Tuesday, August 24


our property, like every other in the known world, comes with bounderies. we know where our land starts and ends, and so do others. but we have no walls. that is, anyone can enter.
the message is, we're not afraid, we're welcoming, but i'm not going to be okay with you using my front lawn for a BBQ, 'kay.

without emotional bounderies we look up one day to find we have become doormats, or we're going unheard, or we're being taken advantage of, and so on.

a friend recently set up some bounderies. that is, i feel that this is what she's done. i feel that in her mind they are 'appropriate bounderies'. but with the subsequent consequences of this i see that what she's built are walls.

walls protect us, and walls are also barriers.

connections of value as well as soul growth do not occur with walls up.

now i'm not saying building up walls is a bad thing. on the contrary, sometimes it's essential.
we are not all capable of soulful connections or ready for soul work.

if we have the experience of paranoia, disliking being vulnerable, afraid of facing our Shadows, belief in a loss of personal power, or lack of trust with the world, well then, we cannot live without constantly putting up protective barriers.

those feelings, experiences, and beliefs, must be dealt with before a person can jump on the deep soulwork train. and when i say 'must' i never mean should, but rather it doesn't work any other way.

a person i know where i live doesn't like me. she could have set firm bounderies and we could get on civily as we mix in our mutual circle. but she chose a strong, high, wall instead. she believes it's the only choice. worse, and spiritually a not so good thing, she encouraged a mutual friend to do the same. passing her fears to another through subtle emotional manipulation - you have doubts? see, put up a boundary now. behind those words - i'm afraid, this is how i react in fear, if you do the same i am justifed.

so, while bounderies are very very good, i do wonder if someone using the term is referring to a healthy line, or a barrier. if they're referring to fleeing, running from facing something or someone, denial, or cutting themselves off from possibilities. it's not the walls that are a problem, but the thinking that walls are the same as appropriate bounderies.

walls are an external crutch that do work. but while we feel safer and thereby happier for a bit, there is always an underlying lingering bad taste. walls provide safety, not peace.

many of us have need to learn the empowerment of setting bounderies. how many of us are aware of needing to learn softness?

thing is, bounderies empower us, and others. walls keep us safe, until we're ready to face the world, including our own inner selves. but they have nothing to do with self-empowerment.


  1. oh such a good post, am thinking about it now and nodding and feeling those words xx

  2. Interesting perspective. I suppose it's part of human nature to form boundaries. We have a need to also keep to ourselves and allow only certain individuals into our world. Some physical walls can be good to create more intimacy and create some personal space. Also they can be good to distract the eye from visual clutter - it maybe even be children ;)
    Does she have small kids? Probably not.
    Try not to look at it so negatively, maybe it will create a better relationship with you both as neighbours if you do add some separation - does that make sense... ;)
    I would try to just go with the flow and suggest that maybe she plant some ivy in between the stones to soften the look. It can be very pretty actually once a little green is added. (you can just do that on your side even ;).
    I hope my perspective will create a little peace in your neck of the woods (and stones) ;D

  3. Interesting post, and full of food for thought. I tend to believe that people do the best they can under the circumstances, and sometimes people aren't ready to ease their boundaries; sometimes the walls are made of really old stone, and it takes a long hard time to break them down. I know people whose soul work takes years and years whereas for me the same work may take days - its all so personal and complicated, I simply can't compare them. And I know some people who don't believe they have soul work to do at all, and I just accept that because even not working is a kind of working - a slow strengthening of the soul muscles, a letting understanding grow in darkness - because we don't live in a vaccum. The universe will see soul lessons taught when the person is ready.

    I also think running away, fleeing, and even denial can be healthy at times. It's hard to say that when we are part of what is being run from. But its seldom to do with us, more to do with them. And often running away is like a movement towards oneself.

    One of the hardest things I've personally had to learn is that I'm not good for everyone. Some people may need to put up boundaries against me, or even walls, or even need to run away, because something about my energy or my beliefs is not right for them. I try to understand that it doesn't make me a bad person, or them either, its just that I'm not right for them and what they need for their soul at this time. Sometimes a person's soul work involves blocking out other people who confront them too much, or reflect something of themselves they need to see differently, or trigger them in an unhelpful way, or view life with a perspective that is so different from their own that it disturbs their efforts to build authenticity in their life.

    But this is a very long comment even for me! Thanks for sparking a lot of thoughts in my mind. Its been an interesting way to start the day :-)

  4. ella sorry for the confusion... i was using 'walls' figuratively, as in emotional walls.
    the person isn't a neighbour. just someone who is afraid of my inner strength. and has decided to keep a distance.

    sarah - lots of good points.
    i agree that people set these things up according to where they are in life. absolutely.

    my pondering i guess is about when we convince ourselves that we have set up something beneficial to ourselves, but really have only succeeded in disconnecting.

    the reasons you mention at the end, appear to me as a disconnection, fear-based actions.
    i'm not sure if i see running away as ever beneficial, unless it was from abuse, etc.

    thanks for the though-provoking input!

  5. Interesting and timely post for me. I recently have felt a desire to back away from a certain blog. Love the author, and love the way her ideas challenge me...but suddenly it just feels like too much for me. I don't truly want to disconnect from her...just maybe need an inner boundary or something. Or a break. Sometimes I need breaks from people.

