Boundary; noun – a line which marks the limit of an area; a dividing line.
I’ve probably never been very good at setting boundaries. I’ve often let people over step a mark, over stay a welcome and felt uncomfortable voicing concerns or irritations.
Mainly because I hate upsetting people and I avoid confrontation like the plague. People pleaser much?
Sometimes, these qualities can be good, of course. I think it’s enabled me to become an empathetic and skilled reiki practitioner for example. I have nothing but patience and concern for my clients and the life changing work we do together. I am there whenever people need me, and in the current world we live in, that need seems greater than ever before.
I sometimes feel like a spiritual shepherdess looking after her flock. When the climate turns less than favourable my attention is required even more.
And so, I give. Because I love to see people transform before my very eyes.
I give, because I love it when people feel better.
I give, because I feel like this is probably my calling in this lifetime.
But that giving comes at a price.
It means that after days of taking on other people’s grief, and trauma, and abuse and fear and worry and anger and hurts I have very little left for anything else.
It means that after evenings of receiving texts and emails about progress, or people wanting advice on how to deal with something heavy that they’re facing in their lives, I often sink into bed exhausted and replete.
It means that during lockdown I felt my shepherdess role even more keenly, even though at times I felt like I badly needed rounding up so I could be brought in and taken care of too. But my flock needed me, and I was there as much as I could be.
But I’ve realised that to do this type of work long term, something needs to give.
And so, I’ve taken to Disappearing.
And it’s not because I’m rude, or ignorant or wanting to ignore anyone. It’s not because I’m too busy, or selfish to reply.
It’s simply because I need space. Quiet. Naure. Simple pleasures. And uncomplicated conversations.
Because when your life is spent tending to others, I’ve realised it’s essential. Call it a boundary. Call it a line. Call it disappearing…it matters not.
What matters is honouring and respecting each other and the way we all need to live in order to feel safe and well. So, before you condemn a friend for not being there for you in your time of need, just think, they might not have space for that right now.
And that’s ok.
Love and understanding can still exist even in times of absence and solitude.
Be kind. Always.