when knowledge of truth get into your heart…

I am consistently in awe of how life and relationships are ever offering us chances to grow in compassion, faith, definition of boundaries and love. There are several universal truths I’ve know for a long time in theory with the whole of my intellect and shared these ideas with vigor, knowing they were right, but often my grip on them was slippery in the application to my own life.

I’m not sure when it happened. Gradually and in fits and starts for sure. At some point I felt what knew to be true of spiritual law on a soul level, deep in my spirit, that place of knowingness free from any tangles of doubt. “I deeply love and accept myself.” I repeated it like a mantra until the foreign words found resonance in my heart’s center. Last night I had a dream that I had a flirtation and subsequent romance with Janelle Monae. It was sweet and gleaming. The kind of courtship that feels like the start of something extremely significant. I woke up and ruminated a bit and arrive at the interpretation that the dream signified my burgeoning love and devotion to myself. I’m in a courtship with me! (you know the whole Janell and Janelle thing?)

When I felt myself worthy of love and respect, my relationship with myself changed as did my relationships with my parents, siblings, friends and even my relationship to work and employers. I learned that boundaries are a great thing — -as Brene Brown says, “if we really want to practice compassion, we have start by setting boundaries and holding people accountable for their behavior.” As I began to accept myself and others, I grew in my compassion. No one had ever told me that I could say no and still be loving, that I could say I don’t like or accept certain energy or behavior in my life and still be your friend. WHAT?? As the recovering epitome of textbook codependency, this was whole new world to me. I think at first I probably said no, maybe a little too much, after I started having fun exploring my newfound boundaries. I especially had fun dissing men who had “sexpectations” or were pushy, disrespectful or offensive in anyway. My pendulum swung hard, knocking over anyone in the way. The block function on both my iphone and social media became my best friend. I cut people out of my life and didn’t look back. After all they had wronged me and I had the right to banish them. Right? But then I woke up to the reality that having boundaries didn’t necessarily mean shutting people out as soon as then did something wrong. That was pretty much just shutting down and I wanted my heart to be open.

Courage was needed. Here life went again; just when I thought I had something figured out, showing me a way to more mastery… more expansion. If I wanted to have healthy boundaries, I would have to be brave enough to tell people why I was hurt, offended or angered by their behavior and give them the chance to make adjustments to respect my boundaries. This means I may have to revisit and reevaluate (Mercury retrograde is upon us and calling for us to do just that) the relationship. Telling a friend, “hey this thing you do? It is not my favorite and if you keep doing it, I’m not probably not going to remain in this friendship” is hella awkward and the smaller version of me, would rather hide, skulk off and hope folks take the hint, but my higher self constantly demands more from me, like an unconditionally loving parent who knows how powerful and capable I am (at times more than I do) and lovingly reminding me to do better.