Throughout my life a particular theme has been a constant undercurrent, namely with regards to freedom, freeing oneself and its opposite of setting boundaries. This very much ties in with the previous posts I’ve written on reacting to traditions as well as on my relationship with my body and what I put into/do with my body.
I also see this point of freedom vs. boundaries being a strong theme within both my mother and my father’s lives and therefore it is not so strange that it has become such an intense driving force in my life either.
For my father it was more an existential and psychological freedom he longed for. He experimented with pushing the boundaries of the norms of society and of his own mind.
For my mother it was more a practical freedom she longed for, the freedom to be herself. She grew up in a strict religious farming community and felt extremely limited and held back by its taboos. So she broke out and has lived in that state of breaking out ever since. She eventually found a balance and a harmony where she has the (relative) freedom to be who she wants to be. That is inspiring, but I also see some pitfalls within this way of living, and ironically this antagonist way of living proposes its own boundaries and limitations – which is something I can relate to from my own life.
So you could say that I’ve gotten a double dose of searching for freedom, a ‘devil-may-care’ drive to always push the boundaries of my life and living. As a youngster I thought it was freedom but as I am getting older this pattern has become more and more of a dogmatic/ideological self-made prison and I would like to eventually be able to transform this pattern into a gift. I do see that being so flexible, so open, so willing to engage with anything and anyone can be a gift, though in terms of where I am at with it right now, I am primarily looking at the limitations I have created in my life because of it.
A part of my pattern of driving myself towards ultimate personal freedom thus comes from a parental legacy and transference where this pattern is more or less something I was born with. Such patterns I find are tricky because they are so ‘pure’ in a way, physically embedded and yet, we cannot latch onto memories or specific life events to release them – because they existed before we did, and yet we accepted them as a premise for our lives in a total and all-consuming way. What we then do with such patterns is to create our life on the basis of them, and as we do, we start morphing and mutating the patterns and make them our own, which is also how and why such patterns are carried through from generation to generation. Who knows who of my ancestors originally started this pattern? Maybe it wasn’t even in any close lineage, maybe it can be traced all the way back to the beginning of existence? It doesn’t really matter. The fact of the matter is that this pattern is here, affecting me on a daily basis and unfortunately creating problems in my life and the way I relate to myself and the world around me. Releasing it as I see it, is therefore not as much a point of resetting the memories, but about releasing the very system, the dogma, the ideology – because the mistake that I did, was to automatically assume and adopt it as my own.
Another part of the pattern is then within how I made it my own. I remember a distinct moment when I was in my early teens where I made a conscious decision through speaking words to myself in my mind that came to affect the course of my life. What I decided was that I was going to push through all taboos in my life, that I wouldn’t allow myself to be limited by taboos, that I was going to push through all boundaries and not allow myself to be bound by fear or limitations. I even remember deciding that if someone challenged me to do something I had to say yes, I was not allowed to say no.
Looking back I see how making this decision became a curse in my life. As I was making the decision I felt so empowered, so strong, so cool, and so powerful. It was pure ego. It had the effect that I completely thwarted my own integrity as I, whenever I felt a sense of boundary within me, deliberately pushed up against it. The problem was that I did this with both limiting boundaries as well as with ‘healthy’ boundaries where I should have listened to myself, where there was a ‘voice’ within me saying that this is not okay to do, I am not comfortable with this – and I deliberately didn’t listen. The problem was that I didn’t realize that there is a distinction between healthy/necessary boundaries and boundaries that should be pushed and as such, now 20 years later I am faced with having to learn this for myself.
So for over 20 years I have been deliberately breaking my own boundaries because I thought it would empower and free me from taboos, from restraints, from pointless norms and moral. As a result, I have become effective at ignoring my own ‘inner voice’. The ‘voice’ that indicates that what I am busy doing is not what is best for me. It has become a dogma – a religion of sorts. And after much practice I can report that it did not make me more free, quite the contrary. Because I am not ‘free’ to do what is best for me – and that is really what matters.
I also realize that in living without setting boundaries, I’ve made it difficult for me to say no, to myself and to other people. The result is that I’ve often blamed others for not setting my boundaries for me, for taking advantage of me, for pushing me beyond my limits – I didn’t realize that I was the one doing that to myself.
I realize that there is a gift in being flexible and being able to push boundaries. But I also realize that I have taken this to an extreme. Being so flexible has enabled me to be open towards any person and to not be scared or abhorred by anything another person might’ve experienced or faced in their life. This is a gift because it enables me to support others and understand their situation. When I am at my best, when I am comfortable and grounded in myself people tend to feel at ease around me. BUT – there is also a flipside to this heightened level of openness and flexibility, besides the ones I’ve mentioned. Because in having completely fluid boundaries, I’ve also had excess need for isolation and distance form people, because I knew how easily I could be influenced and pulled by the current. So interestingly enough, this pattern has also caused me to be distanced, and reserved and not fully allowing myself to be open or vulnerable with others.
