It all started last night when my partner Emma and I thought we were going to bed, but we had a bout of silliness and felt very energized. Finding it hard to sleep we just kept getting sillier and sillier with each other.
At one point I took things too far. And crossed her boundary. I enjoyed the reaction I was getting even if it wasn’t a positive one and I wanted to keep going. I didn’t want to shift from being silly and I thought if I kept pushing the boundary she’d laugh and we get back on track. Basically I assumed, if I kept plowing ahead eventually she’d catch up.
Well needless to say that strategy didn’t work. As my poking her (literally in her butt) reminded her of how her sister would do the same things And my holding her down and tickling her reminded her of her grandpa.
At some point I could see she was very upset and feel the distance between us. I stopped and apologized but it was too late. We eventually cuddled a bit, expressed our love and fell asleep. But the energy was still present in the morning when we awoke.
So we started our day slow and giving each other time to express what was coming up. Ironically and interestingly I had a friend that needed to borrow one of the cars and was already on his way.. feeling like a slight boundary push. I was in a sensitive place and didn’t feel like getting up. I mentioned the keys were in the car.
Apparently the car was having issues and this was just reported by the last person to drive it.. so now he was coming to our room asking to borrow one of the other cars.
I felt like our newly discovered sensitivity around boundaries was being tested and I felt into my heart and the truth.. I expressed my need to have my car and the other car I allocated to Emma is her right to share. And both us checked in at that moment and didn’t feel like giving them up. So we said no and left it at that.
Then she started to feel guilty wondering if she was being selfish or if she was being kind to herself. I asked her to consider how she was evaluating the decision.
For example is she doing it based on overall units of happiness: where each person has 100 units of happiness and so 6 people have 600 units and by her saying YES, she would make 500 units happy and 100 units unhappy.. and that would still be a win.
OR was she evaluating it based on relative happiness where the most significant units of happiness were her own and she didn’t want to sacrifice those. Even though she wished she could be happy by making others happy, and wanted to be so altruistic, she wasn’t genuinely feeling called to be that way. So I said just trust her own feeling of happiness and either way it might be a situation where not everyone can be happy.
After considering it some more she agreed that with some adjustments she would offer the green car to them and we would organize our car usage together.
It turns out they were still at the communal house working out a ride and so it was now easier to come out of our cave, offer the car and check in on them from a place of low pressure.
Emma agreed to let them use the green car, they were relieved and seemed like we had a solution. Then she realized it would have been better for them to take a different car that they had worked out during that period but she already committed and said she was learning how to feel her boundaries.
Overall I think it was a very positive process to experience the conversation around our boundaries from the night before, feel the pressure of them coming and needing a car, and then us feeling out how much we actually want to give.
I decided to write about this today for my own clarity and for any human navigating boundaries (ALL humans).
We must begin to honor ourselves and how we truly feel, express those feelings even if they aren’t popular, and learn how balance our needs with the needs of the other.
I also learned over breakfast as something else came up today that I can refine my delivery. That although the energy I am feeling is my truth, I don’t have to deliver it as harshly as I am feeling it:m. This feels more like mastery. More like grace/
I hope you find todays reflections helpful. I am sharing a photo of our Zen Village family from today’s breakfast. I will continue to lean into more personal stories and shares as I go into real examples of what I am learning as I refine and optimize my human experience.
James Sunheart is a student of personal development and spiritual growth. He is passionate about optimizing people, systems and life. He’s written 7 books. Interviewed hundreds of experts. Given a TED Talk in France. Lives in Costa Rica while developing a sustainable eco-village. For opportunities email: James AT FullPotential.com