Haley Kennedy, Recovery Coach –11.6.2020–
Boundaries come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and hues. My boundaries vary from fragile to concrete, minuscule to massive, temporary to perpetual.
Let’s face it, there are good boundaries such as those that keep us safe. Which are the ones I believe are most thought of when boundaries are mentioned. Then there are not-so-good boundaries that we justifiably hold onto, imagining that they are protecting us. There are the walls we keep that we think we need although we can’t tell you why they were built. And enduringly, there are the ones that we don’t even realize exist, simply because “it’s just the way it has always been.”
When examining my boundaries, I realized I tend to imagine them on, over, and around future endeavors. But that’s not truly the case. I can just as easily build barriers, create facades, construct restrictions around my past.
When I deny or suppress my emotions surrounding my past, I am building a wall that rejects the gift of learning from it. I have denied that I loved someone, to save myself the pain of a broken heart. I have denied hurting others to evade the discomfort of admitting wrong. I have stood my ground on a pointless argument in feign superiority and to dodge admitting defeat. And when I choose not to examine these situations the walls get thicker, higher, and increasingly more ambiguous. They became another way to escape from reality.
Not all answers for life’s questions come simultaneously with its intended circumstance. At least, not for me. I’m talking weeks, months, years later, I may come to the realization of the lessons learned. If I’ve already written off said struggle, my ability to learn from it is annulled. My ability to learn and grow is dependent upon my honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. And what is more unwilling and closed than building a barricade around a memory that holds an important lesson just because I would rather not feel..?
Because ultimately, pain and discomfort are at the center of transformation.
Learning to live through them with my sanity, my heart open, and alongside those I join on this path of recovery, are imperative for facing my life on life’s terms. The ongoing quest to revise or even dismantle patterns that I used for years can be a slow and arduous process. But when I find myself on the constructive side, utilizing my experience rather than roping it off, my spirit is once again ignited and freed, one brick, one fence link, one concrete block at a time.