My goal is to first and foremost learn to recognize and honor my own boundaries and limits, where it is relevant to demarcate how far I am willing and able to go – with myself internally as well as externally.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to automatically and without question accept and adopt my parents’ need and desire for freedom and their subsequent push against the boundaries they felt were limiting them in being free
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to exist and be manifested in such a way that I automatically adopted and accepted my parents values simply because they were my parents and I accepted the premise that they had brought me into this world as my creators and I thus their creation to be molded in their image and likeness and because I accepted the premise that they were the foundation for my life/existence
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create and develop the belief that pushing through boundaries is always and pr. Definition a good and positive thing
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that a boundary is a demarcation and that a boundary does not have to be restrictive or debilitating
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that a limit is an indication of ‘enough’ where beyond this point unwanted consequences may happen and as such a limit can be a supportive reference to have and doesn’t have to be something that restricts one’s freedom or expression
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that simply because a boundary or limit exist, doesn’t mean that it necessarily has to be pushed through, that a boundary or a limit can be necessary and even supportive – like how the womb is a boundary that protects the unborn child or how a line at the train station indicates how close it is safe to be to a train rushing by or to feel when the body is full with food and doesn’t need any more food
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to make a decision from within and as ego, to push through all my boundaries and to within that see boundaries as negative in seeing boundaries as a weakness and thus creating the idea and experience that by pushing through boundaries and by not accepting boundaries, I am automatically empowering myself and being strong and cool because I am showing myself and others that I am not weak, that I am not afraid and that I am free
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create the belief and experience that pushing through boundaries is automatically and pr. Definition the same as being strong, fearless and free and as such, when I am faced with a boundary that I in self-honesty would have not pushed through because it is best for me to maintain the boundary, I convince myself to push through it and I believe that I am weak and limited if I don’t push through it
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to make the decision to not allow myself to have any boundaries or limitations without considering that some boundaries and limitations exist for my protection and are best for me to create/maintain/uphold and so because of this compromise myself, my integrity and my physical safety – because I don’t want to be seen as weak in my mind’s eye
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to exist within this doctrine/dogma/ideology of not having boundaries for so many years that I have sabotaged and compromised my integrity to do what is best for me
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be and become the embodied manifestation of the phenomena of ‘peer pressure’ where I have forced and pressured myself to do things that I knew were not best for me, just to not be seen as weak in my mind’s eye and to instead be seen as tough and cool and strong
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to force myself to push through my boundaries even when pushing through my boundaries meant exposing my body to harm and even when I knew that what I did was not best for me
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to condition myself to deliberately go against and not listen to my own self-honesty and integrity when it comes to setting boundaries for myself because I believed that boundaries were pr. Definition limiting and a sign of weakness and that I have as such compromised myself to the extent that I have brainwashed myself to not be able to listen to myself – but only follow predetermined ideas and beliefs and preferences
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a rule within myself, based on ego in thinking that I am strong and empowered if I do this – because I am showing that I am not weak and not afraid, to always say ‘yes’ if someone asks me to do something or commit to a challenge, thus causing me to say ‘yes’ to things that weren’t good or best for me simply because of this rule, completely disabling myself from considering my decisions based on self-support or common sense
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be so afraid of being seen as weak or fearful or as a coward that I would rather compromise myself and go against what I know to be best and even allow myself to be harmed – just so that I am not weak or fearful
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that being strong and empowered is not the same as not having boundaries or limits or knowing when to say ‘no’ – in fact, not giving in to peer pressure (even within my own mind), THAT is strong, that is empowered
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to so desperately want to be seen as strong and cool by others that I was willing to do anything to not be seen as weak or disempowered
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel weak, disempowered and fearful as a child and I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to see pushing through boundaries as the solution to not being like that anymore – when in fact, all I did was suppressing my fear and weakness, because I hadn’t really dealt with it
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge, dislike and even hate myself for how I saw myself as weak, as cowardice and as disempowered as a child and I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to turn against myself, to see these sides of myself as a threat to my ‘success’ in the ‘social world’ of relationships and therefore believe that I had to push it – and myself – away to be/become/experience myself as empowered and strong
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not ever as a child consider accepting myself or caring for myself or supporting myself – and that I always saw myself as a limitation and as hindrance for doing what I wanted to do, which at the time was to have effective relationships with other children
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to struggle with setting boundaries within and as experiencing that I am incapable and not allowed to set boundaries and therefore go into inner conflict with myself when I see a need to set boundaries
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to think, believe and feel that I am obligated to say yes when someone asks me to do something and feel guilty and like I am a bad person if I set a boundary
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to become annoyed, irritated, blameful and resentful when I see that I have to set a boundary but don’t out of feeling obligated to someone else because I don’t want them to see me as weak or lazy or a coward where I then blame me for compromising me and my boundaries when in fact I am the one doing that to myself
When and as I see the need to set a boundary for myself and I see that I am reacting in fear towards setting the boundary, I stop and I breathe. I realize that I’ve created a dogmatic relationship to boundaries where I believe that boundaries are pr. Definition ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ and that setting boundaries makes me weak, disempowered, cowardice and selfish – when in fact there are certain boundaries and limits that are supportive and protective for me and by setting them I am doing what is best for me and so best for all. I commit myself to let go of the belief that boundaries are pr. Definition bad and I commit myself to redefine my relationship to boundaries by allowing myself to critically assess whether a boundary or limit is commonsensical or not. I realize that because I have conditioned myself for so many years to not listen to my self-honest inner voice, this is something that I have to practice and over time reprogram myself to have a heathly relationship with setting boundaries and acting according to my integrity of knowing what is best for me. I commit myself to transform my pattern of pushing through boundaries into a gift where I can use this ability to challenge myself to push through fears and preconceived belief systems but where I also stand by the boundaries that are supportive for me. I commit myself to continue to challenge taboos and nonsensical boundaries, but instead of doing it from a starting-point of ego and wanting to escape the experience of being weak and cowardice, I commit myself to challenge taboos and nonsensical boundaries from a starting-point of self-support.
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