Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I always wanted a white picket fence
I am in the last week of my Ordinary Courage Class. Today the instructor Brene Brown answered questions about shame resilence and boundaries. Funny, since I am also wrapping up a 9 month journey with a small group of friends through the book Boundaries. Today during my class Brene said: "boundaries are vulnerable." I was very surprised by that statement. Since part of me thought that by developing good boundaries I would be more protected. Brene went on to explain that having good boundaries is 1) asking for what you need, 2) saying what you feel and 3) believing you are worthy of receiving both of those things. WOW! She also explained shame resilience as understanding what shame is and not betraying your authentic self while traveling through it.
So, here is my synopsis. Boundaries are like a picket fence. They provide space between me and my environment. I can see the outside and the outside can see me. There is a gate on my fence, and I can open it up and close it as I want and need to. When I feel ashamed I can close the gate. Move away from the person injuring me and use my coping skills until I find a safe space to process. Success is when I do not yell, or shut down but rather ask for what I need. Take the space to process my feelings and then respond.
I loved Brene's coping skills: 1) Do nothing. 2) Say nothing (don't talk, don't text, don't email) until you are calm. 3) Find a quiet space (car, bathroom stall, home) and breathe, pray wait until you are ready to respond without betraying your authentic self.
When I was a little girl I dreamed of marrying the guy from the LLBean catalogue. My New England experience told me that those guys, had money, worked hard, carried in the fire wood, drove BMW's, etc. I believed "arriving" would include a house with a white picket fence, a driveway with a Honda Odyssey and a man who wore suits to work. Funny, now I realize that the best picket fence is the one I'm building around my heart and life - to let the good in and keep the bad out. These steps are empowering and exciting. They also seem a bit lofty... God grant me the courage to change what I can!