Monday, March 29, 2010


"You always have boundaries.  Let someone else choose them and they're restrictions.  Choose them yourself and they're principles."  I cut this out of likely either Seventeen or Glamour more than 20 years ago and put it into one of those word-scrap collage things and took it with me went I went away to college.  I put lots of other things on there that I kind of was, that I wanted to be more of and some that were just downright me and always have been.  It is weird to think that I should have been listening better to my seventeen year old self all along.  Boundaries.

And that is where we are today.  You need to set boundaries for yourself.  Whether it is a professional relationship between doctor and patient or a love relationship between future bride and groom.  You have to stay true to who you are.  Granted, I don't know exactly how to do this yet; I am out of practice.  I have years of experience at failing miserably with boundaries though.  Now I watch everyone stumble through this issue and call plays from the sidelines as they go along. 

Dad.  Don't email your patients about your own personal health issues.  Ever.  Especially not the crazy ones.  When you are drowning, you don't call out for help to the kid who can't swim.  I know you need someone to talk to.  You're picking the wrong people.  That is why god invented therapy.  I get it; therapy is scary.  At first it feels better to just talk and get it out than to work on real solutions.  And I also get that sometimes we have to make the wrong choices to know what the right ones are.  Thing is though, when you realize you are making the wrong choices, please stop making them.   Listen to your therapist. 

Audrey.  You have a history of fucked up relationships.  Not of your own making, I'm talking family stuff here.  You have defined your role in those over time; you have honed it to a razor sharp "get along to go along" point.  This, what you're dealing with now, is different.  Those relationships are blood.  This is walk-away-from-able.  You can change your pattern.  You, my human jacuzzi friend, have the opportunity to make a new path for yourself.  Also scary.  The unknown is always scary.  But that doesn't mean it is worse.  Because you will bring your true self into it, it will inherently be better.  Allow yourself to want what you want, feel what you feel, be who you are with your whole self and good things will follow you to that place.  You don't have to chase bad because it's "good enough."  And read this thing I found about boundaries.  You will see yourself in it.  I saw me there in a few places too.

Like I said, I am not an expert in making good things work.  However I have gotten pretty good at walking away from the things that don't work with a good degree of alacrity and grace.

I think about the one lunch date I went on where the guy said scripture twice and meant it and that was enough for me to walk away regretless.  Used to be I would have talked myself into that being fine.  At least he has a belief system.  Even if it's different than mine, it's something.  And relationships are built on compromise.  And maybe I should learn more about god and try to accept jesus into my heart.  Maybe that's what my life is missing.  And I would have gone along trying to cram my square peg self into that round hole until I splintered into a million pieces all over the place.  I know.  I did that before.  Now I know: Scripture = Game Over.  And I only spent one hour out of my life making that decision instead of three months or years of time. 

Knowing who you are and where your lines in the sand are drawn not only feels amazingly powerful, but it is such a time-saver.

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