Archive for September, 2009

Where you end and the other begins

September 22nd, 2009

Someone once told me that one way of envisioning boundaries is “where you end and the other begins.”  This seems like a clear visual of knowing how to differentiate between yourself and others.  Part of recovery is about establishing healthier boundaries, and this is a challenge and an opportunity to discover your availability in relationships and how to navigate requests.  Asking yourself the question “How do I choose to be available?” instead of “What do others want from me?” can be a clear place to start.

Most of us have generosity of spirit within us, but if our generosity turns into self-neglect, it usually leads to resentment and burnout leaving you ineffectual to everyone.  To truly bring your quality self to the table, think about what will leave you feeling balanced and peaceful with your choices.  Will this leave you feeling serene or depleted?  A lot to consider, but worthwhile as you determine your availability–emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Don’t be afraid to be of service–one of the greatest tools of recovery–but check it out within yourself before you move forward.

navigating the waters

September 8th, 2009

At times old trauma can reappear when you least expect it. It can be as simple as old family patterns that are “acted out” in front of you while you’re trying to disengage.  Or it can show up when a current situation or person resembles a traumatic moment from your past.  Either way, it’s an opportunity to navigate these tricky waters and not fall into the same old minefields that appear in front of you.

Recently, my family has converged around a crisis with one of my siblings–as a result, there is way more contact with family than usual.  Because I left the East Coast over 21 years ago with the intention of establishing distance, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to once again witness the chaos and struggle in front of me.  Don’t get me wrong.  My family loves each other more or less, but we’ve never learned how to love one another.  And the dilemma keeps showing up again and again.

In recovery we learn to establish healthier boundaries, and it’s not only ok to detach with compassion but is sometimes essential to show up at all if you choose to be of service.