Boundaries and Blackbirds: Our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd

What do boundaries and blackbirds have in common?
What do Boundaries and Blackbirds have in common?

Carl Jung said that as humans our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd

Boundaries.  Those lines we draw around ourselves to maintain balance and to protect our psyche from invasion.  Yes, or maybe ‘intrusion’ is a gentler word.

The push of energy that comes from the behavior and the demands of others requires a boundary.  That boundary keeps us from being used or manipulated by others and within that boundary we can express our true nature.  Personal boundaries allow us to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives.

Without healthy boundaries we sometimes give up a part of our self to be available or accommodating in a way that enables others and causes a loss of self-respect.

We can  become so entangled with another person and their needs (co-dependent behavior) that we lose your own identity. This undermines our integrity and leads to a loss of self-respect — and the respect of others around you.

Respecting boundaries. I asked my self today if I honor other people’s boundaries.  Do I push myself on others?  When I get a hint that a person does not wish to socialize with me, do I continue to insist that they do so?  And  do I solicit others in passive-aggressive ways to elicit sympathy from others using them to assist me to push boundaries even further?

Sounds like a little bit like the animal–the bull, doesn’t it.  But you know how some people keep on antagonizing the other, right?   I have a visual.   Someone who is like a bull and charges upon others.   Wave that red flag in my face one more time and I may, do like the bull, and charge!  🙂

Do people have a fundamental right to set limits and expectations in their life without incurring the judgment of others?  I think they do.  You know that saying,  “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.“–??

Can people consider the wishes of others yet still make choices regarding personal boundaries?

People are the way they are.  Can we accept that without judging them, trying to manipulate or change them?

I operate from my own truth.  You do too.  And when we respect other people’s truths,  we expect our own truths to be respected in return.

Manipulative people do not understand boundaries.  They force themselves into the space of other people’s lives.

Where’s the compassion?  Fear is the root of it all, you know?  The boundary pushing person has a fear of not being loved, not being good enough, deserving enough.  Okay, that’s understood.  So then what? Do we let the person keep pushing or what?

Compassion for the boundary pusher and for the one with the boundaries ( both ) is what’s needed here.  There is the defensiveness from the one with the boundaries who says, “See what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel and then maybe you will understand.”  And the other one, in the meanwhile,  of course still pushes– the habit of fear being the driving motivation.

“You couldn’t handle half of what I’ve dealt with and don’t understand that there’s a reason that I do what I do”, says the one who has been willing to accept responsibility for their own life and who has developed the self-respect which created the boundary.  Victim talk?

Personal boundaries are more than OK–and it doesn’t mean that you are selfish or unkind if you push back when someone pushes yours.  Boundaries mean that you have a clear picture of who you are and how you want to live.

In a family dynamic it is always more difficult or better said–complex.  Sometimes we have to endure a person for the sake of keeping the relatives happy, right?  Or do we?  Do we enable dysfunctional behaviors in family members? Or don’t we?

The “herd mystique” and it’s allure

There is a quote from Carl Jung about this being one of the human’s greatest challenges.  Fitting in with the group, the herd, the clan–“You are family so you HAVE TO be around me!”  Where is that written?  Genetic connection or NOT;  do we vote with our presence indicating that dysfunctional behavior is acceptable?

On another note, is it our responsibility to straighten other people out in ways that we believe they should ‘act’ according to our own standards of behavior?  Whoa! Now  that’s one huge judgment if we believe that.  Where’s THAT truth?  Speak it.  Does that sound right if you say it aloud?  Best not to push your truth onto others or become a evangelist — that’s a karma creator if there ever was one.

By placing a boundary and living within it, you are living your own truth and being compassionate to yourself and to the other as well.  You are also teaching people in your life what self-respect looks like through example.

We have to trust what we know and what we have learned from the work that we have done in our own life via self-analysis, theology, philosophy and spirituality. 

This is especially true if we speak about times when our boundaries are pushed and disrespected, especially in a family situation.  Those are the most charged with the opportunity for growth and for teaching through example.

People who push boundaries are giving you the opportunity to develop or to teach self-respect.  Pushing back is a delicate art.  Knowing how to push back against pushy people takes stamina and skill. (Personally, some days I feel too old for it quite honestly.)

Anyway, push-back involves maintaining your own autonomy and self-esteem when you are being invaded.  You know that you need to step back and protect yourself, while minimizing any hostility or confrontation.  Not easy.  People are going to be offended.  Sometimes I think pushy people know that and it makes them push all the more–or they enjoy the drama.

