The Edge of an Open Heart
Despite my best intentions, at times people just don't get me. And it's okay. As I've recently discovered, in the struggle to be seen I often miss the point.
It's easy to judge others for not aligning with our values; cloaking self righteousness in projective analysis. It's easy to shake our heads from side to side, to get angry, to point fingers. I've done it. Yes, recently. I've made others wrong when they aren't walking my talk... and I've been likewise condemned. It's a prickly dance to say the least.
We're all guilty of this from time to time; projection distracts us from the real work. It keeps us from facing the inevitable questions we are avoiding:
Do I feel met here? Do our values align? Do we want the same things moving forward? Much better questions to ask when it comes to true understanding in our relationship to anything or anyone.
More and more I catch myself when I'm attempting to morph my values and expectations to mesh with those who I'm innately out of sync with. For years I gave my power away to large personalities; I would shrink in the face of their confidence. Later in life I learned to stand my ground. And now... NOW I'm seeing that I've really got nothing to prove. No need to fight or endure unnecessary drama. No need to override my sensibilities to make others happy.
Yielding to others, going against your gut... that's a slippery slope, my friend. Keep in mind, this can happen with friends or family members that you love deeply. It's particularly easy to compromise your edges for someone whom you meshed perfectly with at one time, but with whom your needs no longer align. What does so-and-so need? How can I make it work for them? These are reasonable questions, as long as you are also honoring your own needs and what works for YOU. The reality is, sometimes you reach an impasse and the two cannot be compromised. Honoring lack of alignment doesn't add up to failure; at times it's an honest discernment that saves everyone energy in the end. Yes even if in the devastation of the truth, one of you wants otherwise.
That's the thing about boundaries. You get to define yours. Anyone who tells you that yours are misplaced is projecting their truth.
Black and white isn't. What works for one person won't necessarily vibe for another. What gets us into trouble is deciding FOR others. Telling another person how to hold themselves as sacred is a violation and a projection. Many people will come in and out of your life in order to help you define where to place the edges around your heart. Yet the way in which you choose to hold yourself is deeply personal, and it's ultimately up to you.
As an example, let's consider a Portland hot-button topic: monogamy vs. polyamory. This is an arena where projection runs rampant in both directions. Right and wrong will never be compromised because what it really comes down to is personal choice. Healthy boundaries of any kind are permeable, yet intact. We magnetize those whose edges align with our own in any given moment; we repel those who don't. Say you interact with someone who is interested in openly engaging your heart and/or physical space... and that someone holds edges that are naturally a bit more porous than your own; you may feel yourself withdrawal or recoil from them. Is that wrong? I don't think so. Yet nor is it wrong that they want to engage. Not at all in fact. To someone who desires reciprocity of connection in that same manner, this might be a welcome advance.
No need to make someone wrong in order to express your no. Nor must they take your edges personally. It's all about choice.
There is no universal standard for how an open heart should behave.
Love and sovereignty work best when not confused. Your feelings AND your edges must line up in order for you to feel respected and honored in any relationship. Dominion is unique to the individual; thus, it is essential that you are communicating your values and preferences to the people closest to you every step of the way. Own your truth. Ask for what you want. And be willing to navigate the choppy waters on the way to getting it... even if it means letting go of something or someone.
Often the so-called "high road" is the one that plucks you out of the drama and puts you face to face the most difficult truth. Love sometimes means honoring and navigating differences in order to make it work... and other times, it means graciously walking away. Fallout is never easy, but owning your truth is always far less messy for everyone in the end.