I’ve recently been in a tight space… feeling like I can’t breathe, mind racing, head aching, low energy… I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel. Round and round, going nowhere. Very frustrating!
The thoughts that are haunting me are ones that I’ve held onto for years – decades! At nearly 54 now, many of these thought patterns have been a part of me for nearly 50 years.
The biggest hurdle I’ve been challenged with is this one: “I cannot – I just dare not – rock the boat.” The mere suggestion that I draw a line in the sand, say what I want, maintain a boundary causes me to FREAK THE FUCK RIGHT OUT.
Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. Brene Brown
I’ve been so long ensuring everyone else’s happiness or at least maintaining the status quo that I have forgotten how to check in with myself, to ask myself – “hey, Self, what do YOU want?” Draw a line in the sand? How? How would I do that when I have no idea where to put it?
Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary. Doreen Virtue
When someone guides me: “You need to do what you need to do for yourself,” I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing (of course, because that’s what I do) but also immediately checking in with what would work best for everyone else… because what I want is what would work best for everyone else.
See my sitch?
I’ve tried mantras, massage, energy work, Reiki treatments, salt water soaks, prayer, fasting, retreats, silence, long hikes. I’ve researched the s-n-o-t out of “how to get rid of fear.” Journal? Check. Counselor? Check. Herbal supplements? Check.
I actually think the aforementioned approaches have helped me tremendously! And yet, at the end of the day, the pathological, inexplicable, can’t-seem-to-escape-it FEAR remains. “Do not rock the boat!”
I’ve even tried “following this thread all the way” in which I say:
Okay, so I draw a line, maintain it… then what?
People get mad.
Possibly… so? Then what?
They think badly of me and leave me.
Possibly… so? Then what?
I am alone, abandoned, rejected.
Well, I may be alone… but abandoned and rejected are only my points of view.
So, now I’m alone… now what?
I guess I’m alone?… (which actually does not scare me, soooooo…)
And there I sit, alone… and yet, unable to speak up for myself. This thread-following didn’t help me resolve much.
So, I’ve decided to do something else. I’ve never tried this before and I’m excited to give it a swing. I’m going to combine the energies of my body, my mind, and my soul. Rather than “think” my way through this, I’m attempting to “feel.”
And not “feel my feelings,” though I think this is a wonderful practice.
No, rather this: Be still, get quiet. Breathe a few times deeply and with intention to BE. Feel the breath within me as it enters and then exits. Feel the tension in my physical body, and hopefully feel it release. And then: use my imagination to FEEL what it would feel like to be free of this way of thinking.
How would it feel to be able to –
- Know what I want
- Be able to voice my desire
- Stand confidently at the line I’ve drawn
- Get what I want
- Experience minimal or no guilt, shame, or fear
What would this victory FEEL like? Not LOOK like. Don’t draw me a picture, guide me on a meditation… that’s all well and good, but I want to know HOW IT FEELS to conquer boundary-laying and boundary-maintenance.
“Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere.” – Paulo Coelho
I’ll check back with you and let you know.
Energiegal here… Love works. LIFT the vibe of our world.