Below you will find a deeply personal account of what my life looked like in 2012. This is but one mere part of a book that I am writing. There is no wise advise to take from this, no conclusion to this story -- it is but part of a bigger whole. Enjoy.
Boundaries, what the hell are those?
In my words and current understanding (which is still a evolutionary work in progress) boundaries are the parameters in your life -- it is the line we draw in our existence as to what we are willing to have in our lives, and what is a dead set ‘no’.
Boundaries, in my earliest memories of exploration were 1st introduced to me by Louise Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life. She specifically talks about the word “NO” and says that “by saying no to you, I am saying yes to me”. That sentence has never left my brain as it struck a deep chord within me.
Boundaries mean saying "No". Boundaries mean that we have explored what we are willing to tolerate in our lives and what we are not. We have explored what we as individuals need and require in order to thrive in this lifetime, which of course also means that we eliminate that which suffocates us.
When I read Louise Hay’s words I was 20 years old, and studying nutrition at SAIT. It was a transformative year for me. It was the 1st year that I started to slowly grasp what Self-Love meant. It was the year that I consciously remember dedicating myself to this topic, not only for myself but for the humans on this planet. This was a year that I started to find my voice, I discovered my deep passion for nutrition, and learned that I was in fact smart. I excelled in my nutrition studies and on the sidelines I was wildly dedicated to my own growth. I would spend all of my hours reading my school books on food and anatomy and all of my spare time reading Louise Hay, A Course In Miracles and literally any other self-growth book I could get my hand on.
Not much has changed.
I had no idea then but I would be in for a wild ride when I would find myself in a relationship that simply did not honour a single boundary that I had. Perhaps, looking back, I didn't really know what my boundaries were as I had never felt I had a need to get strong and fierce on them -- no one disrespected me the way this person did. And yet, I look back bigger picture and I can see that perhaps the blatant disregard this relationship had on my boundaries was merely an opportunity for me to look in the mirror and evaluate what I wanted in my life because, to be really honest, I can see with full vision now that my boundaries were leaky and messy and non-existant in all aspects and all relationships I engaged in.
I didn't know how to say no. I didn't know who I was or what I wanted. I could not see where I ended and my family began. My relationship was fucking toxic and a giant mess and I was forced into a corner, by my own lack of self-loving boundaries. I wasn't fierce in self-protection -- I didn't even know what that meant. I was sloppy. I was energetically leachy. Drama filled me up and felt deeply comfortable to me, as dysfunctional as that is. Yelling and conflict felt like ‘home’. Picking sides and gossiping felt grounding, as long as I was not the one that was being talked about. If the tables turned in the direction of the alliances aimed against me I would hustle for approval; people not liking me or my choices threw me into panic.
It still does to be honest. Separating myself and living a life according to my values and the way my heart and soul work is a daily challenge for me.
Letting You go in order to honor Me hurts my heart every day.
I’m certain it will get easier. In the grand scheme of life I think I lost my ability to create and uphold boundaries at a very young age and did not regain the skill until I was about 29…. Im 32 now, so I think patience my be required. Its still a new skill and Im rather rusty at it. But I am fucking dedicated to figuring this one out, my sanity depends on it because when I worry about what you think and I find myself hustlin' in my own heart for your love it poisons my outlook on life, it stifles my growth and leaves me feeling deflated and broken.
Saying No has been an equally difficult and empowering lesson.
On June 18th, 2012 in my journal I have a page that is called “Relationship Boundaries” (this self-exploration was done 3.5 months before I started in therapy -- before I was told by a professional that task #1 would be boundaries) on this page a drew a big circle and wrote words on the inside of the circle and on the outside of the circle. What is drawn on the inside were the characteristics that I wanted or would tolerate in a relationship. On the outside were the things I would not tolerate.
It is the saddest circle I have ever seen.
Inside my circle on June 18th 2012, 3 weeks after the volatile and violent break up I wrote:
On the outside of this circle I wrote:
This circle was not a random-shot-in-the-dark collection of words. What is listed on the outside of that circle was the reality of my life, what was listed on the inside if the circle was my pipe-dream. This was not so much a boundary circle as it was a reality check.
How did I let this all slip so badly? How did I find myself it such disfunction? I was never that girl. I would have never ever pegged myself into something so drastically unhealthy. And yet, there I was -- seemingly unable to get the hell out. Of course I could see that this circle was unbalanced and on such a wild scale of low expectation -- did I not expect or want more from my life? How was I so unable to let go and walk away when I could clearly see the disease of this relationship. This fucked up situation was eating my soul and leaving me the living dead.
I will never know what the fuck happened, I can only peg it as a sacred contract between me and him -- one that was designed for me to fall into such profound self hatred that I would have no choice but to look in the mirror and grow… or die. When I am centred I can thank the bigger picture and see the lessons but it took me alot of fucking anger to move past this one. Who knows maybe its just an everyday story of narcissist sociopath; it was a dangerous situation regardless of how I look at it.
Something somewhere along the way happened in which I handed all of my power over to another human being all the while idolizing them and losing my own sense of worthiness breath by breath until one day I would be forced to draw the saddest boundary circle I have ever seen.