Boundaries in a time of zero separation. How the $%@* do we do this?
“Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for – You.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Spoiler, I’m figuring it out as well.
You may have the plight of living alone. You may have the plight of living with housemates. You may have the plight of living with your significant other. You may have the plight of living with children. You may have the plight of living with children AND your significant other.
My loves, I salute you. Whatever your plight.
This time provided various and creative ways to be challenging, no doubt. And I’m not here to bestow wisdom from a Tibetian Temple (we ought to really listen to those people though), BUT I am going to tell you I hear, feel, see, and know some of your pain. And this is how I’ve decided to aspire to exist in the upcoming days:
- Truly let stuff go.
Ugh, I have such a hard time when people tell me to “let it go”. It seems like the person saying it doesn’t really care about my hurt and the other person’s actions. And that’s just the thing. Those are words of compassion and empathy, whether we can hear it or not. To sit and spin in resentment, regret, or retaliation is not empathetic nor compassionate to ourselves, and obviously not to the other party. HOWEVER, boundaries are incredibly important, especially right now. More on that in a bit.
- If you live with someone(s), declare time alone.
For parents, I bet this is supremely difficult; I’m not a mother so I feel I have no right to offer advice… nonetheless, here’s my offering. Go on a walk. Ask your partner/housemate to go on a walk; isolate (haha) in a room for 45 minutes. Get out of other peoples’ energy for a bit.
- Hold to your truth.
Quotidian Compromise, Truce Time, Boundary Babe– a few clever nomenclatures I just thought of. =D Ok, so Boundaries– standing in your truth while wanting to compromise to foster a more peaceful living environment seems like an oxymoron. That doesn’t have to be true. Let’s say someone you love snaps at you when you ask a question. This causes a feeling of hurt and anger. You can now recognize that a boundary has been crossed. When the two above strategies won’t work, I suggest setting a boundary. Here are a few lines/scripts which I’ve found helpful. Even if the other person doesn’t respond perfectly to your boundary, that’s not your responsibility and you will feel empowered and calm because you calmly held to your truth. (be aware of sounding condescending when setting a calm boundary, you’ll definitely be accused of it– still set it and remember that just because someone called you condescending doesn’t mean that you are).
“I love you, I care for you deeply, you know that. Please do not talk to me with that tone of voice.”
“I understand you’re stressed out and frustrated– I’m not ok with you raising your voice to me. Should we take some time apart so we can speak kindly to each other?”
“I’m sorry if it sounded like that, I’m trying to work out better ways to communicate with you.”
“I’m not going to debate this with you. I understand you’re upset. Maybe we should take a time-out and talk about this a little later.”
“I need to take a break from this conversation. I’ll talk to you another time.”
I hope this helps, please go love yourself and those around you. <3
“Boundaries represent awareness, knowing what the limits are and then respecting those limits.”
― David W. Earle