Yesterday, the world observed International Women’s Day and by mere coincident I was at my son’s girlfriends(KIM) bronze medal final playoff basketball game at the Carleton University. She is on the team of Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks and they competed against Ravens from the Carleton University. They won the game – in fact it was an amazing win after a double over time! Now they will be competing at the National Competition in Windsor!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Some of you may celebrate valentine’s and some may not. I celebrate everything which has the power to bring people closer to each other because I believe that love is the greatest of all.
Last night, before going to bed my daughter came to my room and brought me this present. I am yet to find out what is inside of it (I am sure that you can guess!).
“Just in case I miss you before you leave in the morning,” she said as she kissed me goodnight. “It is from all three of us.”
Of course I am touched by their gesture – as each one of us will be today when someone acknowledges us and reaffirms that they love us.
Over the last few weeks, I have gathered several love stories from people about their “falling in love” experiences. I will publish a few of those but what I got to really appreciate is that love is at the core of all of us – waiting to be expressed or waiting for someone to express it to us. One of the most touching love experiences I heard was this story of a wonderful old man in his 90’s who shared with me his intimate love story.
“No” is a complete sentence. Anne Lamott
Pushing boundaries (going beyond setting boundaries) is something which I have not always been comfortable with but it is something which I have come to value more as I get older. It is perhaps because I care less about what other people think of me as I strive to find clarity and real answers to the many questions I have about life. Some people call it bold, as my school principal did when I was four years old. One day, he called me “Madlene” at the school assembly. I boldly walked up to the front of the assembly and corrected him by saying that my name was “Magdalene” and not “Madlene.” Now, at four years old, I don’t think I knew anything about setting or pushing my boundaries. I was simply responding from my heart to fix something which did not sound right to me. From that day on, he held huge respect for me and even now (4o years later) we both remember that distinct moment and he never called me “Madlene” again!
As I got older, I noticed patterns in my behaviours where I simply accepted what others did or said because I did not want to step outside my comfort zone, for fear of hurting them or having too much information which could hurt me. It became increasing difficult for me to say “no” and I would actually prefer not to know about some things because knowing would need action on my part or would make me feel uncomfortable. When we look deeper into the issues of why we do not push our boundaries, it is all rooted in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being unloved. Fear of losing control. Fear of not having enough. However, as our soul expands and seeks truth and clarity to live our soul mission, those walls begin to crumble. An enlightened soul is no longer afraid of asking questions and pushing against the boundaries because we know whatever the responses are, negative or positive, the universe will provide all that we need for the next steps of our journey.
A young woman once told me that she was dating a guy whom she was not sure about. I asked her why and her response was, “I feel that he is not really interested in me. He takes a long time to ask me out.”
What should she do? Push the boundaries. She wanted to stay in the safe zone and wait for him to make the next move. He was clearly not giving her the green light. I asked her to invite him out on a date to meet some of her friends.
Reluctantly, she agreed and asked him out. His first response was, “Can we talk about this?”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I am not comfortable meeting your friends yet.” he responded.
After six months of “seeing” someone, how can you not want to meet their friends? How can you not want to know more about them?
By pushing her boundaries in asking him to meet her friends, his response brought clarity to her that he was not ready to engage in a serious relationship with her. She ended the relationship because it was not in alignment with what she needed in a relationship. By not pushing those boundaries, she could have remained in this undefined relationship for a longer time. Several months later she met someone else who was happy to meet her friends right away.
Here is a list of situations which could be resolved if the boundaries were pushed a bit.
- You feel stressed all day about not being sure whether you are meeting the expectations of your boss. Push the boundaries by asking a question about your performance. It is better for you to know so that you can take charge of the situation and improve your performance if you need to.
- You are bored doing the same job. Push your boundaries by asking for additional responsibilities or a another position. You may want to push your boundaries even further by applying to other positions outside of your company.
- You want to exit a relationship but you are afraid that you will hurt your partner’s feelings. Push your boundaries by speaking about it. For all you know, your partner may also want to leave and be free. Start by saying something like, “I am not feeling happy or fulfilled in our relationship anymore. I would like to get a divorce / separation.” By being clear, you give the other person an opportunity to respond. It may lead to a divorce but it can also lead to a better relationship.
- You notice that the decisions being made in your company will have an adverse effect on the business. Your fear of speaking up and being opposed causes you to remain silent but you are furious with yourself for not speaking up. Push the boundaries by putting your thoughts in writing or gathering the courage to speak at the meeting. Everyone may not agree but what if they did? You could become a huge asset for this company.
