…and how I am trying to change my mind.
It starts, as a lot of stories do, a long time ago when I was younger. I had a lot of self-respect and dreams of who I would be when I was older, and with that respect I had a fair few rules.
Take dating, for example.
I was never going to let myself be pushed around or manipulated by any male…
…and then somehow it happened.
Fine, but I was never going to date a male who smoked…
…and then I fell in love with someone who did.
Well, whatever! At least I would never tolerate a male cheating on me…
…oh wait but I have a kind heart so I will try my best for this man I love and give him a second chance.
Do you see what I mean? Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls all over the place, and I found that it didn’t really matter what boundaries I tried to put up, those balls would just knock them down. I thought, well what’s the point of having boundaries if I’m not going to keep them?
So in the end I gradually took all of my boundaries down. Not just with relationships but with goals, work, friends, health, love, life; you get the picture. I just became so worn out living with constant anxiety that it became easier to live moment by moment regardless of what that moment held, rather than stay strong and put my foot down – a person can only do so much!
That is until last year when life threw me another curve ball; one that was about to teach me a valuable lesson in what boundaries actually are.
To continue with the theme of dating, I started seeing a man who I found very attractive but only wanted to remain casual with. He didn’t have a problem with that; in fact we had both just ended major, long-term relationships and neither of us wanted anything serious. To cut a long story short, we are now very serious without even realising how it happened.
The more and more I am with this man, the more I see the person that I had lost somewhere among the fears of not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, not wanting to face painful problems, and so on. His eyes told the story of a man who had been hurt, had let his guard down, but knew exactly who he was, what he was willing to put up with, and what he did, and didn’t, want EVEN AFTER all the hard parts of life.
That was all well and good, but the thing that it was most important for me to see was that all of it didn’t make him any less of a caring, loving individual. Even though we are equal in how much love and affection we show towards each other, he is a lot stronger with his ideals, and I am lost; if you will “weaker”, without any.
What’s more, every time I become lively about something, he becomes excited himself. For the first time in a long time someone has encouraged me to be loud, to be heard, reminding me that sometimes passion lies within anger, frustration, injustice and swear words.
I’ve enjoyed so much coming out of my self-imposed box, that when my ex (and now good friend) came home, and I swore in front of him, he was quite taken aback. He said, “why did you get angry?” and when I told him I wasn’t he didn’t believe me. I didn’t become angry, I became passionate – and either way, what’s wrong with that?
Someone who hasn’t known me only for the last half year would say I’ve changed and I’d say you’re both right and wrong. Yes, I have changed, but I’ve changed into someone closer to who I am rather than remain who I don’t recognise anymore.
I am still working on the whole “boundaries” thing, made clear to me by the onset of my “leaky gut” problem within the last week or so.
See, in Chinese Medicine the gut looks after “letting go” and “boundaries” – where you stop and everything else starts. Since my gut has decided it doesn’t know the difference between what should be in my blood and what shouldn’t, it’s a clear indication that I myself am confused as to what belongs in my life and what doesn’t.
I know that all seems a bit weird, but it makes perfect sense to me.
So now just comes the tricky part of changing in the face of my old beliefs.
They never said life would be easy, right?