Boundaries. Judgement. Trust. Respect
Words, they are just words, but such important words…, or are they? They hold a world of meaning yet their constructs, the very ideals with which each one is held together depend on each individual person. Who is to say which one of us is correct? Who is to say if any of us are ever wrong? Everyone’s truth, boundary line, sense of right and wrong, and due respect is only ever our own version, as defined by the life we’ve lived. Whether it rings true for another does it start to hold root in the social spectrum of our universe. But despite the inadequacy in which words express our ideals perfectly, the point of each word is communication; the extension in which this allows us to connect with another being. Whether or not that connection is a sound one is an entirely different matter.
So back to those words: Boundaries, Judgement, Trust, Respect. What do all of these words together mean to you? Do they elicit a sense of rightness; or perhaps, righteousness? Do they fill you with a sense of purpose or other hero-worship feeling? Do you find you get and give enough of these words to your satisfaction? And/or if not, do you then demand it? Do they depict a moral high-ground in which you find yourself standing upon day-in and day-out? Well if you do, and they do, I’m certainly glad for you and I mean that. Trust me, I really mean that.
To know exactly who you are at any given time of day must be a very satisfying and comforting feeling. Indeed I wish I felt so perfectly happy in my own skin for longer than a minute. For there is not one day that goes by I’m not questioning and analyzing my own feelings on each matter throughout my life. About all the tiny, seemingly inconsequential, drama that unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately! –thank god–) transpires.
If anyone has ever truly gotten to know me they have come to understand that I am not, and will never be, a purely black and white woman. I am very much gray, as well as any other color that tends to find its way to me, depending on my mood. I am a carousel of colors that never stops spinning. Yes, sometimes I spin so fast that I make myself sick, but sometimes I spin slow enough for others to happily join me and leave me at their leisure. Either way, I never stick to one color because that’s a sure sign of closing myself off to the appeal of other riders.
I know I’m starting to fly away with ambiguity. Let me ground myself a bit and start from the beginning. I am incapable of feeling one emotion at a time and therefore I feel so many at once. It’s quite possible this is exactly what it means to be bipolar (or highly empathic, right now it’s anyone’s guess), but it would be easier to shut off my feelings, or rather shut myself off from you, than explain to you the complications I deal with on an emotional level every single day. And just because it’s limited to that single level, it does not stop the overflow of difficulties living with such a huge spectrum of emotions I’ve been “gifted.” Its taken me years to come to grips with such a wide array of feelings, but I have finally recognized and accepted this trait about myself and therefore all of the information that comes with it. That information being, nothing is ever purely black and white.
So I sit here and struggle with the notions of truth, right and wrong, lines being crossed or not, and whether I’m being respected or if I’m giving the proper amount to others. It’s dreadfully tiring to say the least. I end up only wishing to sleep by lunch time every day. Why can’t I just let it go and move on with my life? Why can’t I just ignore the feelings like everyone else when they can’t find a solution or a reason behind it? Because I’m not like everyone else. I actually know why I feel these feelings. Every single one of them. How annoying right? I know where they come from. I know why they exist. Whether or not they are the result of a past trauma or even my own trauma. More often than not they are not even my own feelings. Is it possible to ignore something you actually understand? Well, I know I can’t. If you can then maybe ignorance is bliss?
Don’t worry, I know it’s starting to sound like a hum-drum, whoa-is-me post, but this is hardly that. I’m merely attempting to keep you interested in reading about the ambiguities of words and feelings as I slowly and painstakingly make my way to a point. And look, here I am finally!
The life-blood to all relationships — platonic and romantic, familial and strange. We either know how to communicate effortlessly or we find grunts and rude gestures more to our liking. Either way we communicate, successfully or not, we need communication. We cannot cut ourselves off no matter how much we try. So we continue to struggle or not struggle and get by…somehow. Our relationships blossom or they wilt depending on how well a garden we like to tend. And in the midst of it all are the words and feelings and ambiguity of whether we are doing it right or wrong.
Here’s the thing though, there is no right or wrong way to communicate. There are intense and soft ways of speaking, but as long as you’re attempting to make your feelings known and are actually listening when others try to make their feelings known to you, you ARE doing it right. It just depends on whom you’re speaking to and whether or not you’re coming across clear enough for them. That’s always the sticking point, isn’t it? Well that and whether or not you’re actually listening as well as speaking. Remember that phrase, “understanding your audience,” well that’s a big part of communication. Speaking as well as listening and making the extra effort to speak in a way your audience understands.
First of all, most people only attempt to communicate just so they can hear themselves speak not so anyone can actually understand them (I know because I used to be exactly like this). Secondly, when the other person is “listening” they really are only listening for a pause in the other person’s speaking so they can start hearing themselves speak as well (once again, used to be guilty). Not one of them is actually LISTENING to each other. They are only speaking AT each other. So how is that successful communication if all attempts at making one’s feelings known are the right way?
Intention within a relationship is the glue that holds all of us together until we finally make an actual connection. As long as both parties intend to make it right between each other, no matter how many times they mis-step or fumble, the intention is there and the relationship will hold as long as both of them wish to keep holding.
So please don’t give up. Hold that intention close to your heart and FEEL the intention from the person you’re trying to communicate with. Know in your heart that the both of you are trying and for now that’s good enough. One day the boundary line of right and wrong will reveal its truth within the length of your relationship. Once again respect, gratitude, and love will flow freely between the two of you. Just have patience, keep the intention, and let all the rest of your negativity go.
Like attracts like. If you want a wholesome and true connection, love and let go so that he or she can feel your intention and love and let go too. I know it’s hard to forgive and love when your so mixed up and aggravated, but don’t see it as “giving in” to the other person. See it as setting the example to live by. If they love you as you know they do, they will see/feel this intention in you and choose to love and let go with you.
Remember, you are loved.