I’m inspired by a thoughtful comment on my last post about Maya Angelou. Rebecca mentioned inspiring young women and men on how they see themselves, but it’s a challenge for all of us really—whether its appearance, age, occupation, skin colour, wealth, poshness of abode, etc
Why are so many of us concerned about what others think? Sure, in our evolutionary history, getting on socially meant the difference between life and death. But many of us allow what others think of us (and sometimes only what we THINK others think of us) to overshadow what we think of ourselves.
I once worked with an inspiring youth counsellor. Boundaries, she said, most peoples’ problems are about boundaries. About not setting boundaries between wives, husbands, parents, children, friends, relatives, work colleagues, the general public. Also about not drawing a line between what people think of you and what you think of yourself.
Maya Angelou knew about boundaries. Maya found the edges where she ended and others began.
Being a fox (and not a hedgehog), I have grappled with boundaries. I can easily default to thinking the confident hedgehogs of the world know better than me. Even back in Year 5, Sharon of the Shaved Arms once sniffed that, although my skinny legs stood in the way of even a working relationship between us, if I shaved them I’d be much improved. Alas, my mother gave me a boundary—I was not allowed near a razor before high school.
Teaching classrooms of young, often super-charged egos with a mixed bag of parenting forced me to learn about boundaries, real fast—bless them. And training a puppy who thinks he’s a human trapped in a dog’s body, who my husband would ditch me for if he was … that is another line in the sand!
Anyhow, I hope the word boundary begins to tease its way into your consciousness as it has mine. It’s not a magic wand-method, it takes effort, and these links say it better than me. I chose Oprah because she and Maya were good friends.
How to Set Boundaries – 3 Crucial steps Tiny Buddha Britt Bolnick