This is a blog post that I wrote back in the summer of 2012 on a now defunct website, but I wanted to post it here due to it’s timeless relevance to our healing journeys, personal growth, and overall self-mastery. Enjoy!
Boundaries are an important part of all relationships, defining where we begin and end, and where our friends and loved ones begin and end. Almost all relationship problems are the result of one or both parties having their personal boundaries crossed, either physically or emotionally. Setting limits on our own personal space, while having natural consequences should those limits be crossed, is a healthy way to relate in a relationship.
I suggest that there is an even better way to relate though. What if all relationships are a reflection of each of the individuals in a particular moment? What if instead of attempting to protect our boundaries physically and emotionally, we were able to set our boundaries energetically? That instead of blaming the people that are in our life for each misdeed done against us, we own our life, our boundaries, and the energy that we are sending out into the world?
In my opinion, there are three stages to our personal evolution:
1. I’m a victim
2. I have boundaries and enforce them (Natural Boundaries)
3. I don’t know, it doesn’t happen to me (Energetic Boundaries)
Confused yet? Let me explain. In the “relationships as a mirror” model, we are responsible for everything that happens in our lives. We are not random victims of anybody or anything, but we attract each event and person into our life, whether positive or negative. This model is the ultimate in ownership and leaves no room for blaming others, not even from our childhood experiences. In order to get to stage three, “I don’t know, it doesn’t happen to me”, we must own and heal each aspect of our lives. However, we can also do this issue by issue, nickel and diming ourselves to emotional wholeness.
The frontal lobes in our brain are not fully developed until we’re around seven or eight years old. So prior to this age, most of our sensory data is being written onto mirror neurons in the animal brain, which is the bottom half of the brain. Anything and everything gets written there, from traumas, religious beliefs, and the hidden messages our parent’s lifestyle and interactions send us.
Much like a computer’s operating system, this data becomes the programming through which we filter and view life, and from eight years old and on, we are busy repeating these learned patterns. It is our animal brain’s job to keep us safe and secure throughout the rest of our lives, however, these childhood patterns and beliefs often no longer serve us into adulthood. For simplicity sake, we’ll call this programming on the animal brain the “ego”.
Here is an example of how a seemingly small event can become a trauma to a child:
As a five year old child, Lucy is at dance class waiting for her mother to pick her up. However, there is a car accident and the associated traffic delays Lucy’s mother from picking her up on time. As a little girl without the capacity to reason as an adult would, Lucy feels panic, rejection, and abandonment. As an adult, Lucy may feel anxiety when her friends, family, or lover’s are running late and not understand why. She may then lash out in anger and blame these people for their cavalier attitude towards promptness and her feelings.
In the “relationships as a mirror” model though, Lucy would understand that the person who is running late is only reflecting a feeling and memory that she has within herself. She could then follow the message of the feeling, trace it back to her childhood memory (even if it is not immediately known), and heal it with EFT. This would help Lucy to graduate from step one directly to step three, without the need for confronting the perpetrator.
In this model, each emotion that we feel, whether it is anger, inadequacy, fear, joy, sense of personal power, and peace are always our own. If we feel angry (powerless) as a result of an argument with our lover, that is our feeling and they are not responsible for it. Likewise, if we are feeling powerful, it is not because our loved ones are causing that either. We are the true owners of our body, mind, and soul, and our feelings begin and end with us. As we own our lives, blame becomes a relic of the past.
If we are really just repeating patterns from our early childhood, then each relationship that we engage in is a reflection of our early lives. Our romantic interests, friends, financial situation, pets, and surroundings reflect back to us our beliefs about life. If we feel anger or sadness in a particular relationship, they are only reflecting back to us our desire to heal a childhood trauma, pattern, and/or belief.
It is a well known idea within psychology that if one hundred people were placed in a room, and there was one perpetrator and one victim mixed among them, the two would almost always meet. This is because we send out energetic signals (along with body language) based on our family system of origin that people pick up on. In this model, instead of seeing this as sick and dysfunctional, it can be seen as a blessing in disguise, an opportunity to heal an old pattern that is no longer serving us as adults.
So then, in any relationship, we can see that each time we feel any of the three core feelings, anger, fear, or sadness, it is our feelings and nobody else is to blame. If we follow these steps, we can heal our interactions with all of our relationships easily:
1. Recognize the reflected feeling. Is it anger, fear, or sadness?
2. What does this incident and triggered feeling remind you of from your past prior to the age of eight?
3. What is the limiting belief (hidden message that causes powerlessness) that the childhood memory taught you?
4. Tap on the root memory, along with the associated feelings and limiting beliefs, using EFT.
I DON’T KNOW, IT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO ME (ENERGETIC BOUNDARIES)
When we heal a childhood trauma and the associated limiting belief, an immediate energetic boundary is created that tells the Universe (and everything in it) “this is the way that my life will be from now on”. Therefore, the situation will cease being a pattern in your life, and certain toxic individuals that resonate with the energy of the trauma will either disappear from your life or behave inline with your new energetic expectation. It is like graduation day, where we graduate from repeating the same patterns regularly, and get to move on to new challenges and patterns to heal. We get to say of the old pattern, “I don’t know, it doesn’t happen to me”.
And the amazing thing is, these changes are immediately reflected in your relationships. I personally have seen this in my practice and in my own life, as is the case of an issue I was having in an intimate relationship a while ago. My girlfriend and I were having problems, I felt angry and inadequate, and I traced my feelings to the root memory and healed some mother issues. Five minutes later, my girlfriend walked down the stairs and broke up with me. This sounds like a bad thing, but our only point of attraction was our sick dance based on my childhood trauma! With it healed, there was nothing keeping us together! It was an amicable and loving separation.
In another case, a woman who I was assisting with EFT healed some generational issues and memories regarding her parents. The next day when she saw them, her father offered his gratitude for her for the first time in her life! This completely stunned her, but it happened because she was sending out new energetic signals into the Universe.
I like to explain it as being similar to the butterfly effect found in time travel in science fiction books. If someone were to travel back in time and step on a butterfly, the entirety of human history could change from that point forward. After clearing the energy surrounding a childhood trauma, everyone reacts differently to us, leaving us to wonder why people are acting differently. Of course we know the secret, an energetic boundary was set just days, hours, or minutes prior!
So you see then, there is no longer any reason to blame others for things that have happened to you, you are now free to be in complete ownership of your life, feelings, and being! If you are triggered, it is your triggers alone, and the solution is found only in you as well. There is no need to confront, argue, or blame, there is only a need to own your feelings and to heal your past! Your boundaries are now solidified from an energetic level, in which the signals that you send out to the Universe are full of peace, joy, and a place of personal power.
Here’s a follow up post from 2015 that’s an extension of this article: Escape from Victim, Villain, Savior, and the Duality Drama
THE UNITY PROCESS: I’ve created an integrative methodology called the Unity Process, which combines the philosophy of Natural Law, the Trivium Method, Socratic Questioning, Jungian shadow work, and Meridian Tapping—into an easy to use system that allows people to process their emotional upsets, work through trauma, correct poor thinking, discover meaning, set healthy boundaries, refine their viewpoints, and to achieve a positive focus. You can give it a try by contacting me for a private session.
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