People who push boundaries are acting out of fear and desperately trying to fulfill their own needs.  Social self-reliance is not really their forte’, their strong suit yet; they’re working on it.  We’re all a work in progress.

Self-care means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them and when you set boundaries, this is what you are doing.  It’s important.

But we’re “All One”–right?

We’re all one and connected and while this is true, and while we can be compassionate and understanding as we see the ‘bigger picture’ with self and others, we still have to be able to function here and in order to do so we must stay emotionally healthy while maintaining boundaries… all the while doing the relationship dance.  Being human isn’t easy.

Being human isn’t easy and being the best human you can be… well, it’s tricky sometimes.

I think the best thing we can do is get out of the judgment with the whole business with boundaries and relationships and being social.  I think Jung was right about the “herd mystique”– our greatest challenge being to break away from the herd.

To fully “individuate” is to be able to stop trying to “fit in” and  to be comfortable living in your own truth.  Separating one’s self from those to whom one does not feel an authentic connection takes courage.  The wrath of the clan falls upon you sometimes; that comes along with the territory of being your own person.

There is perceived safety in numbers which is an illusion just as much as any other erroneous belief we hold about living in this dimension.  Some people, and maybe I’m one, feel more authentic outside of the herd.  Strong boundaries are needed and when threatened, need re-enforcing.  Should that be a surprise?

What about karma?

Karma.  It’s our intention that creates it.  I think that needs to be said as well.  To have a boundary does not carry ill intent.

No man is an island onto himself, it is said.  We are one; yet, it is ego that separates us or gives a unique history of experiences and thus identity.

Judgment also separates us– i.e. “…you are different” or “… you should behave toward me in one way or another”.  It all gets us to work on our human growth and evolution both individually and collectively.

blackbirdBut in the meanwhile, as we do all of that, I like the blackbird way of interacting with their fellow birds. If a bird lands on a nearby branch and is not the mate of that blackbird they do a little nod (a bow) and fly away. Blackbirds are pretty solitary.  They are known to establish their territory, fiercely defending it (boundaries) by driving off any of their kind that get close to their vicinity.  Boundaries and blackbirds seem to go together.

What’s the bottom line? The ending conclusion? The final thought?  The summary? The point? The meaning?  I don’t know.   I just do hope something here helps someone out in cyber-world as I worked through some thoughts about boundaries today.

Here’s an article about emotional manipulation that I came across shortly after writing the blog above.  Some may find this helpful:

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/8-ways-spot-emotional-manipulation-free.html

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Can you do the work that you love despite vulnerability? I-Ching Kua 26 Great Restraint

Is this a continuation of where I left off from the last blog post?  (I’m asking myself.)  Vulnerability! Exposure!  Who likes it?  The MIND wrongfully interprets vulnerability as inadequacy. Learning to be a professional intuitive will expose all that jazz.  Transcending ego boundaries can feel like swimming naked and alone in a dark and unfamiliar body of water.  Lovely visual, isn’t it?  But it’s true—usually, the MIND [ego] doesn’t want to appear (even for a nanosecond) as if it doesn’t have its act together.

These thoughts are inspired by a divination tool, the I-ching Kua 26 “The Taming Power of the Great”, also called “Great Restraint”.  How do we tame that MIND and allow vulnerability without making mountains out of mole hills?

By keeping still and holding firm, even in the face of the abyss in which the ego fears losing power, identity and self—that’s how.

M. Thurston, former director of A.R.E. (Edgar Cayce Organization) synchronized Cayce’s channeled messages with the I-ching. He calls this Kua “Setting Forth” and for this one he writes, “One must leave the sanctuary of one’s home and put to work the principles espoused intellectually, or her life has little meaning.”  This sounds like “walk your talk”, doesn’t it?

That reminds me a good deal of people who write not because they need but because they simply cannot NOT WRITE.  These are folks are doing what is natural to them and cannot imagine not writing. But I’m sure they, too, have experienced challenges that attempt to break down their resolve.

And then there are those ‘starving artists’ and ‘starving actresses’.  They simply cannot NOT DO what their heart and soul will not permit them to quit trying to do—they do their craft anyway.

Yet, the trick in all that is that once we start to “sweat the small stuff” as the old saying goes, we are becoming overly attached to our ideas about whatever it is we are fretting over or whatever we find ourselves overly defending.  We can be overly identified with our beliefs about who we are and what we do here.

