September 10, 2009

An Insightful Perspective

So, for at least ten years now, I've spent some of my waking hours of each day trying to be more buddhist in my approach to life. Which, of course, is hilarious, because much of the *trying* is antithetical to the buddhist approach to life.

But, the nice thing is, over the years, through the effort of trying to be more mindful, accepting, understanding, patient, and fully alive in the moment, I've actually made some progress in these areas. And I am a bit more balanced, relaxed, and mellow.

Within the last year, however, I realized that some of these efforts had caged me in and put me in situations that were not good for me. So, I've been trying to learn how to draw boundaries in a zen-like manner, which is, for me, very, very, difficult. I'm very good at drawing boundaries in a confrontational, non-compassionate way. But compassionate boundaries? Yeah, those are hard to define.

So, I very much appreciated and agreed with Havi's latest post.

In particular, I thought this was a good explanation for the concept I've been working through:

Arriving at the point where someone’s hurtful behavior doesn’t hurt you doesn’t mean that you just let people throw shoes.

You’re totally allowed to stand up for yourself and explain to people why shoe-throwing is not cool. In fact, because you know it doesn’t have anything to do with you, you feel safe and comfortable saying, “Hey, we don’t throw shoes here.”

It’s just that at the same time, you remember that this is about their stuff, that people are allowed to think what they think, and that you don’t have to interact with the ones who are into tossing shoes around.

For a long time, I thought I had to accept the hurtful behavior and work through my issues, because obviously, if I let it hurt me, I needed to continue to work on my stuff. Which is true. But I didn't realize that true acceptance of others for who they are (without judgment or any negative feelings towards them) doesn't necessarily mean that I have to seek them out.

It's a very freeing realization and I look forward to where it leads me in my life.

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