March 1, 2016, Rosyln, WA
This is a follow up to my Jan. 8th post 2016: A Space Odyssey where I boldly proclaim the need to set clear boundaries and the resulting peace and clarity that it can bring. It’s been two months since I’ve committed to the three lessons I chose to “harvest” to bring more joy to my life. 1) More time alone, 2) Less Facebook, 3) More boundary setting. Here’s my progress report…in order of easiest to more difficult.
Lesson #2. Well, I’m definitely spending less time on Facebook and that feels good. For me, it feels like I’m wasting less time in addition to feeling good that I’m not wondering (as much) if I’m receiving Likes or approval. I’m susceptible to wanting approval so it’s a good practice for me to not set myself up in the pattern of lighting up, and getting high off how many people Like something I post.
Lesson #3. Saying No and setting clear boundaries is coming along…sort of…well, I don’t know. At times I catch myself going through the actions of setting a boundary versus actually setting one. It looks something like this; “No, this behavior is not acceptable.” And then the behavior continues and then I say more sternly “NO, this behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE.” In effect, was a boundary really set? Is setting a boundary more than just saying “No”? Yes. A wise woman recently told me, “you have to do your part to uphold the boundary and not simply hold the other accountable.” The trick is, how to do that. Clearly if I’m the one setting the boundary its because there’s something I want to change, so its up to me to follow through. I can’t control the other’s behavior, I can only control mine. And then the wise woman told me, “It’s not easy.” Seriously, sometimes it just feels easier to not uphold the boundary in the moment, to push the issue under the carpet and deal with the behavior when it next occurs. A work in progress for sure.
Lesson #1. Spending more time alone is taking way more effort. For all those reasons I previously mentioned in the last post, I can choose to take the easier and lazier (yes, lazier isn’t a word) route of not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings than take that time to be alone – even when I know that alone time will be better for me in the long run. Its like eating five slices of bacon soaked and sizzled in a half stick of butter – or a one-night stand with an ex – you know it isn’t good for you. It feels good in the moment but you pay for it later. For some of us mortals, it easier to have someone entertain us than spend time alone and figure out what to do for ourselves.
I was once in a relationship with someone whom I couldn’t resist. Could not resist – even after we broke up…for the 3rd time. It got to the point where I felt like an addict to her sweetness. Finally, I had to liken the 1-mile circumference around her as “The Candy Store.” I knew if I walked into the candy store that I’d end up gorging on the candy. So I willed myself to walk past The Candy Store. Do not open the door, and do not under any circumstance step inside. Nothing but pure will and resolve got me through that one. There are times when no amount of rationalization matters. Just fucking say No. Maybe Nancy Reagan was on to something.