to shift and grow with us, to be constantly negotiated and modified. Continued communication as a living function of agreements allow us to heal, change and grow individually and together. This will mean navigating joy as well as discomfort.
Living in happiness does not mean that nothing uncomfortable ever happens. Discomfort is a part of living a dynamic life, of being human. Living a life of happiness means that no matter what happens, I attend to myself, my needs with care and grace and as I do so, I become the best version of myself, my joy expands, my capacity to give as well as the way I show up for myself and others. I know when I say no to certain dynamics or leave a situation or relationship, it is with with mutual respect for all involved and with the intention to grow in authenticity and dignity. I know when I say yes to something, it is with wholehearted enthusiasm with which I engage. It is only with dynamic, healthy boundaries that happiness and can truly take route and flourish and our life can become a living expression of compassion.