And thus, we must allow the vulnerability and fears of inadequacy while remaining in our truth—that’s the bottom line.  If you swim naked in the darkness of the abyss, you will probably bump into others eventually—perhaps one of them will be me.

 

Daily Divination 10-7-11 New Job? New Town? Is it a Pattern? When in Rome, Are You… ? I-CHING Kua 56 The Wanderer

You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer~Byron Katie

As soon as I saw the image [to the left], I thought of Sagittarius – that gypsy and travel part of Sag.  The other thing that came to mind was that famous phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” 

Today I learned about someone I know who has lost her job–again!  It’s not any one who turns to me (my services) for advice or guidance; in fact its someone who is rather convinced that my psychic work is associated with the devil.  Sigh!  And its someone who believes (factually in her own words) that trials and tribulations come from the christian jesus and is asking jesus to stop the pattern of giving her life these repeating problems. Yeah, right?  I know!  I’m saying wow and shaking my head too.

Ever meet someone who you so much wish to help while knowing you must be asked, you cannot take over their free will?  Someone who believes that god is punishing and victimizing them?  It’s so frustrating.  What can we do?  We can only envision them healed, whole and happy and try to energize that picture for them I suppose. (And like I do often here, take my frustrating moments and use them as teaching moments.)

And then ask what is the lesson in this for me personally?  Why did this come before me and frustrate me?  And so, until I figure it all out, I use these things as teaching moments especially when they align so perfectly with the I-CHING Kua draw of the day as so happens today.

I came across a quote recently by David Hawkins that sort of sums up religious distortion.  He wrote the following about the fundamentalist sects of any religion about the jealous, vengeful and angry god:

The god of righteous negativity represents a glorification of the negative, and provides for his followers a disavowal of responsibility through justification of human cruelty and mayhem. — Power vs. Force, The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior by David Hawkins

New in town? New on the job? It can be destabilizing and trigger all of our insecurities—change really does trigger self-doubt or anxiety.  Sometimes, in error, we can overcompensate when we feel out of place—we really want to keep it all together but go about it the wrong way; therefore, we can sometimes try too hard and come off  appearing like a misfit instead.   This comes from our own inner insecurity malfunction.

There is wisdom in the advice of the I-CHING Kua 56 called “The Wanderer” or “The Traveler” or as I’d like to call it the gypsy part of Sagittarius.  And that advice is to do as the Romans do and for goodness sake when you’re new to town or to a job,  don’t ‘put down’ the unfamiliar in order to compensate for your own insecurity by trying to feel superior.

Whether it is being a newcomer to a town or  a job or a family (whatever it may be), it is always wise to create a respectful and friendly atmosphere by being sincere in unpretentious—just be yourself in sincerity and hang back to learn the new environment while being respectful to yourself and to others.  Give yourself and other people the gift of grace and time.

Many of the readers of this blog already know this (preaching to the choir I’m sure)  but I am thinking about a particular person/ situation as I write this.  Besides, there might be someone else who can relate to this in a helpful way—so I will continue in that spirit, if I may.

Sometimes, when we are new to town or to the apartment building or to the job, we will be a curiosity to others and maybe even one or two humans could pick on us a little bit to see what we’re made of—that’s human nature.  Avoid challenging established order,  but of course if your boundary is transgressed speak up while respecting others.

We are all wanderers in one way or another on the journey of life.  Seasoned travelers know how to adapt and keep to themselves in the right timing and how to blend with others in the right way.  They also have learned the value of a sense of humor and about the avoidance of arrogance at all costs.  A very valuable took that I read in my teenage years was, “How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies“.  I’d bet there are still copies around.  I can’t remember the context of the material in that book after all these years; however, I do remember it helping me out a great deal regarding human interactions.  I think I was in high school when I read it or maybe age 17 or 18 years old.

Personally, I think that a good way to move through life is to do so in such a way that when you have moved through the town, the relationship, the job or even this lifetime, others will speak well and kindly of you (about you) when you’re gone. 

When in Rome... etc. Also, do others speak well of you after you've left?

Also,  I think that to meet others more than half way (giving more than half) when possible is a good idea. People can feel where your heart is even if you’re words are not spoken aloud.  Of course, I shouldn’t even have needed to type that last sentence— apologies to the reader for the redundancy and overstating the obvious. Some people, however, don’t know about any of these simple common sense concepts and they are having difficulty on their travels.

