Submitted by Robin Rainbow Gate. This is her story of how she set boundaries with her mother from the wisdom of what she has learned about herself through Human Design. Robin has an emotional decision making authority, so alludes to the nuances of her feelings as she experiences them in her body.
Jan 28, 2015
I have observed super-passivity in my life. I have felt victim to the taking on and in of people’s emotions and the energy of their thoughts. This feels miserable, uncomfortable and unpleasant the majority of the time. I came to dislike, resent and avoid people for their perceived danger. My experience being that most people walk around with negativity and unpleasantness radiating around them. I believed that to be around them meant I would have no choice but to absorb and experience their yuck and ouch.
I was brought up with emotionally punitive negative feedback for feelings other than happiness. I received no training and found feelings dangerous. Whether I was feeling someone else’s feelings or whether their feelings reflected to me my own disowned, feared and stuffed ones – I have feared and pushed feelings away.
Since learning I am a Human Design Projector about a year ago, I am understanding that I am meant to observe, learn and serve through wisdom and guidance. I am learning that my open centers make me sensitive to the feelings and vibrations put out by others and that I am designed to feel and learn from these, so that I can later be of service. I’m beginning to have a new attitude towards the unpleasant, uncomfortable energy I can’t help but tune in to. It’s not me, it’s not mine, I do need to feel it, I do not need to take it on or in as “me.” This new information makes living in the world which is inevitably amongst others, more tolerable as I now view it as inocuous, temporary, and for a higher purpose – so I can help in the future.
Lately, I have been questioning how and when to speak up, in the context of having an open throat center. I have a pattern (and gift) of listening deeply and quietly. People feel safe with me and share openly. I feel I don’t know anything about life, living or emotions, so their stories are gifts to me: I learn by listening and feel safer riding on their winds, with them steering, me being taken along as a passenger. More of my extreme passivity. Lately, though, I have had several occasions where I chose silence when I really had something strong to say. I felt remorseful, afterwards: my presence and power had wanted to come forth and out of habit and fear, I didn’t speak my truth.
With this question about speaking at the forefront of my mind and heart, recent experiences have brought long awaited changes: I’m learning to feel the feelings that pass through me as my own, rather than rejecting them as “theirs” or as having the power to contaminate and take over. I’ve decided to take to heart and open to the concept that everything I experience outside of me is a reflection of me on the inside. As a result, I’m growing in love and compassion for myself, forgiveness and acceptance of my little girl, my parents, and the divine, all of whom I have been quite angry with and blaming of.
Into the mix is a growing and developing ability to set boundaries. The old passivity, which partially stemmed from believing I had no choice, no power, and no deserving, is dissolving away as I recognize and speak up on behalf of my limits.
Last week, I told my mom I would not make her a rice cake, turkey and guacamole open face sandwhich. She’d been devestatingly depressed and was about to get fired by her physical therapist as her attitude was preventing her physical progress, necessary for Medicare to continue paying for the help. She had been hiding or sulking in her brown recliner for months, barely leaving the four walls of her apartment, losing confidence in her ability to walk, mourning the loss of urinary continence and control of her life in general. She was in the wide “end zone”, wavering between choosing life and choosing death. When her PT made it clear that my mom’s obstacle was mental and emotional and not physical, it effected my approach to my mom. I had been with her open-heartedly, affirming her sadness and fear as natural grieving at this stage of her life. Increasingly, though, as she sank deeper into the bottom of her depression, a new energy emerged: she was almost gleeful at all the help she could now ask for. Red flag for me. As a child I felt her suck out my beautiful energy to feed herself.
