R.E.S.P.E.C.T find out what it means to me! I’ve found myself in a number of uncomfortable situations recently where I decided not everyone knows how to respect other people’s home space.
Looking back I see the first mistakes were mine – in assuming that everyone knows how to do this (isn’t it taught in Humaning 101?) and assuming that if others aren’t being respectful, they are doing it on purpose or are selfish and don’t care about their impact on others.
On reflection it was confronting to uncover the main source of my suffering through this, was my own. I’m such an advocate of ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz but I’d already broken two agreements – taking things personally and making assumptions.
Having said that, I was doing my best (which happens to be the fourth agreement) and I was particularly vulnerable because it involved my home space. The ‘safe’ and sacred space where I let myself drop all rules and boundaries and float about as I truly please. Before we go any further, yes in some utopian world we would live in this defenseless way…everywhere! But, boundaries are healthy in this world…infact, they are an important tool for fostering self respect and cultivating our sense of agency.
‘Setting healthy boundaries is a crucial part of life and an important aspect of any
self-care practice for mental health and well-being.’ – Joaquín Selva
Boundaries actually give us space to grow and be vulnerable. With them, we can confidently expand our home space ‘out’ into the world because it’s not associated with a physical address, it’s intrinsically linked to our own heart.
However, we must remember that our boundaries are as unique as we are. There’s no way someone else can automatically know them. Our physical home space provides an opportunity to practice honoring them in a very real sense. To do this, we must first get to know our personal boundaries and take responsibility for their management. We must also understand and stay true to the consequences if they are violated.
It’s not our guest’s job to sign a formal boundary agreement before walking through the door. We need to make the internal commitment to communicating clearly and openly with people. Both within our four walls and beyond. Ultimately, this enables everyone to feel more ‘at home’…