February 2005, Message of the Month
January brought thoughts of setting intentions and re-evaluating who we are and what we want.
This month, that celebrates an international day of love, I thought it would be helpful to address the challenging idea of balance. The balance I speak of is one in which we make healthy boundaries with the people closest to us in our lives, but also continually have flexibility in accepting and loving those around us. Often people struggle with anger or an angry reaction to the actions of others around them, especially when boundaries are not respected.
Our own anger stems from feeling as though someone has done something to hurt us or has acted with complete lack of regard for us. This comes from an expectation we have built of how others “should” act or be. Often, it is our own interpretation of the events that seem to indicate we have been wronged in some way. The most powerful tool I have learned in the process of re-creating my family and indeed my life after divorce is to change my perspective when thinking about events in my life.
When relating to my parenting partner there is always room for misunderstandings, heightened sensitivities due to past experiences and having the occasional bad day. I have, over the years, learned to step back from a particular interaction and look at it from a different point of view. I always have choices. I can clarify boundaries if they have been breached in some way. If I have breached a boundary I can correct it and take responsibility for my actions and clean up in the relationship.
If it is a recurring issue we still have choices in any situation in life. We get to choose our reaction to any situation by referring back to our vision of ourselves and making sure our actions are in alignment with our vision. Most often, animosity spirals because both partners are engaging in angry conversations and are reactionary to one another. This leads to more anger.
The frequently illusive key is to define for oneself when to hold to boundaries and when to let go and continue to know not to take others’ actions personally. This is not an easy task that I describe. It is tremendously important to realize that this line of balance between holding boundaries and letting go with flexibility or my favorite word “surrender” is constantly in motion and change. We are always readjusting this invisible line. Another important factor is having the quiet to go within and decide where your peace lies and what you are willing to live with or what truly serves you. This does not mean you are choosing things to hurt others or have a complete lack of regard for those around you. However, all we owe those around us is to be well ourselves, as we do this we give those around us permission to do the same. This means we are all interconnected and we all need to realize we all want the same things in this life; to be loved, valued and to belong.
If we truly recognize this and operate from this understanding there will be less opportunity for misunderstanding and therefore an opportunity for more peace.
Find where your healthy boundaries lie and continue to adjust them as issues arise in your family and indeed everywhere in your life. Look at your vision of yourself and keep your actions in alignment with your beautiful vision.