Boundaries as a tool for internal balance
Firstly, I apologise if it seems I am constantly banging on about the issue of balancing the masculine and feminine within. While the concept of internal balance can seem quite cosmic in nature, when I think about this in a very practical way, what I am essentially talking about here is BOTH the healthy and loving BOUNDARIES WITHIN (the two opposing poles of our self) and, consequentially, how that shows up for us in our RELATIONSHIPS with OTHERS. We have strayed a long way off the path when it comes to human relating, and the return journey has now become a personal inner passion.
At the very worst, we have a society who only knows and experiences relationship in a co-dependent way where we unconsciously ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY for the other while giving away the self. At the very best, there are those of us who are seeking and sometimes experiencing relationships as a more conscious vehicle toward wholeness while assuming responsibility for the SELF. When two people align in that way we can now experience a cauldron for the practice of LOVE IN ACTION and the true embodiment of love on the planet. Most of us, however, are playing somewhere in between.
Let’s explore …
For all the givers, empaths and servers in the world (and I am one of them), there exists among us a subtle DRIVE to CONTINUOUSLY CREATE balance. Most therapists and light workers will attest that their healing work and offerings to the world are born of SOUL desires, knowledge and understandings. I had such a massive soul opening when I started consciously practicing gratitude that I could not deny my enthusiasm in sharing these tools with others. The energy was simply available. To live “in service” is not usually an ego-driven decision. Nobody wakes up one day and decides to be a shaman! It’s more like a calling or mission offered down and we have graciously been receptive enough to hear the call.
But what happens when the drive to help in the world becomes CHRONIC and also CHIRONIC in nature? The concept of the ‘wounded healer’, developed by Carl Jung based on the ancient Greek myth of the centaur Chiron, speaks of those who are COMPELLED to treat patients because they as the analyst are also wounded. Research shows that about 74% of counsellors and psychotherapists have experienced one or more wounding experiences.
Our health systems are overflowing with practitioners who, if not very mindful of their internal boundaries, OVERCOMPENSATE on a daily basis in an effort to serve. The system is structured in a way that we have now become RESPONSIBLE for our clients’ wellbeing. We are now health workers who are energetically and emotionally overcompensating in relation to the other. Overcompensating, however, DEBILITATES those we serve and, more tragically, the SELF.
The same is true in intimate relationships. If we assume responsibility for the balance, wellbeing and happiness of our significant others by becoming OVERLY cooperative, we are now living with a DISTORTED sense of responsibility, otherwise known as co-dependence: co = two; depend = I need you; dence/dance = backwards and forwards.
In both cases, the pendulum of the psyche MUST swing back the other way. And what arises inside most co-dependent connections will be UNDER-COOPERATION, RESISTANCE and RESENTMENT. In the case of the health care system, the swing back can be seen with rising litigious/legal defence. Most health care providers now spend over 50% of caring hours in documentation to PROTECT to their own wellbeing. Unless we can consciously BALANCE the pattern of selfless giving, we will destroy the relationships that matter the most, burn out in the workforce or live in a polarised state of giving/resenting/giving/ resenting.
What is a boundary?
A boundary is the energetic communication of the soul. I’ll repeat that: a boundary is the ENERGETIC COMMUNICATION of the SOUL. In every moment, your soul is communicating ALWAYS. It is speaking BEYOND words. The drivers of SOUL communication are FEELINGS, FREQUENCIES, NEEDS and DESIRES.
A mother lion who has had enough of her playful cubs will not try to articulate that it is getting late and the sun is going down therefore they must start to wind down and stop climbing on her. Instead, she will FEEL the truth of what she is feeling (pissed off and tired) and resonate a lower frequency GROWL that communicates to her cubs, “THIS is MY boundary”. The cubs immediately FEEL this frequency and respond accordingly. There is NO confusion. Her communication is aligned, clear, loving and direct.
