Browsing the archives for the chaos tag

Self and the Storm

family, Spiritual Journey

Within a storm of uncertainty and chaos, there is a center of me that stays out of the wind and cold. A part that watches – a part that is learning. Normally, I am often concerned with how others around me are doing, and one person having a bad day used to cause me to spend tremendous energy trying to change that.

Today I heard myself letting my daughter’s issues be her issues and not affect my own enjoyment of the day. Not that it was anything major – we are still learning how to be with one another. And that means living with one another’s quirks and foibles, and really it’s about recognizing boundaries.

Watching the Storm Gather

When I watch a rainstorm, I never get confused as to where I stop and where the storm begins. The border between the storm and I is usually a pane of glass between us, or the edge of the porch, or at the very least my skin and (hopefully) my hat. And yet when others have their own stormy periods, I seem to forget that distinctive boundary – and let their problems become mine.

But boundaries are our friends, and when they function, they can be the shelter between us and the storm that rages outside. Learning about myself and being willing to learn from mistakes helps teach me about myself – it shows me what I can and can’t accept, for instance. For instance, as I learn what helps me stay healthy (for example, my photography), I can then make decisions about how valuable it is.

The purpose of having boundaries is to protect and take care of ourselves. We need to be able to tell other people when they are acting in ways that are not acceptable to us. A first step is starting to know that we have a right to protect and defend ourselves. That we have not only the right, but the duty to take responsibility for how we allow others to treat us.
–Robert Burney

And sometimes, that may just mean letting a storm stay outside, or letting an unhappy teen be unhappy until they choose otherwise – while making the bast choices for myself along the way. Today worked out well, and I think the boundaries helped keep the storm at a minimum. More importantly, it let me be available for my daughter when the weather cleared up – something I would have missed if I had made the momentary storm become more important than it was.

How do you keep from getting soaked by someone else’s storm? How have you learned to take care of yourself?

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