Another good thing that happens when you’ve cleaned out the garbage of your psyche whatever choice of routes you took (therapy, recovery – 12-steps, guru, spirituality, deep meditation and contemplation, etc.) is that, well speaking for myself of course, I really want more of the good things in life. And that includes the people who I surround myself, the interactions and communications I have with others and the level of joy, respect, learning and fun that comes from the exchange in our relationship.
Years ago, we had a couple stay in our home for a weekend. I’d known the husband from high school days and had always enjoyed his company. Thinking because they had been married for a long time it had to mean they had a happy marriage –WRONG—we thought it would be a fun weekend. Well, as it turned out those two bitched at each other the entire weekend. David and I could not wait for them to leave. Cursing at each other, talking mean to each other, talking bad about each other behind their backs…yuck. I felt like our entire home needed to be disinfected. Today we socialize with other couples who truly enjoy each other and who treat each other with respect. We also have learned how to set better boundaries and have never invited anyone that we don’t really know into our home since then. Our home really is sacred ground that we want to respect. We also make it a point, most of the time, not to curse at each other, to be kind to each other and to not intentionally hurt each other.
In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, “The Mastery of Love” I love what he has to say about asking for the kind of love you want and setting boundaries. Here’s a small passage:
“In the track of love , you are giving more than you are taking. And of course, you love yourself so much that you don’t allow selfish people to take advantage of you. You are not going for revenge, but you are clear in your communication. You can say, “I don’t like it when you try to take advantage of me, when you disrespect me, when you are unkind to me. I don’t need someone to abuse me, verbally, emotionally, physically. I don’t need to hear you cursing all the time. It’s not that I am better than you; it’s because I love beauty. I love to laugh; I love to have fun; I love to love. It’s not that I am selfish. I just don’t need a big victim near me. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, but I cannot take responsibility for your dream. If you are in a relationship with me, it be be so hard for your Parasite, because I will not react to your garbage at all.” This is not selfishness, this is self-love. Selfishness, control and fear will break almost any relationship. Generosity, freedom and love will create the most beautiful relationship: and ongoing romance.”
Now obviously, this passage was taken out of context (Read the book, it is really good!)…because you need to know his definition of “dream” and “parasite” to understand what was meant in this passage, but I think you can get the general gist of what is being said.
My experience in setting boundaries is when you first start setting them, at least for me, it was uber uncomfortable! However, the more I set them the easier it got. In fact, it became more uncomfortable not to set appropriate boundaries where and when they were warranted. I do know that when you are setting them by vocalizing them if you are coming from a place of true love for yourself and the other person, they will “get” what your intention is even if they don’t completely understand what is going on initially.
It’s as if when we step up to play a higher game of being, we automatically encourage others to do the same. I mean, at least that is what has happened to me when people in my life have set boundaries with me but in such a way that I feel their love and respect for me and their unspoken belief that I, too, have a higher way of being.