A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘boundaries’

Approval or Not ~

tuptdownWhen is it right action to approve or disapprove of an action or word? That is a pretty heavy question, and I am not sure I am going to be able to enlighten others as sometimes I, too, get confused on this one. Y’shua told us not to judge. He was adamant about it. So it is something we need to be aware of on a daily, minute by minute basis. Yet, every decision we make is a judgment of one kind or another, so what is it all about?

Personally, I feel that it has very much to do with the entanglement in others lives spoken of in the last post. When we mind the business of our neighbor so closely we know how many trips he made to the store yesterday, we are crossing his boundaries, a place we should not be. And the comment, “I don’t know why Harry or Sally have to go to the store so often, you’d think they’d make a list and get it all at once.”, Is just the kind of judgment Y’shua was talking about. The only time it’s our business when our neighbor is going or coming is if that very action is messing with our boundaries, i.e., they are making loud noises at 2 am and we are trying to sleep, or they are stomping around and slamming doors so the cake we are baking flops. In other words, if their actions are causing some part of our world to disintegrate is the only time what our neighbor does is any of our business.

This is a tough one, I know, as there are many messages out in the wide world that encourage us to snoop on our neighbors. True, I do not want drug parties in my neighborhood, and would want that sort of thing stopped. But, there again, that’s because something of that sort causes  my neighborhood to disintegrate, so it is my business. But, that’s justransparent-canoe-kayakt it, isn’t it? How far do you go in finding out if something is going on that will affect you, do you wait until it does? That may be too late.

For me, the answer has been to live so transparently there is no cause for others to spy on me. What they see is all there is, becuase I truly don’t try to hide things. I know that is not an answer for everyone, but that, too, is probably the result of people minding business not theirs. It does seem a shame that we cannot seem to mind our own boundaries and leave others in peace. It would be quite a different world if we could.

Sacred Space ~

medwhlI love the medicine wheel, it is always part of my thinking, now. I will try  to translate the Native wisdom so that you can understand and participate in this way of life  without appearing to be trying to rob their spirituality. The Lakota and Shawnee teachings are those with which I am most familiar, and though they approach the wheel each from opposite directions, their ways are still quite compatible. One of the reasons I have been reluctant to share this as part of the path I walk is that a pale face, like myself, just looks silly running around in ribbon shirts and feathers in their braids. So, though I want to discuss the concepts of the NA way of life, it is with the idea of incorporating these  concepts into your own perspective, not to make you into a NA wannabe.

As I understand it, (and that must always remain in your awareness, I am not a holy woman, picture1nor am I a “shaman”, I cannot turn out other “shamans” off an assembly line because you need to be one to teach it. I am a mystic, who has found the Native awareness of Spirit to be so completely on target, that once exposed to their teachings, they became a part of my practice.) life is seen to be lived on a series of circles, each of us having our own personal circle, and all life forms each having their own circle. The awareness of this first brought me to an understanding of Sacred Space that I had never seen in other forms of spirituality.

Sacred Space then became something of a point of study. I wanted to understand this concept as it applied to me. Above and to the right you see a series of concentric circles, the outer one is yellow, for openness, as this is where your sacred space meets the rest of the world, and you  must interface with what comes your way, whether in work or daily life, i.e. fellow workers, clerks in stores, supervisors, delivery people. The only choices you have here are the simple ones, as in where you go and the people with whom you choose to do business. The next circle is green, still open, but much more selective, for here in this circle are your acquaintances and family, people with whom you have things in common, but do not want into your most intimate space. The next circle is your truly most sacred circle, here are those you trust with all that you are and hope to be.

win_win_relationshipI was taught to take three pieces of paper, marking each one with the color of the circle represented, i.e. mark with yellow marker or the word yellow, whichever works with your circumstances. Here list all those with whom you have daily or weekly commerce that are not your most intimate friends. In fact, work with all three papers at the same time, sorting who goes where according to where you want them to be in your life. If you have had a problem with boundaries, that is not necessarily where they are in your little corner of the world, and you may need to make two sets of lists, so that you can see what you need to work on to get your world in balance.

When there is someone farther out than you want them to be or closer than you want them to be, you need to look at the why’s of the issue, so that you can gently, and without fuss, relationshipfind a way to readjust your world so that they occupy the space in your life that you want them to. When you are wanting someone to be closer to you, you must also be absolutely certain that they want to be closer also, if they do not, do not mess with them. Give space to others in the same manner that you want space given to you! I found a similar relationship map at a circles network. Please feel free to use whichever map works best for you, and by all means, if you find you are entangled and cannot find gentle ways out of bad situations, find a relationship counselor who can help you find the highest and best way to refine your relationships.