    I really like your new header, by the way.

  6. So very true. I believe in life there are just people who are not going to like me. As I get older I really don't put much thought into those meaningless and high schoolish behaviors. Building walls for reinforcement to protect us is one thing and sometimes for self preservation I know I have put up a few walls. But walls can fall just as easily...for me anyhow. However, those lingering thoughts and memories of the reason that wall was built does not die overnight. It takes a bigger person I believe to live and let live. Be cordial and polite as we adults are supposed to behave. As far as the one who doesn't care for you turning another someone into not caring for you based not on her opinion is very childish and that person would have no place in my life either. It has happend to me so I fully understand. I was hurt, but well....we learn lessons through the hurt too. Bless you~ Angie

  7. such a beautifully timed post in terms of Pisces full moon energy.

    I love your reference to learning softness. It's so crucial too isn't it? Yet so often overlooked. The strength and courage of an open heart, and vulnerability. Compassion. Softness can often be misconstrued as weakness, or that which is easily exploited. S'pose it's that ever-elusive balance - skillful means.

    Sometimes our boundaries can be self-serving (for our fears) as much as they can protect us in healthy ways. I like the heart of what you're saying: that walls are not inherently wrong or bad, just that they aren't the same thing as appropriate boundaries.

  8. intersting post.. i've recently been doing both i think, and for the first time it does feel empowering as opposed to keeping me safe.. perhaps it's just taken me a long time to learn the difference and act on it.. to find that balance, and also to realise that there doesnt have to be one rule for all.. it's about flexibility and trusting ourselves!

    I feel that in building boundaries with those people who see me as a doormat - and its taken some time, in respect of continuing to have a relationship with those concerned.. rather than ending the connection.. and i'm the one who has allowed this with certain people over the years leading to that feeling of being deeply unheard - these boundaries are in turn helping me to drop my defenses.. to break down the barriers i've built and, again in turn, allowing me to learn to have more respect for myself and others.. learning to trust.

    i too find what Sarah said is very true.. in that i feel that some people put up boundaries against me, as a way of rejecting the triggers that are set off by our relationship.. i think we all do at some point/to some extent.

  9. "these boundaries are in turn helping me to drop my defenses.. to break down the barriers i've built and, again in turn, allowing me to learn to have more respect for myself and others.. learning to trust."

    beautiful sue, this is it exactly.

  10. Wow...a powerful post Mon! I thoroughly dislike that a mutual friend has done the same...urghhhh. A good learning post for me. xo

  11. i think i'll have to ponder what you are pondering a bit...

  12. lots of good thought-food here...and in the comments section as well!

    in the past, my issue has been in NOT placing boundaries....and so then building them has been my important lesson -- recently it's even been about placing boundaries for myself as much as other people.....and your latest post about time and 'doing' is a solid reflection of that....precisely what i'm coming to terms with.

    So yes...healthy boundaries, not-so-healthy boundaries and just plain convenient ones --lol -- sometimes people suck and I just want nothing to do with them...and identifying that is as much soul-work, i think, as trying to force myself to deal with them the relationship has become circular and unhelpful. It's all very intermingled and complex, isn't it?

    I like to imagine my boundaries as tumbledown stone walls...tangled in vines and sometimes a brambly hedge...easy enough to traverse for the right person. ;)


  13. This is a good one for me since I have struggled with setting boundaries. And, I have definitely also put up walls in order to feel safe at times.

    I'm still learning. I said no yesterday, which was an assertion of a boundary for me. It was very difficult for me to do, but I did it. It feels like a small victory, but I still feel uncomfortable having done it. I needed to be able to potentially disappoint another (which I hate doing -- the part of me that needs the approval of the "other") instead of abandoning myself.

  14. I love the distinctions you make here about walls and boundaries. I understand and agree with you. I put up many, many walls in my past because I was ... scared. Scared of me, scared of everyone, scared of the world. It is only recently -- gosh, in the last year or two -- that I've begun to accept and understand my own fears, and this has helped me perceive others differently and with more compassion, which has in turn helped me understand that walls are unhealthy, not just for me, but for the world. Walls so often contain negative energies (fear, anger, frustration) reverberating outwards, and I feel this robs us of good energy. It takes much more work to be negative than to be positive, if that makes any sense. I think I read this somewhere.

    Boundaries can be healthy, you're very right, and lately I like to think of my boundary as a big clear wall ... as empty energy ... I read this somewhere too ... I empty myself of energy and set it aside for the time being when I don't want others to pick up on my energy or to feed off of it (really helpful when I'm upset or angry ... it helps me calm down and see the 'larger' picture).

    I'm sorry about your friend. This happened to me about two years ago when Jeremy and I moved in together. A close friend set up walls, and I was so, so hurt ... for a long time. Dreamed about her the other night. I understand, but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. I want for people to be open, compassionate, understanding ... but often it seems it's so much to ask for from others. Hurt is so deep, and people learn to react by hurting others in unnecessary ways, ways that hurt them too.

    Much love and peace,


  15. In my last paragraph, I should have said this in the past tense (not in the present because this looks confusing): "I understood, but it doesn't mean it didn't hurt ... that she rejected my friendship so openly."


  16. great post and comments, no time to elaborate now, but thanks:-)


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