Boundaries vs. Containment – what is the white sandy beach to the ocean of your being?
I'll be the first to admit that I have boundary issues.
Sometimes my boundaries within myself – particularly when it comes to my own sense of identity – are very blury. Sometimes I have very real troubles with identifying where I begin and where my thoughts take over. Sometimes I have trouble grasping who I really am, what it means to be me and what makes me separate from my surroundings and the people in my life.
And other times my boundaries are rigid and hard. Sometimes the limits are as sharp as the edge of a knife. And sometimes the boundaries in my mind feels like they are separating me from the world as if I were living behind a soundproof plexiglass wall.
This is no different when it comes to personal boundaries. Sometimes I have so soft personal boundaries that they tend to melt and drip away. Sometimes I can be so easily moved by another persons emotions, thoughts or actions that I loose myself completely in them. And sometimes I am having a hard time separating my values from other people's values. My causes from other causes. My reasons from other people's reasons.
And it should come as no surprise that I also sometimes have very rigid personal boundaries. There are some areas where I will not be moved. There are some times when no one are let through the gates that keep watch outside my heart. On some areas, or in some situations, you will have a very hard time get through to me.
Personal space is another area where my boundaries are shady at best. Sometimes I'll move away from you as if you were the carrier of a very contagious virus. Sometimes I will cling on to you as I would never let you go – ever. And sometimes I will jump from one edge of the camp to the other, suddenly, without warning at all.
There is a lot of talk about boundaries these days. Saying yes, saying no, getting clear on your values, desires and never-to-do's-again. A whole lotta talk about how to set boundaries, oh yes.
But this time, let's put that aside for a moment.
Boundaries are good, I'm sure. (I think my therapist will be glad I wrote this).
But what if we stop thinking about limits and focus on containment instead?
Without a riverbank, the river is nothing but a flood.
The grass may be greener on the other side, but what keeps the meadow of your soul from overgrowing and spreading into the whole field?
Let's for once stop arguing about the glass being half-full or half-empty – and focus on what your glass is made of.
So boundaries aside – what are your river banks made of?
Who, or what, keeps you together? And what keeps you from spilling over?
Where boundaries is more like a dam – containment is like a white, sandy beach where the waves can roll in – and pull away – softly and graciously.
I want to know, where do your oceans wash up?
Right now – the four walls of my home, yoga and meditation, burning sage, surrounding myself with positive affirmations, the ebb and flow of the sunlight, my office space, the people I trust – are the components that make up the beautiful woven basket that holds all of my elements in unison.
I don't think much about boundaries, limits, yes's and no's these days.
I think about what fills me up from the inside.
What sustains me.
What keeps me together.
The praise for Feeling Good when Life is Hard is starting to roll in...
"What a sweet companion to have when we're on our knees. I wish I'd had Marthe Hagen's Feeling Good When Life is Hard many times in my life. When you're in despair knowing you're not alone, knowing there's at least a general common path to follow, and having wise words to turn to makes all the difference. This is what this book provides. In a world filled with "How to Be Happy" Marthe's book is a refreshing and important resource."
– Rachel W. Cole, Life Coach
...did you get yours yet?