Some of us may be meant to wanderers as part of our karma or choice —some of us go from one job (or relationship or town) to the next continually–who are we to speculate as to why this might be?   Perhaps there is a divine plan of which we are unaware.  Maybe you have chosen an accelerated path and part of that is to have many changing experiences.  HOWEVER, if you are continually being asked to leave jobs and as a result you are not able to function or meet your  survival needs, and if this happens over and over again, ask yourself if  you are repeating patterns.   And when you are escorted out the door of employment (being fired from your job for the umpteenth time) while you blame jezuz or god (or whomever) for being tough on you (“blessing you with trials and tribulations”) and if you are not taking any responsibility, playing the victim… can you not see there is a pattern there for which your own behavior or decisions (free will) could be playing a part?  I’m just sayen’. Is it really fair to always blame god?  What about self-responsibility?

Not all people who move frequently or change jobs often have done something wrong.  Perhaps you are someone who enjoys such change, seeing it as an adventure and an opportunity for another new experience, then so it is.  I guess it’s all in the attitude.

However, if you feel victimized, consider your role in the plot.  The bottom line is that when any of us finds ourselves in changing conditions (no matter how they came about), it is best to do as the Romans do (at least at first) when in Rome.   When first in Rome, release arrogance, be honorable, respectful and modest and if you want to be a permanent resident, smile and don’t put on any airs.  Journey with your eyes open and take responsibility and make corrections rather than blame the gods.

PS– and should the reader assume that I claim to be in any state of enlightenment … (not hardly).  Someone asked the Dalai Lama that question once (if he is enlightened) and he at first laughed and then said if that was true he wouldn’t be here.  (I’m just repeating what he said.)  Anyway, the point is that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and have (hopefully) learned from (some of) them.  I’ve seemed to attained my best learning the hard way many times. And like you, am a work in progress.

But… you want to hear something strange on that topic?  It’s not me who is doing any of it really, I’m just watching while agreeing to participate and finding the humor and the irony and the anguish sometimes to–but none of it is really me.  That is, unless I make it too real; do you know what I mean?  How real do you make your life?  And how well do you hold it lightly in balance?  This paragraph is about a few random thoughts that may have nothing to do with Kua 56, The Wanderer–or maybe they do?  After all, I just wandered!

Kua 56 of the I-CHING, The Wanderer, brings a message about how to travel and that is with grace and with humor.  When you are a stranger in a strange land, it is you who must take some responsibility for your behavioral actions; don’t be blaming it all on a punishing god somewhere outside of YOU.  I’m just sayen’.

See you next time…

Hope your weather is good; here the mountains are starting to have deeper color (leaves changing) and it is quite beautiful. 

Divination Message for March 28, 2011 Structures are Dissolving – Neptune and Hanged Man

The Hanged Man! The Suspended Person! Surrender!   This tarot card correlates with Neptune—the planet of illusion, delusion on the lower octaves and of spirituality and higher mind in the higher octave.  What a weekend it was! Did you find a need to surrender anywhere in your life and is that need still present right now?  The divination message for today comes from The Hanged Man and Neptune.
Do you feel the intense energy right now that correlates with exactly this? I won’t go into details, but over the weekend there was an episode with someone very close to me that totally shifted a situation into a new reality—yet that reality is not yet stabilized.

I see this theme with people who call for readings right now and nearly everybody I speak with—a new reality, but we have little or no details yet about how it’s going to manifest, at least not exactly.
I think that it’s a good time to do some intention setting. It is almost like a blank slate is before us now and the universe/psyche/soul is asking us what we wish to create next because the old just  isn’t going to work anymore; at least not in the way it has in the past, if at all!
There’s a feeling within me that I keep relating back to a scene from the movie, Inception, which I blogged about recently. If you saw the movie, you may remember the scene that related to the deepest level of the subconscious where the buildings were turning to sand and crumbling. It feels like this, most especially over this past weekend, and certainly the experience of  the person who is very close to me whose reality shifted over this past weekend would agree!  I’m feeling it within and seeing it all around.  Not just in that person’s life, believe me.  Its happening everywhere.

