On Celebrating Boundaries

Apr 4, 2014 | Musings From A Conscious Parenting


This morning my beautiful changeling daughter, Arayla Grace(9) came into my bedroom while I was getting dressed. She was wearing one of my deep v-neck shirts that she found in her own dresser, a laundry mis-hap…it was way too big for her, and inappropriately sexy, but she was holding it up in a certain way, adorably, saying “I think if we just pinned it right here, Mom, it could look really nice?”  I hugged her close, smiling, and said “Um: maybe in a couple of years…?” She smiled, too, both of us aware of her eagerness to embrace womanhood.

At that very moment I was in the midst of some internal processing, regarding a powerful relationship in my life, and only somewhat consciously chose to casually express out loud to Arayla what I was feeling. I looked to determine her response or reflection, and her face was hard to read. Then she said, quickly “I don’t want to talk about this right now.” And swung on her heel, rapidly exiting my bedroom and heading into her own.

I felt a tad stunned by her clear assertion of boundary, and immediately felt badly, wondering if I had un-intentionally violated her psychic space, by inappropriately including her in my adult thoughts. This is a pattern from my own childhood, as the oldest child, firstborn daughter~ where from an early age I both involved myself, and was choicelessly involved in the adult workings of my parent’s lives. And though I have been conscious and intentional to respect my daughter’s innocence, and let her freely be inside her childhood, I know I have, on occasion, had a tendency of over-sharing. Her wise, insightful, astutely perceptive ways, as well as her frequent curiosity and incessant questions about my honest experience of processing life, has set up a dynamic that at times resembles my own childhood relationship with my parents, more than I am comfortable to admit to myself.

After waiting a moment I followed her into her bedroom, and said “I really respect your communication to not talk about that, Love, and I’m truly sorry if that was inappropriate to share with you. I just want to check in and see if you’re upset, or need to say anything?” She smiled at me warmly, looked me directly in the eye, and said: “ No… I just felt like that was none of my business.”  And then she said, “Mama, do you like how this shirt looks with my jeans? Do you think I need an undershirt?” I looked at the sheer quality of her shirt, and replied “Yes, I think an undershirt would be good.” And I left her room, considering in quiet awe the unhealthy multi-generational pattern that had just been broken in Arayla’s bold willingness to be true to herself, and in my willingness to respectfully honor her boundary, making careful note to do a better job of not even subtly involving her in issues that “are none of her business.”

I think about last Summer, and a certain familiar dynamic I found myself in at the age of 39, with my now divorced parents, and my need to speak a boundary into the space, in self-protection and self-respect. How long it has taken me to communicate subtle boundaries to my parents, and ask them to honor them. How humbling it is to see my own growing edge in creating healthy boundaries with my beloved children, and in other relationships in my life. How fuzzy the line becomes for some of us, between love, and the need to share everything~ And how an unwillingness to listen, to be involved, to partake in a conversation, can feel, to the one with weaker boundaries, like a shutting out of love, of intimacy. How beautiful to continue to invite a new and evolving awareness around this, to embody it and celebrate it. I bow to this mysterious playing field of human relationship~ so many opportunities to learn, to reflect, to change, to bring my actions more deeply into alignment with my heart’s wisest intent. Blessed be. <3

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