Week 5, Day 4 – Boundaries

The choices for today were:

1.                  Explore in writing areas in which you may need tighter boundaries: sexually, spiritually, at work, at home, with strangers, with friends. What would you do if your mind was clear and your body relaxed?

2.                  Think of a boundary issues about which you feel unsure. Ask one of the teachers to dialogue with you and see what the teacher has to say. Now go back and ask all ten teaches to comment. Sometimes we may wonder if we’re acting too friendly with a co-worker, for instance. Other times we may realize we have been keeping a distance from a new neighbor and there’s no reason not to be friendlier, we were keeping a right boundary because we were tired.

Ok, so here is the thing. I have a love hate relationship with the phone. On the one hand I want to be accessible to people, but there are times that I do not feel like talking to a person or people in general. So I make the decision to not pick up the phone. If I am feeling tired or not at a place where I feel that I could be present for a conversation with this person, I feel as if it is more respectful of me to not answer, then to answer and find myself thinking about doing something else. At the same time, I struggle with not being there for people. so I have this internal conflict going on because there are times that I do not want to be disturbed, like when I am journaling or having quality time with Zoë or after 10 pm when I am trying to get ready to unwind and relax for the night. I think part of my conflict comes from releasing the sense that I am on call, which is a remnant from my days of pastoring, to being in a new place in my life. So now, I am working on not answering the phone all the time and listening to my spirit and my body before I pick up the phone. I have been trying to employ Pema Chodron’s technique of pausing. Somehow, in the midst of the pause, I am finding clarity and a sense of peace about when I am supposed to answer it and when I am not. Something I was told a while back sits in the back of my head. They can leave a message. Often times, people will call and not leave a message. I figure if it were important they speak to me, they would leave a message. When they do leave a message, my bodily response tells me whether I should return the call immediately or wait.

I guess the phone thing that gets at my shenpa as Chodron talks about it are those who call every five minutes saying this is an emergency, please call me as soon as you get in. and then when I call and ask how they are – I am told oh I am ok, I was just wondering what you are doing. I find myself having flashbacks of peter and the wolf. One of these days, this person is really going to be in an emergency and wanting me to call and I am not because I am going to think it was just one of those just wondering what you are up to calls. Oh and yes, I have already talked to them about that and no, it has not made them stop. But then I try to let this person off the hook by saying it is because they have special needs, but I know that is not the case and it is just me letting this person off the hook. So I think the thing that really gets to me hear is this sense of not being heard. I need to be clearer about my boundaries with this individual.

So there is this voice in me going breathe Sharon – just breathe – your shengpa is coming out in your writing. Lol – ok. So before I let it take control, I am just going to pause for a moment, breathe, and realize that I control my phone, it does not control me. Just because it rings does not mean I have to answer it. The phone is not my master and I am not its slave. Hmm, I guess I just answered my own question. I do not have to answer the phone. I can call people back when I need to. I deserve the right to speak to people when my body is relaxed and my mind is clear. I and the person who is seeking me have the right for me to be present and able to focus on what they are saying. If it is not a good time for me to talk, I have choices. I can pause before answering and listen to my body. If I am tired or stressed, then I cannot answer the phone. I can turn the ringers off, take some time to relax and clear my mind, and then turn them back on. Emancipating myself from the need to answer will be a first step in setting boundaries around the protection of my space, honoring my relationship with others and