Recently, surrounded by several conversations each regarding personal boundaries, the same essential question arose — what boundaries define an enlightened relationship versus an entangled one?
Although the question appears relatively straight forward, what is confusing is that each of us, in our uniqueness, has different boundary requirements. For example, some of us, including myself, need considerably more personal space and alone time than others.
Nonetheless, we share common building blocks for what we believe enlightens our relationships.
Enlightened Relationships reflect our
• dreams and desires
Entangled Relationships reflect our
Relationships are between equals. Often, entanglements are what we have
to start with. It is up to us to transform our entanglements into relationships
[…] that reflect what we truly want. Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks
We entangle our relationships when we continuously act out of our ‘woundedness’ (neediness, incompleteness and inequality) rather than take responsibility for healing the source of these wounds. Over time, acting out in relationships forms unconscious behavioural patterns that seek to –
• fulfill what we did not realize from our parents (i.e., approval)
• control others to meet our assumptions and expectations (i.e., breadwinner)
• demand from others what we lack (i.e., courage)
• block each other from experiencing feelings and telling the truth (i.e., rescuing)
• make one person wrong (the persecutor) and the other right (the victim)
See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about
a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings,
your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always non-acceptance
of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you
complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else
is madness. Eckhart Tolle
An enlightened relationship means taking responsibility for ones’ thoughts, words and deeds. Taking responsibility for oneself necessitates digging deeper into our own mystery in order to know who we are, what brings a sense of fulfillment to us and how we currently get in the way of allowing our fulfillment to emerge.
We travel this journey of self-discovery within our daily lives and relationships, both of which reflect what we need to become aware of and act upon. Typically, we are confronted with events and/or people asking us to choose between love and fear or, in other relationship terms, between equality and control. The real challenge in relationship is not to sacrifice who we are because of what we fear. The real challenge is to relate to oneself with wholeness and equality; to actively fulfill one’s dreams and desires; to love oneself no matter what.
Two warring ways begrudgingly touch,
metaphorical fingertip to fingertip,
accepting that unity binds strength
while division swells suffering.
Like chastised children, they still refuse
to “kiss and make up.” Each awaits
the other to admit wrong doing.
None the less, the meeting halfway,
the willingness to touch
the once-feared enemy bodes well.
Even the slightest touch reassures,
echoes of a promise to knit the disparate,
into an integrated whole; first within,
then between, finally, among all.
Ask yourself, “Do I love who I am?” If the answer is “No,” then ask yourself, “Why not?” Not loving ourselves keeps us from loving others and from living in joy. Loving ourselves expands our capacity to express love outwardly and is the ultimate expression of joy.
On your journey to joy, what intention/boundaries can you set to ensure you act lovingly to yourself every day?
I intend to nurture myself by meditating every day.
I intend to smile at myself every time I see my reflection.
Every night before I go to bed, I intend to tell myself in the mirror, “I love you, Helen.”