Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More on Boundaries

So the question came up the other day regarding unconditional love and boundaries. We were talking about the ideal of loving unconditionally which implies acceptance of everything without judgement or criticism. How do we do that and stay safe around horses - and as someone said, children and other intimidating creatures! The answer is boundaries.

But then, if you are setting boundaries, aren't you setting conditions? Great question. I think we would agree that boundaries are important in relationships. Are we saying, "I love you, but only if you stay over there"? And so we had a conversation about this the other day and decided (at least for the time-being) that the definition of boundary really is clarity in communication. The image of a wall comes to mind when we think of boundaries. However, in relationships, putting up walls isn't what it's all about. It's about the dance as we've heard before. Negotiating clearly what our needs are, give and take, exploring together the "to and fro" of being in relationship. Each being is equal and a language is established over time that facilitates clear communication - hopefully!

Naturally, listening is a key component of the dance. This is something the horses are desperately trying to show me lately. The impression I'm getting is that I'm great at talking to them and asking but I'm not so good at listening to the answer. And so my challenge is to talk, ask and then listen and it's in those few seconds of open-hearted waiting following the question that is important. Take the time to listen and trust fully what you hear. That's my mission.