Like so many of us, I have been swept up in some very heavy emotions recently with news of school shootings and violations of civil rights. In times of deep sadness and anger, we may fall or lose our way on the path. We need spaces like this to “gather” and come home to a feeling of love and community. When I write, I feel connected to my truth and to the love of this community. Thank you for your presence and grace. It gives me wings.
In my younger years, I put up walls around my heart to protect my true essence from people who could take it or harm it. Sometimes, I wore a mask to shield others from seeing my pain. But, getting hurt is inevitable and pain is a part of life, so why do so many of us attempt to hide from it? And, if we are continually protecting ourselves from feeling pain, how are we living? I think it’s fair to say, not well.
After reading many articles and books written by renowned emotional intelligence research scientists, Marc Brackett and Brené Brown, I learned that one good way to trust the emotional process of pain is to hold space for a lot of love in your life. When there is love in your heart and in your life, you are emotionally equipped to move through pain.
Learning this, I removed my walls and set up healthy boundaries. I shifted my approach from being protective of my love (coming from fear) to being open with my love (coming from trust).
For me, healthy boundaries are permission points around your heart. They allow you to safely welcome who and what comes forward while permitting access only to those who earn your trust. In other words, with healthy boundaries in place, permission is required to access the energy of your heart space.
Here is one way I like to think about it, courtesy of energy guide, Jeffrey Allen. Think of your loving energy as a big bubble of white light surrounding you. This is your aura. Your aura extends a few feet from your body. It’s always there. However, the edges of your aura contract and expand, depending on who and what is in your space.
Now, imagine a rose or a flower at the edge of your aura. Hold it at arm’s length. This is your healthy boundary. You can adjust the edge of your boundary (by moving the rose closer to or away from your body) depending on the person or circumstances in front of you. By moving your rose, you can keep others at a safe distance or let them in a little closer, whatever feels comfortable for you. The beauty of this practice is that you hold the flower (the power!) to decide who and what gets permission to access your energy.
For me, practicing healthy boundaries is like practicing social distancing. I think of my boundary like a garden around my home (my heart). I welcome people into my garden but only those I trust with my love are invited into my home. This allows me to sustain my loving energy while processing pain and being in relationship with the external world.
Our love is the only thing that connects us to others in a deeply meaningful way. Protecting our love will only limit our potential for healthy emotional connection. Let’s adjust our walls and create garden gates. Let’s pay attention to who is coming into our garden and greet them with a rose. Let the rose guide your permission process. This is the path to living well and feeling safe.
Next time, we’ll explore the topic of self-awareness.
Let’s journey together.