It’s been a tough few weeks.
My family, my children, my friends, everyone it seems is having a hard time. I feel like I’m in the center of a massive storm, with drama after drama circling around me.
The impulse is to run and hide for sure. Wake me up when it’s all over. But I am consciously holding space for others, my children in particular, and so this is not really an option.
I’ve been in this place many times before but this time my experience is definitely different. I may be in crisis, but I am not lost in these dramas. I am not over efforting in an attempt to fix everything, or fix myself. I’m not working harder, not struggling. I’m just breathing.
Consciously breathing in calm and exhaling worry with every breath. Breathing in trust and exhaling fear over all the potential outcomes those around me may be creating. Breathing in love and exhaling all the anxiety that I am somehow responsible for everything. And along with all the breathing, my mantra, gifted by Yarrow is “MORE LOVE.”
Yarrow said it loud and clear. I heard her words echoing in my heart and sensed them with every cell of my being, “MORE LOVE”.
Love is the only way to break free of the dramas, to heal and begin to cocreate a new reality for ourselves, for our world, that is not choked with all the fear and suffering pummeling us currently.
Everything else is just a bandaid.
Watching my girls struggle has been the hardest part. They have been attending school only a handful of times per week and are spending a lot of time holed away in their rooms, sleeping and binge watching their miniature screens.
I find this horrifying. My ego mind kicks in with major judgment and ludicrous conclusions about how they are going to struggle in life and how crap I am as a parent, and how I need to DO something right away to fix this issue. Set and enforce some stronger, clearer boundaries...
Boundaries. Ah yes. Yarrow pops back into my awareness. And I am reminded how my fears, my judgments and frustrations can create so much suffering for myself and my girls.
“More LOVE,” she reminds me.
And so I take a deep breath and I remember to tune into my heart. I remember to offer more love to my girls. Unconditionally love them. They too are feeling the stress and chaos surrounding us all and are navigating it all by checking out. Or maybe they are simply being, knowing at some deep level that rest and withdrawal is what their bodies are calling for right now?
So I leave them and make soup instead and pour all my love into the pot along with the vegetables. And when it’s ready we share space and a simple meal around the fire enjoying the warmth and a brief moment of connection. They are ok. I am ok too.
I can feel my heart expanding and I am aware of Yarrow again. This time when I tune in I feel her presence as a bubble surrounding me. I am expanding my heart light out to fill the bubble and it feels like a powerful and strong shield protecting and supporting me.
I ask for hugs. And I receive them from my teens before they return to their separate rooms. And I am grateful. So grateful. Instead of erecting more boundaries, more walls between us—even walls designed to keep them safe—I offered them more love instead. And it felt so good. Simple. Kind.
Creating healthy boundaries is far more than just saying NO.
NO on it’s own feels harsh and may lead to creating more of an impenetrable wall that is certainly protective but can also block the love, the experiences, the connections and opportunities that life creates for us.
NO puts us in battle mode.
Instead, I have been thinking about how creating healthy boundaries is more about saying YES.
You create a strong, healthy boundary when you say YES to YOURSELF.
Yes to MORE LOVE in all aspects of your life.
YES to putting your own well-being first.
YES to loving yourself more and YES to nurturing your own tender heart.
YES creates strong, healthy boundaries from the inside out. YES creates integrity and alignment of your inner world with your outer expression of your life. YES makes your heart happy.
When I create a healthy boundary, that is, WHEN I PUT MY WELL-BEING FIRST, I have to learn to be okay with the possibility that others won’t like it. But mostly I have to learn that I have to be okay with it.
I have to connect with my heart and offer myself compassion and understanding. I have to offer myself all the love I can muster. For my own self-care.
And I know that taking care of myself in this way is the most powerful way to bring healing, to bring peace, not only to myself but to all those that witness and interact with my healthy boundaries.
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On our metaphorical dance floor that is life, we are faced with many choices every moment about what steps to take next. Lady’s Slipper asks if our steps come from within, guided by our connection with our higher selves, or if are they choreographed by others?