 The old structure of reality just isn’t working for us anymore and this can feel very destabilizing.
I was recollecting a time in my past, discussing it with a friend by phone earlier today. It was a time that is very familiar to the time we’re experiencing right now. Back then, I wanted to be told what to do and my lament in those days went something like, “If god and the angels or spirit guides or higher self (or whoever) will just show me what to do, I’ll do it!” I knew the old structure was changing back then just like I do right now! This went on for months actually.   I had a close spiritual friend at the time in those days who was saying the very same thing!

Then one fine day, I had a reading with my psychic teacher’s teacher and the very first thing out of his mouth was, “Joy, I am hearing to tell you that if you decide what you want to create, they will help you create it!” I was astounded that I had CHOICE. And I think that’s where we’re at right now—many of us anyway.

Some may know which particular reality they want to create and others don’t even know they have a choice about it in the first place.  Still others ‘do’ know that they have choice but don’t know what  choice to make.  The tendency will be to want to recreate a past that can no longer work. 
The point I’m trying to make is that spirit guides, etc. – at these times of transition—will help us manifest and restructure, but won’t necessarily tell us what to do. They (higher mind) may show us options through daydreams and visions and work through the mouths of others around us to give a few suggestions. But it is up to us… it’s about CHOICE.
It was such a cold weekend here in the mountains laced with dampness and rain. My heating oil is getting low and I didn’t feel like feeding a fire all weekend. So, I went into one room with my laptop and a small electric heater and worked there.  Then I decided to reward myself with a movie. It was called The Nature of Existence. Essentially, this guy goes all over the world asking questions about why we’re here on Earth.

I bring it up because, as it is with me and movies, there was a message in it for me. One scene, just a few lines, keeps on sticking with me. The bottom line is that a man who viewed over 40 uncovered human bodies in a morgue was profoundly struck by the idea that the purpose of life is about CHOICE.   He said to himself, “Those people no longer have a choice, cannot make any more choices and he was filled with inspiration realizing that he still could!” 

As long as we are incarnate in a living, breathing body, we have choice!
Part of our ability to surrender—relating back to today’s divination message from Neptune and the tarot card, Hanged Man—is necessary in order to be in a position to make a decision in the first place.

Today’s divination message goes something like this. Old structures are dissolving, changing, collapsing. Trying to hold on to them is futile and surrendering to the dissolving of the old patterns is necessary before you can get into a position of making the decision about what you wish to experience in the new reality that wants to take form but is waiting for your decision, your CHOICE.  Surrender to the old, let go of the old so that the new can be born.  Choice is breathing life into the energy available to us now. 

Neptune dissolves boundaries in consciousness and dissolves those boundaries, period. That’s the archetype of the energy of Neptune.
The picture on the card of The Hanged Man of tarot feels like life is upside down and that is how it may feel for many of us in life right now. Look at what happened in Japan and how many said it felt surreal… that’s the energy exactly!

Life feels surreal for many people right now. In Japan, semi-trucks floating in the ocean and cars on top of houses… everything out of its normal place.  Dictators at the top of the pyramid are now falling — in more ways than one!

Neptune and The Hanged Man are giving the message today that this is a good time to go on a VISION QUEST!

 Usual thinking must be reversed and new inspiration received. Our rigid viewpoints about reality need to be softened. Since Neptune rules the ocean, the sea, what I am “getting” that at this time it may not be a bad idea to connect with that ocean energy. Maybe have some sushi and/or a little kelp or seaweed. (I love seaweed salad from a good Japanese restaurant.) And there’s another reference to Japan and as I say that word, it triggers love and compassion for our brothers and sisters there.

If I lived near the ocean right now, I think that I’d go pick up some seaweed from the shore and maybe put it in a pouch to carry around with me for a while. It will help me remember not to resist and to be willing to reverse my thinking or see life from a different view-point.
No matter in which ways your boundaries and structures are changing, surrender to that and go on a VISION QUEST in some way, remembering it’s about CHOICE.
Breathe deeply.

I will repeat here now in conclusion that which I’ve been starting my weekly newsletter with:

“When the past is dying and the future has not yet emerged… These are times of astounding inner growth–hang in there!!”

PS– this past weekend the MOON (emotion) was crossing over PLUTO (transformation).  Those two energies merged.  And that emotionally (Moon) charged Pluto reacted with the T-square to Saturn in Libra (retrograde) which  is opposing nearly every planet in the book all in the sign of impulsive ARIES ( Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Sun and Mars–like I said, all in ARIES).   No wonder, eh?  But all that is whole other post! — maybe even a whole book!