Remember, the path I walk is learning to love all. This does not mean that all are in the innermost circle.  Love is the building block on which relationship is built. Consider carefully and choose consciously how you wish to live your life.

No Boundaries?

Yikes! I don’t know if I want to live in a world where the “press” can decide that the world needs to know if you passed gas this morning!? Yet, that is exactly what is happening in our society. How gross is that? And, most frightening is that, the more a person resists the boundary breakers, the more certain the newshounds are that there is something to hide, so they pursue it with even more vigor. Many times they have been right, but, do these pencil pushing detectives have mores enough to back off when what they find really is nobody’s business? I wouldn’t count on it.

So, how do we determine the extent of healthy boundaries in a world that glorifies having no boundaries? I can only answer by sharing what has been given me. If it helps you, use it in good faith and enjoy. Hedgie, up there in the corner is the animal in the Native American cosmology that teaches us how to maintain our boundaries, as when you reach out in good intent, brushing from head to tail on his quills, you will not get hurt. However, if you go to harm our nonshallant little character, you will pull back a handful of quills. Hedgie’s “medicine” is innocense and boundaries.

I want to introduce you to a stone friend of mine, and yes, like the Native American teachers I have known, I consider the stones to be “people” with things to teach us. This fellow is rhodochrosite, and it’s “medicine” is unconditional love. It teaches this to it’s wearer and is best able to teach this when given as a gift. But note the banding. Note the way the stone looks when sliced straight across. There is a center (the sacred heart of each and every human), striations circumventing outward, and then more banding.

What my teachers have used this stone to teach me is the idea of compassionate boundaries. Holding onto my sacred space in such a way as to cause as little offense as possible, while still holding onto that space as mine alone. That is a tough lesson, and it takes time to learn. I wore my friend for a number of years, and still keep it in a special place in my room as a gentle reminder of the lessons.

Now, if you should choose to follow that same pattern, I would like you to understand that the stone is a reminder as well as a teacher, but that you must seek out the conscious knowledge that goes with this. Find the books and human teachers that can teach you these lessons in a gentle way, for as surely as you do not seek to learn the quiet lessons of spirit, there is a trickster prepared to teach you by other means that will grow more and more painful.

Controlling . . . . .

Aren’t buzz words great? Heavens, 20 years ago, recovering alcoholics were the only people that even had a clue that their problems came about because of their own control issues, and now we all know that’s a problem each of us has in differing degrees, Right? Well, sort of. Like all buzz words, having control issues is pretty much a joke for many people.

But we do all have the silly things. If they interfere with our lives, they can render us quite dysfunctional. There’s a rather nice website that I refer people to on a relatively constant basis, it’s just called Coping, and for the person who simply needs help sorting out what’s going on in their lives, The Dr.s Messina have set up some very nice check lists. When the crisis becomes something one cannot sort out alone or with the help of a listening friend, it’s time to consult a professional.

The website addresses control issues with the concept of detachment. They explain it in such a way that you understand it as a healthy response to stimuli. There are things that are just not yours to “fix” or render better, and the Dr.s Messina post an excellent checklist to help us understand where our boundaries should be and what to do to bring them into healthy alignment. The problem is that many of us grew up in families where proper psychological and physical boundaries did not exist. This is much more common than currently understood, and has led us into most of the issues that face us as a people today.

The Native American teaching regarding Sacred Space is one that is sorely needed by us as a society if we are going to learn to cope with the pace at which our world currently spins. I have discussed it at Wild Garden Arts, the website for my art, if you go to the site, click on the leaf labeled “Sacredness” and you will be at the page on which the picture of the tree in the medicine wheel is displayed.

Often, it is only with the understanding that each of us is actually born with a “sacred space” or the right to it, that we can realize that even interference that we feel is “for their highest and best” may be interfering with their lessons. This does not mean that one should ignore a friend or loved one’s bent toward self-destruction, it simply means that we cannot remain respectful of their sacred space and try to take over their lives. If a person is bent toward the use of drugs in such a way that it detrimentally affects you, you may need to choose to leave. These are the things that a professional can help you sort out.

When you can learn a healthy compassionate detachment that will love without trying to own or even manage, then you yourself are in a much better position to assist those you love and care for. This is a tough one, I know, I have had my own “issues” with boundaries. The Buddha addressed this many generations ago, his teachings are as salient today as ever. Elizabeth J. Harris gives an excellent rendering of the meaning of detachment and compassion as the Buddha taught it, and will help anyone on a search for the knowledge of how a person can develop healthy boundaries toward living a happier life. The mandalla above is a wish for peace to you and yours.

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