Scratching the Surface

As I went about my Sunday routines, I had the realization that I’ve barely scratched the surface of who I truly am. This is both exciting and frustrating. There’s so much that I want to create and express.

Creating things willy-nilly isn’t all that satisfying, either. Part of the fun is in connecting with others. Of course, there’s also the issue of making a living.

Rather than fighting the form and structure, I’m learning from it. Boundaries have their uses, after all. Focus is the key.

Sincerely,

G.B.M

Having Courage and Strength

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I asked the I Ching:

“What can I do to have courage and strength?”

The answer was so powerful that I had to write it down in my journal so I could internalize it, and I also wanted to type it up on my blog to share it with you, because it’s just good advice in general.

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It is time to eliminate bad habits and behaviors and free yourself from relationships and situations that drag you down. Deliverance requires inner resolution and perseverance. You alone can save yourself. No one else can do it for you. But if you stay the course, people who undermine your self-worth or have an unhealthy influence in your life will see that you cannot be taken advantage of and they will withdraw of their own accord.

“Delivering yourself” means treating yourself with respect and developing a positive attitude toward who you are and what you do. Deliverance requires a narrative of redemption. It means believing in a vision of yourself and in a story of your life in which things can get better. If you hold fast to this vision and make this story your story, your life will indeed improve.

By believing in yourself and becoming committed to your deliverance, you will no longer attract harmful people, and you will no longer get yourself entangled in unhealthy behaviors and difficult circumstances that you could have avoided.

Jack M. Balkin, The Laws of Change

I need to stay focused on this message, because I need courage and strength in order to stay on the right path. After a lifetime of approval seeking and people pleasing, I finally know what it’s like to be free, but there are still backsliding and self-sabotaging habits that I need to be aware of. Only I can save myself.

Sincerely,

G.B.M.

Having Boundaries

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I’ve got my trusty mariner’s compass amulet (which is actually a defunct refrigerator magnet) by my side. I’m still “recovering”, you could say, from yesterday’s publication of my audio journal. It happened rather spontaneously, and shifted me emotionally. I couldn’t say those things and share it with the world if I wasn’t ready to change.

Strengthening Boundaries

It’s important for me to think about personal boundaries, and enforce them. I have to do that for myself. There’s a feeling of guilt when I do, but that’s a weakness that I want to strengthen. Not all ego is bad, but a weak ego is, in fact, a weakness, and weaknesses get exploited.

My weakness is in having and preserving personal boundaries. I respect other people’s boundaries and my own. I think it can be a win-win, but from now on I won’t be on the losing end of having boundaries.

Physical Boundaries

These boundaries are mostly internal, but they’re also physical, too. I think physically you can be flexible, because we all share this world, but use common sense.

It’s good to earn and have money so you don’t owe people financially, or feel like you have to weaken your physical boundaries because of money. With money, you can take up space in the world. Again, use common sense, but don’t be intimidated, either.

Emotional Boundaries

There are also emotional boundaries. You can’t let your good feelings be based upon external conditions, or you’ll be a slave to those conditions. You can cultivate and appreciate external things, but never let your happiness be based upon them.

I’m actually OK with not needing to have a lot of possessions, although I’m moving towards manifesting more physical things and situations that I enjoy. However, I can get attached to relationships, or to people’s good opinions, and much of my self-improvement is about unhooking from external validation.

Mental Boundaries

Mental boundaries are your principles, beliefs, and values. Deep down, you know what you’re about, and you know how to think for yourself, so you need to do that.

Think for yourself! Don’t let others tell you what to think about anything. Observe and find out for yourself. Figure yourself out. Define who you are.

Some people will try to control you with words, comments, opinions, and facts. You need to have your own repertoire of words, comments, opinions, and facts.

Nobody knows it all, and if someone acts like they do, don’t believe them. Learn from those who have ideas that resonate with your whole self.

Spiritual Boundaries

Speaking of self (which is what I consider the True Self), your spiritual boundaries are sacred and impervious to harm.

Don’t ever let anything get in the way of you and your True Self. Your True Self is the God within you, a part of the Source of all that is.

Without this connection, there will always be someone who thinks they’re more powerful than you, or that you owe them something, but if you know that you have a direct connection to your Source, you are invincible.

Sincerely,

G.B.M.

Being Right (and Letting Go)

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Recently, I’ve realized that — despite knowing better — it became more important for me to be right than to be happy.

I wanted to be justified and righteous in my anger, but holding on to anger only hurts yourself, as a wise person once said, so I’m letting go of my anger.

You have to ask yourself in an honest and sincere way, “Would I rather be right, or happy about this?” And respect whatever answer comes to you. Sometimes you need to be right for a while, until you get tired of it. Then you may realize that it’s more important to be happy than right.

There are some things that I still want to be right about, and it doesn’t matter to me how old the issue is, or how immature it seems for me to still be hung up on it. I respect that part of me that feels the need to be right, because I’ve learned that you can’t really repress your true feelings.

That part of us that wants to be right is really wanting to defend our boundaries and integrity, and that’s good. Of course, this wanting to be right can close us off from joy, peace, and happiness. Sometimes we don’t realize we’ve been unhappy for so long because we’re still holding on to the need to be right.

When I’ve gotten tired of holding on to my sense of rightness, I imagine that I’m letting it go, with love and respect, down a stream. If it comes back up again, I acknowledge it, respect it, and again let it go.

The true purpose of being right isn’t meant for it to be used as a weapon against someone else, but rather as a way for us to know what our boundaries are, and how we want to live and be.

~ GBM

image credits: Floating Away by Laura Pontiggia CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Being Vulnerable

I watched a great TED Talks video by Brené Brown called ‘The Power of Vulnerability‘, which is something I need to watch several times, because I’ve struggled with being vulnerable.

I think I’ve been confused about how to have healthy boundaries, while at the same time not creating an impenetrable wall to keep out the world.

Key points from the video I want to remember and learn more about:

  • Courage: telling the story of who you are with your whole heart, having the courage to be ‘imperfect‘.
  • Compassion: being kind to yourself, because it allows you to be kind to others.
  • Connection: being authentic, letting go of who you think you should be in order to be who you truly are, which allows you to connect with others.
  • Vulnerability: fully embracing and believing that what makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful and is a necessary part of life, willingness to do something without guarantees.
  • Shame: the fear of disconnection from others that may result from revealing something true about yourself, ‘I’m not ____ enough’, excruciating vulnerability.
  • Self-worth: believing you’re worth love and belonging vs. the fear that you’re not worthy.

Building Walls (And Tearing Them Down)

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Labyrinth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, for practical reasons, we need to build walls, but it’s probably a good idea to give it some thought as to whether it’s necessary to build walls or not, because even though walls keep things out, they can also keep things stuck inside. Walls have a way of blocking our view of things, and by having them we imply there are things out there we need to keep away. Walls can create a false sense of security.

When our personal boundaries are crossed, our reaction might be to build a wall to keep people out. At first this might seem to help, but if this becomes our usual way of dealing with conflicts, eventually we’ll surround ourselves with enough walls to create a labyrinth, and it’s a lonely place at the center of a labyrinth.

In one way or another we’ll learn that walls aren’t the solution to life’s problems. Either life will find a way to tear down our walls, or we’ll realize it’s not the funnest place to be, living behind walls.

Maybe a better solution would be to build walls if we have to, but at least make them inviting, with big windows to let in the light, and a nice door that we use often to let people in.

~ GBM