So last night I listened to a session I recorded with a star chart reader 3 years ago. It blew my mind. First, I had internalized some of the learnings I'd had all those years ago but second, some of the stuff that I missed from that talk I am working on right now: Emotional Boundaries.
Now what the heck are those I thought. Seriously. I know personal and professional boundaries and feel I have done well working with those but an emotional boundary – WTH
For example: A past boss tells me “good job!” and I am over the moon with pride. This is not a great emotional boundary because in the next moment he tells me “nothing you do is good enough though” and I come crashing down. It's a roller coaster. And why? Because my emotions are pinging and ponging all over the place in regards to someone elses opinion of me. And that's baloney to feel good or bad about myself based on someone elses opinion.
Think about a parent. Mom says “wow, you look good in that dress” and you feel great. In the next moment she says “oh...but your hair, and makes a disapproving face” and you freak out inside “what about my hair?!” In the span of 5 seconds you have soared to great heights only to drop hundreds of feet in self-esteem because your mom has disapproved of you. Emotionally that is like a tiny death of self approval.
So how do I stop soaring and dropping? Well, yesterday was a challenge for me as I was working with a person who was not being their usual cheerful self. As per my 'default programming' I went into cheerleader mode until I realized them feeling bad and then me feeling bad is a signal my emotional boundaries are at square one.
So I started to do my own thing, leaving them to honour their pain and working at not taking it on and of course not having it taken out on me. It was a challenge. By the time they left I felt emotionally frazzled but at one point when they tried to control my feelings I shot back with a 'get a grip.' I wasn't taking their controlling nature for me to 'behave' and say things in a way they approved of, I'm a pretty good person if I do say so myself.
I am now working at saying “Accept me as I am (rain dancing and swearwords and all) or accept that I won't be in your life much as I am not going to change into the perfect/fake/stepford woman when I am around you.” Or, if you become great at emotional boundaries you can be around that person who is trying to control you with their mood or actions and when they say “don't say that” or “I don't like that” and you can say “that's ok. I do.” and know them not liking that is their shit not yours. Yea, I swore, you heard it. But I still like me and that's what counts.