- Question the cost of things which you pay for regularly. Most of us accept high insurance rates; we are scared to question our utility bills or afraid to negotiate a better interest rate on our mortgage or credit card. Push your boundaries by asking questions to make sure that you are receiving a fair service and the best price.
What does it cost you NOT to push your boundaries? Loss of self-worth? Loss of adding more value to the quality of your life? Loss of money/income? Loss of having fulfilled relationships and work? Loss of living your soul mission?
As one person said to me, the cost of pushing boundaries for him was exorbitant!
“Pushing these boundaries require courage….the costs can also be exorbitant! I have spent my entire life pushing boundaries and have been punished for doing so. However, since I am aware of the consequences, I have also placed a lot of effort in preparing myself for the consequences….this is what has made me into a better person. I have discovered a new me at all stages.”
When I push my boundaries I feel that my soul expands. It takes courage to go beyond setting boundaries. It frees my mind, my soul and my heart and creates space for me to grow. Sometimes, we have simply outgrown a boundary and need to explore beyond. I have concluded that if people truly love and respect me, they will also love and appreciate my growth when I push those boundaries.
“Tolerance is nothing more than patience with boundaries.”
― Shannon L. Alder
TuneIn to areas which are not exactly your comfort zone. StepUp and pay attention about what matters to you.
One of the questions on a dating profile asks:
A good relationship should not require hard work. The answer options are:
a) True b) False
What is your answer?
I think that a good relationship requires that each person does the “right” things for the other person to feel loved and feel valued but I don’t think that it is necessarily hard work, although it requires effort and awareness. But first of all, the basic foundations of a relationship must be in place.
I held some interviews/conversations with various people/couples about those deeper layers in the relationships we attract in our lives and one of my several conclusions is that we attract what is within our inner world – and that inner world is a work in progress – which may explain why we attract various types of people in our lives at different time periods.
How does your partner reflect your inner world? Is your inner world full of turmoil, anger, fear, love, compassion… are you driven by your ego or are you driven to create a beautiful relationship?
During one interview, here is an example of how this played out:
Woman: “Every time he goes out, he finds some woman to give his phone number to and before you know it, he is texting her all the time and then he has an affair with her!”
Man: “Can’t I just talk to other people? I don’t see anything wrong with that!”
After a more probing discussion, the following things emerged which brought to the surface both of their inner worlds. I asked each of them:
“When you look at your partner, do you see him/her in your future? Can you see yourself waking up with him/her every day and enjoying each other’s company?
His answer was “No”. His inner world had not yet made a commitment to himself to be with this woman (then how could he commit to her?.) His inner world was still exploring new relationships and as a result he kept on attracting these other women in his life at both a subconscious level and a conscious level. He put on a mask of being busy, working hard and providing the financial security that she needs and which feeds his ego as being a good provider.
Her answer was: “Not if he continues to behave like this. I don’t trust him!”
“Why don’t you trust him?” I asked.
She explained with bitterness that since she met him, there was always another woman in the relationship. Her inner world does not trust him. Her lack of trust in him makes her keep careful track of his whereabouts, monitors his phone, nags at him and is suspicious of his whereabouts when he is not with her. Her constant frantic thoughts of him being with someone else actually creates the self-fulfilling prophesy in inviting affairs in his life as she accuses him of it daily.
Since he cannot commit himself, within his own heart and soul to her and she cannot trust him completely, no matter how hard they work at having a home, having children, building a business…. neither one of them will enjoy the relationship in a holistic and complete way. The soul will be left thirsty. They may chose to remain together for financial security and family connections but after years and years of being in this type of relationship, it can take a huge emotional toll on a person’s health.
In another interview, one woman who had just met a new person said, “I feel completely safe and secure in his presence. I trust him completely with my life.” Her inner world is one which trusts life and trusts her intuition. She brings what is good and worthy in her life and sees the good in other people. His inner world is comfortable being in her presence too because he too is trusting of himself. The merging of those two inner worlds create opportunities to be harmonious together whether in a love relationship or as friends.
TuneIn today to your inner world? Are your experiences in life mirroring what you deeply believe? Look at your actions and who you attract in your life… if you feel that you are not happy with the current status quo, take a moment to go deeper into your soul. Do you feel worthy of receiving genuine, sincere love? Are you wearing a mask with a superficial happy attitude, beautiful clothes, parties, lots of friends etc… to cover what is really going on? StepUp to remove the mask. Somewhere beneath the mask, your soul is longing for you to have the courage to be authentic and true to yourself. All that you need to live your soul journey will be provided to you.
Look out for tomorrow’s post on how we can increase the positive energy within our inner world:)
To know that even too much sunshine can burn and there is a difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
Thank you Jorge Luis Borgeshat
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong…
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.
Jorge Luis Borges