Boundaries in or boundaries out?
Skin is beautiful: the largest organ in the body with astonishing sensory abilities. I was recently at the beach on the Kenyan coast, reveling in the soft, white sand, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the breeze on my face, and the refreshment of a saltwater pool. My skin made all of those gorgeous sensations possible.
Skin protects: I added protection to the skin on my feet by wearing my Tevas when walking in places with coral and sea urchins. I protected the skin on my face and arms by wearing sunscreen. My skin kept everything out that was not meant to be inside my body.
Skin contains: Just like you, I'm mainly a fluid creature, and I like to keep my fluids intact. At one point, I scraped my skin and started to bleed, and I appreciate that my skin normally keeps everything inside that's supposed to stay inside.
Healthy boundaries behave in the same way.
Boundaries are beautiful: just as we can tell where water ends and dry land begins, boundaries show the edges of what's me and what's you so that we can live together in love. They are the distance that allows me to honor you and myself at the same time. Boundaries allow us to enjoy one another in harmony.
Boundaries protect: the anxiety, anger, fears, and judgments of others can be like spiky sea urchins or sharp shells. When I see them clearly and know they are not me, I can protect my darling, soft self more easily. I can choose to walk on the soft sand, or to wear appropriate shoes.
Boundaries contain: my own anxiety, rage, shame, fear, wish for control, etc. sometimes leak inappropriately onto others through unbridled self-expression. "You always... You never..." Those expressions are not meant to leak out, but to be recognized and felt, so that the resulting behaviors are wise.
How's your skin doing, Christi? Any soft, supple places? Any callouses? Any scrapes? What needs more containment? What needs more protection? Where do you need some lotion applied? Where might you need tougher shoes?
When you care for your skin, you're contained as well as receptive. Have I mentioned that you're beautiful? Because you are.
With great love,