In the act maintaining any relationship, there are boundaries that must be established.
A co-evolution of what that means to either party is probably necessary. There are always 2 or more parties – with 2 or more different ideas of what is correct. But in reality, nothing in life is correct. A fundamentalist will fail at any real relationship because they think there is 1 way to do things, when there are almost an unlimited smorgasbord of ways to do this thing called life.
I’ve made many mistakes in this arena and I’m bound and determined to figure out why it is such an intense part of what makes me, and most likely every living creature, tick. Our most ancient reflexes pop up when our territory has been invaded.
So in our romantic relationships, we start out without a care in the word, happy that some wonderful person is part of our lives and making it sparkle again. After a while we start to get irritated at all the little things that our partners do that seem to infringe on our personal space or time. The person hasn’t changed, only our perception and feelings have.
How can we remain uncritical, and what is the fulcrum that tips our minds to critiscism? When critisicm, which implies moral judgement, enters the picture, I tend to become extremely agitated and thus unreasonable. But is there really a time when any off us are really reasonable? We like to think we are, but we are running around motivated by emotional states, hormones and neuron patterns, all day long.
I’ve found that those most convinced that they are logical are usually the least able to admit the illogical nature of most of their behavior. This makes me nuts- mostly because I was like that for quite a long time!
I will simply say this: Reason can be used to justify almost anything, reason based on so-called logic. Using logic gives the user a sense of moral superiority and holiness that they imagine the other person or creature who isn’t using logic lacks. So I don’t think it is the best tool in our toolbox. It creates hierarchies of control. He who has the most logic wins.
I believe our subconscious is the only compost pile that can really break down our lives and create a nutrient rich fertilizer. The answers are there, but our minds have so many mazes we can never really find them until we let go and let grok. As we break down the raw detritus of our lives within our subconscious, we also need to be working on reconciling our conscious lives with our core beliefs. Again it seems that the most sensible thing is to balance out any extremes. Our answers can’t all be based on logic or emotion, we can’t imagine that we can even clearly see the big picture, let alone the small events that make up why we do what we do. Discarding hubris, we enter into real relationships outside of ourselves.
A fence is there to keep something in or something out. My life as an animal farmer is made up off a lot of fence work. Even in the relationship between me and my animals, we are still establishing a certain amount of understanding – they have a sense off where they are supposed to be and stay there as well as they can. If they really wanted to be elsewhere, they could. Most animals can escape their fencing if they really want to. So there has to be a level of understanding there – they know I will be there for them as long as they are where I left them. It’s much more complicated then that, but suffice it to say that it is never simple. It isn’t simply putting up fence and walking away – it’s a daily maintenance situation, a constant monitoring of what is going on with them.
Establishing respect and understanding in a personal relationship is a little like making those fences. It might sound a little harsh to those who haven’t kept larger amounts of animals, but believe me when I say a fence is little more then a suggestion. We do need our personal space, and we do need our personal lives – and we need those who we love to respect whatever it is that makes us tick.
Since in reality we don’t want to build fences around ourselves or create impenetrable shells, establishing boundaries is a little more like pissing on metaphorical trees. It’s important to inhabit the space that makes you happy – your happiness creates happiness around you. My happiness is essential to creating happiness throughout my circles.
Next time I will muse on the opposite practice – opening up boundaries.