Honest Boundaries

I seem to thrive on structure. Boundaried walls of expectations help me feel safe and yet are limiting. I like to know what to expect. That’s my nature. As I age, I learn more every day. My likes and dislikes. My wants and needs. My favorite word is expectancy and yet I lean into expectations. There’s a fine line between the two and awareness keeps me clear.

I developed a habit of setting daily goals upon waking. The rule is they need to be reachable goals, made with awareness. My activities are monitored by my Fibromyalgia eyes. I learned new limits and new expectations. I gained new respect for my body and hear my alarm points when I cross boundaries. Above all else, I listen and not ignore my body.

I was an expert ignorer. I could erect an iron wall in a moment of pain or fear, retreat into my interior and keep life out. Unrelenting pain demanded my attention. My commitment to my children pushed me past fear. My deep desire to understand my inner world unravels day by day as I stop ignoring my wisdom.

I make choices from my center, not from fear. I remember the day I recognized my dishonesty. It was a defining moment. The people I chose to be close to practiced the same behavior. Dishonesty was the game that hummed below the surface. It wasn’t the blatant dishonesty toward others. It was dishonesty with oneself. I was dishonest with myself.

Recognizing dishonesty helped me understand the missing puzzle piece in my childhood. I felt constant anxiety experiencing other’s emotions yet witnessing their different behavior. Nothing made sense in my world. My parents didn’t have the skillset to understand their emotions. They felt one way and acted another. I did what any healthy child did in dysfunctional circumstances. I blamed myself for perceiving the disharmony.

Today I choose to be alive. I choose to be awake. I choose to take responsibility for my actions. I choose to feel love. I choose to feel compassion. I choose to be vulnerable. Above all else, I choose to be honest.

It May Not Be Convenient

by Julia Fehrenbacher

to take the detour, the I-don't-know-where-I'm-going wandering way. To stand a little longer in sun-soaked arms even if they have to wait. It may not be convenient to press pause on a life going wildly too fast—to go back if you've taken too many steps forward, to drink a cold glass of water slowly— just because. Don't let them hurry you. It is your pace you must find. It's okay if you're late because you need to scribble down a few more words, sing hallelujah with the seabirds, hold her hand just a little bit longer. Let them wait. Maybe today is the day you'll light the candle, open the good bottle of wine write love letters in the sand even though the tide will come and wash them away. Maybe today is the day you'll see that life is conveniently right here.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you. As I transitioned into meditation, I started playing with convenience and inconvenience. Our inner work is convenient, it is always there. These external things are inconvenient. I get irritated when things start at 9am; it’s inconvenient because I’m still doing my inner work. Luckily, I can read the blog and still do my inner work. I love the fact that inner work is convenient.

  • Yesterday, I read a piece about Covid survivor’s guilt. Why did they die and I didn’t? I have knowledge in a certain technology that could help people. I wrote an article about it almost a year ago. Last night, at 3am, I woke up from a dream and turned on my computer and saw other people writing about the technology. If I had written another more prominent piece a few months ago, I could have helped many people and eliminated so much grief. I’m having a hard time coping with that knowing I could have done something. Thank you for listening.

  • I encourage you to put down your judgment hammer and pick up your compassion hammer.

  • Thank you so much. Everything resonated in my heart. The similarities make me feel that I am not alone. Thank you for this group. It is meaningful to me. I loved the poem.

  • I resonated from the opening sentence onward. I felt like you were describing me. I too like structure and want to know things are going to wor