The afternoon before the denied turkey and rice cake, she had looked up at me smiling, “I need constant supervision.” Wheeling her around in a wheelchair when it was a choice and not a necessity did not garner long-term sympathy from me. Later, asking me to make her a rice cake sandwhich for dinner instead of eating the hot one that was being made for her by the cook at her assisted living facility, where she would eat among others in the dining room, was the last straw. It was first time I had set a boundary with my mom, and practically with anyone. I told her I would not. I would not support her going back to her four walls, not seeing people, not eating a proper meal. I told her that I was saturated with her fear and depression and not doing anything to help herself. I congratulated her for asking for what she wanted, and said, “I’m not angry, but just because you ask, doesn’t mean I’m on the same page. “ I kissed her on her cheek and left, saying, “I’m leaving now. I’ll check in tomorrow.” I had no choice but to do what I did. I felt it in every cell of my body, which would literally not permit me to make her that snack in her apartment. To do so would have been calluding and enabling and I would not do that. Walking home, at first I felt amazed and proud. Had I really done that? Soon enough, though, the elation was replaced with fear about being mean, insensitive, cruel, that my sisters would fire me from the caretaking of my mom.
The next day, in the throes of self-doubt and anger which had welled up, I wasn’t ready to see my mom yet, but guilt had me go over anyhow. Intuitively directed to enter the facility a different way than I normally do, I came upon a surprising vision through the dining room windows: out in the garden where the green chairs and gliders were, was my mom, sitting there with her wide brim white hat and sunglasses, looking straight ahead. She wasn’t joining in the conversation with the other ladies, but she was outside, breathing fresh air, and had gotten there herself – both physically and emotionally. I took in the vision and decided to leave her to her new experience. I left without her knowing I had been there.
The next day, when I felt calm enough to see her, we talked about what had happened. I reiterated that I didn’t refuse to prepare her food out of anger, but because I had reached a limit with her. Meanwhile, the boundary I had set and tortured myself over during the past few days, had affected a change in my mom: she decided to try, to put forth effort, to be more positive. She had been going out to the garden by herself everyday. She did this on her own, which is the only way any change happens, but I know that me saying “No,” when I needed to, had had a positive effect. As scary as it has been for me to go against the flow of whoever I’m in relationship with, I saw positive effects from my being true to myself. Being true meant trusting, speaking up for and counting myself. Seeing how the boundary setting with my mom had turned out to be a good thing, gave me permission and confidence to let the guilt go.
Since then, Mom has been much more positive. Her walking and ability to get up and sit down have improved exponentially. Her thoughts are still confused, but her mental energy is more lively.
Today I taught her an exercise I do, which can be applied literally to any thought and the feeling it produces. I ask, “how do I want to feel when I think about ____?” Then I go inside the body and feel the response. I love the speed and simplicity of this tool, through which I overlay new feelings on top of the topics I’ve been applying fear and negativity to. We practiced many times and I surprised and delighted my mom with how many things she could apply it to. “How do I want to feel when I think about going to dinner? When I think about talking to my cousin Burt who’s dying of kidney failure? When I think about incontinence? When I think about being helped? When I walk into the dining room?” I suggested. She wasn’t able to feel her emotions in her body, but came up with words instead. “I don’t think I have the powers to do it like you,” she said. “How do you want to feel when you think about not having the powers to do the exercise the way I do?” I replied. Her eyebrows lifted as she took that in.
Within minutes, though, she started to go down the hole of negativity again and I stood up and said, “Ready to go out? Let’s go!” She looked up at me and I looked her in the eyes and said, “I am not going down that hole with you again.”
“I don’t know what hole you’re talking about.”
“The hole you spiral down when you get negative. I’m not going there with you.”
“No one said you have to.”
“Well, if I’m here with you and you’re in that place, it’s hard not to. Shall we go to the dining room?”
“Were you leaving anyway?” she asked, thinking I was angry with her and leaving.
“I wasn’t planning on it. I hadn’t thought about when I’ll leave. Come on, I’ll take you to the dining room!”
“Will you sit with me?”
“I’d be glad to.”
I got us up and out and she had a big dinner in the dining room.
Feeling victorious, grateful and relieved to have set my second boundary with my mom, I reflect, “What accounts for this miracle?” Perhaps, at least in part, through my daily morning spiritual routine which includes a Projector morning meditation (learned from Sandy Freschi,) my true self is growing in strength and presence: as I go through the deconditioning process, (and calling it so,) I am learning new and functional ways to deal with emotions and others through awareness and acceptance of my open centers, and emerging experience of self and not-self.
Robin Rainbow Gate
LifeWorks Photos: www.zazzle.com/Rainbowgate*