Archive for the ‘Boundaries’ Category


Lucky for us the lessons we most need to learn keep showing up.

I have been antsy lately, crabby and feeling overwhelmed by pretty much everything.  Instead of going to the things that I know bring me closer to my center, closer to a little bit of peace- getting enough sleep, working out, finishing one project at a time- I have been starting more and more, cramming more and more on my little plate and feeling the pressure of trying to keep it all contained on on the plate.  My soul has been craving space, silence and expansiveness with a large dose of grace, but instead it has been on a steady diet of have to’s, shoulds and ought to’s crowding out any space for grace.

Luckily I was reminded last night of the gift of being given grace by another when you can’t give it to yourself.

Then today, I came across this blog post, and was reminded this quote by Thomas Merton:

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

And this from Courtney Martin in her post the Spiritual Art of Saying No:

“So often when this issue gets talked about, I feel like it is portrayed as a problem of wilting flower women who just want to make everyone happy. I don’t mind disappointing people so much as I’m voraciously and indiscriminately interested in the world. I want to learn everything, be everywhere, collaborate with everyone. In thoroughly modern terms, I’ve got major FOMO about anything that fascinates me.”

One of my greatest strengths is also one of my greatest weaknesses.  Life fascinates me, and there is so much to learn, discover and experience.  And so many amazing people to befriend, to share life with, to adventure through life with.  And yet, this quote, and my recent days have reminded me that I can’t do all things, be all things to all people.  It reminds me to give myself the gift of stepping back, of taking a deep breath, of centering first and moving from there, giving myself more of the grace that was gifted to me.

So my reminder for myself, “Make space for grace”.

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Brene Brown, one of my favorite social workers and authors, has a wonderful book called The Gifts of Imperfection.  [She also has done my favorite TED Talk of all time (which if you haven’t seen it stop right now and watch it!).]  And I can’t wait to read her newest book that was just released and I can’t wait to get my hands on: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

In her book The Gifts of Imperfection she talks about vulnerability and how important it is to be vulnerable, and to be willing to share our deepest, most authentic, wholehearted selves with another… with one caveat… with someone who has “earned the right to hear your story.”

So often we shy away from being vulnerable, from showing tremendous courage in showing ourselves to another because we have been hurt, and often it is because we have chosen to share with someone who hasn’t earned the right to hear our story.   It is a learning curve to figure out this vulnerability piece…

Trust, vulnerability, love and boundaries sometimes have steep learning curves.

When I was thinking about these things, I came across this poem from Hafiz:

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.


What a beautiful image, someone who has woven pieces of our soul into a blanket to protect us.  Those are the people who deserve to hear our stories.

My wish is that all of us have people in our lives who have earned the right to hear our stories.  People who have taken our pain, our loose ends, and who have taken the bits and pieces and gently and lovingly woven a blanket to protect us.

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