In contrast, a human mother can be nearing her exhaustion point at the witching hour and kindly ask her children to settle down. They do not hear her and keep up the excitement. She asks again in a more pleading tone, and then enters into a verbal intellectual discussion about how important it is for them to take responsibility at this time of day (projection) and pack up their toys. They STILL do not hear her. The conversation is had day after day after day. It’s groundhog day. What the children ARE hearing, however, are the undertones of her soul. And what her soul is communicating is, “I have no power here”, “my life is out of control” and “I don’t really matter”. Resentment and confusion set in. A child will either go into rescue mode at this juncture (co-dependence) or keep playing with their toys, for they are responding to the communication of the soul.
What’s needed here? Mum clearly has some work to do. She needs to access her own feelings of powerlessness and lack of self-value and feel them through to the bottom. She also needs to form a HEALTHY connection to her own ANGER otherwise it will seep into her kids in the form of projection, resentment and blame. She needs to BECOME THE LION and communicate her needs in a LOVING clear way while honouring the feelings she is feeling. For example, “KIDS, I’M ANGRY NOW! and this is what I need”.
By communicating your NEEDS from a FELT sense, you HONOUR those needs. As you honour your needs you honour your SOUL. You are also honouring the person you are in relation to. As you VALUE yourself, you AUTOMATICALLY value the other. As you hold EMPATHY for yourself, empathy for others comes naturally. In contrast, if you are unclear in your boundaries and giving mixed verbal and soul messages, it likely you are not honouring your OWN needs and therefore not taking RESPONSIBILITY for them. Confusion will reign.
Oh no, not you again!
So how do we get out of this loop? Usually, at play within the psyche of the wounded healer is the soul of the person who has created an IDENTITY out of taking responsibility for other people’s needs. The pattern usually begins in childhood, especially where one or more parent was less than nourishing or validating. We feel of VALUE to the world when we can help, rescue, and bring love and joy to another.
So, the quickest reboot will come when you take your attention AWAY from resentment, judgement, protection and resistance, and focus more on your relationship to your sense of SELF-WORTH. It’s by far the MOST IMPORTANT study you will ever do. And by study, I do not mean look at it and try to tap on or negotiate your way out of it. Neither am I suggesting affirmations of self-love or self-validation. What IS needed here is simply for this part of the psyche be FELT, ACKNOWLEDGED and OWNED. And here we have come full circle to the true blessing of RESPONSIBILITY which remains with the self and soul ALWAYS.
Once you have your internal drivers and motivations in check and at balance point, you can then successfully negotiate your own personal LIMITS and BOUNDARIES and move into your professional and personal relationships with FULL CAPACITY to love, help, support and be of service. The energies of resistance or resentment will no longer be niggling at your psyche. Personally, you will be validated by your OWN ALIGNMENT as you experience giving from a light-hearted perspective and a JOY in doing so.
The wounded healer is no longer running the show. Instead, there is a conscious soul making informed decisions while asserting healthy and loving boundaries for self and others. SOVEREIGNTY is maintained and self-love is governing. When we model SELF-LOVE, we cannot help but resonate this into our world every day, hour, minute and second. Our only responsibility now is to the self and to the frequency of LOVE experienced as a VIBRATION inside the body temple and expressed as joy, openness, creativity and freedom. Relationships will be harmonious. You are clear in your YES. You are clear in your NO. You do as you say and say as you do. Confusion and fear dissolve.
In a nutshell
RESPONSIBILITY: self first/others later.
SERVICE: from balance/or not at all.
IN RELATIONSHIP: love in action/alignment instead of rescue and overcompensation.
SELF WORTH: how healthy is it? Is my worth measured by how much I give?
Examples of healthy boundaries
NO, I can’t take responsibility for your feelings. I’m sorry you’re hurting, though.
NO, I can’t help you today, I have other priorities.
YES, I will take responsibility for my own feelings and not blame you.
YES, I can support you today and will happily do so.
Who do I need to create healthy boundaries with? (Tip: who are you resenting?)
Where did I give myself away? Why?
Matt Kahn: The end of sadness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olI5JvCuz44