Boundaries... the idea used to be loaded with the idea of fear and anger and hurt. I saw boundaries as things that were prickly and excluding. I had grown up learning that boundaries equated to selfishness. That giving and all accepting was the only way to win approval and yet I wanted to be warm generous and connecting. Boundaries felt like the antithesis of where i wanted to place myself in the world.
And yet i found myself over giving, tired, resentful and going down dead ends in terms of what i did with my precious time.
So i began to learn. Watching friends who are clear, well boundaried and still kind. Learning from wise teachers like Pixie Campbell here and Randi Buckley here.
Now i see that boundaries are the part of my life that are leading to the most growth. Allowing me to flourish in the spaces that I want to. To shut down the things i least want.
My sense of boundaries have expanded what i think i am capable of. I can choose what I want.
I see them as a kindness and an act of generosity because it means i am truly who i am in the world. With this clarity People can choose to be with me in that or not. That is their choice. Not a meanness because they don't waste their time either.
I was up in the early hours of the morning thinking about how much of my time has been spent seeking others to maintain my boundaries. How i let others decide the meaning of my life.
How i felt responsible for the feelings of others. How hard it became when I was looking for good things to be injected by others because without boundaries i was not equipped to offer them to myself. How what it took was to have the boundaries and loyalty to self that ensure i had the conditions i required to step up for the life that i most wanted.
I was dabbling my feet in the awareness of how much time i had spent there... butting up against the glass of not being alive to my own need... seeing it on the other side of that glass, just there... if only it was given to me.
And what i was told by the deeper truth that arrived in my heart this morning was
"If you want milk don't go looking in the hen house."
If the milk of life is what i want i have been looking for it in the wrong place. The Hen house. Where the hens who want to scratch up grubs live. Nothing wrong with grubs or living in a hen house but if you want milk the hen-house is the wrong place to go. In this metaphoric hen house, other people get to choose what it is that lights up my life.
Deciding what you want can be hard enough in the world when you have learnt about being undeserving and unworthy.
But if you get as far as deciding you want milk and you keep yourself in the hen-house then you are always going to be disappointed.
I needed boundaries to ensure i could hone the use of my time. I needed to say a clear yes and a clear no. I needed to turn my attention to that which helped me get to where the milk is.
I want more than that. I want to gather up the truth of my heart and keep it safe, not keep trotting it to the hen house for approval.
I want that milk and I am hot on its trail.