“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”–Anne Sexton
Have you ever tried to talk yourself into liking something? My grandmother, who I loved dearly, had a questionable sense of color. She favored combinations that are found mostly in semi-processed compost. She would knit or sew clothing for me, and because I loved her so much, I tried to make myself like what she made. It didn’t work.
This is a small example of the process of teasing out the interplay between a want and an obstacle. I wanted to appreciate things into which my grandmother put her time and love. The obstacle to wearing her items was that they opposed my own taste and sense of color. Then I discovered dye, which let me wear the scarf she’d made and love it too.
Before you can set a boundary, you have to know what you want and what is in the way of what you want. The boundary is then placed so that it fences out the things that are in the way. This fence creates a path, and the very existence of that path moves you toward your desire.
Find your starting place.
- Do you know what you want? Do you know what change you want in your life? Do you know what you are longing for?
- Do you know how to get there? Do you know how to set the boundaries that will create the path to your desire?
- Do you know what gets in the way or distracts you? Obstacles, distractions, and intrusions can come from inside of us or outside from other people or situations.
For example, if you long to have a simpler life, setting boundaries with marginal friends, intrusive relatives, clutter, over-booking, and electronic tools will create a path for you. Boundaries around food and eating improve health, energy, alertness, connection with your inner voice, and your ability to follow through with plans.
If you sabotage yourself, a focus on the process of healing creates a boundary against choices or non-choices that make you miserable.
Not sure what a boundary is? Want to learn some basics before applying them to your life? That help is here too.
- Define what you want. Have a list of things? Then write down your entire list, and choose the item that makes your heart swell or gives you energy when you think of it.
- Not sure what you want? Go to Discovering What You Want.
- If you know what you want, but obstacles are in your way, go to Obstacles
- If you know what you want and know what gets in your way, go to Setting Boundaries.
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