It’s easy to feel like I never got enough attention, or even that I got too much of the wrong attention. I want to be seen. I want to be seen. I want to be seen.
And yet, when in a t-group several years ago I expressed this need to be seen and received all the attention of the other three in our group, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know how they were seeing me. Were they seeing what I couldn’t see about myself? Was it OK? What I wanted to be seen as, was it even real?
It made me realise that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see myself as I actually am, only as I dream myself. Quite infantile really.
I’m now in a women’s group and I’m learning that due to this chronic ‘wanting to be seen’ I’ve often over-expressed myself, getting myself into trouble that could have easily been avoided.
Boundaries. What a game, what a tricky thing to pick our way through the ever changing fields of being with others. Very boundaried is like a house with big high walls, security alarms and cameras, with a person alone inside sat in the dark. Miss Havisham sighs through the cobwebs with ‘Great Expectations’.
Not very boundaried is like a house ransaked by all the ‘friends’ who come and eat from the fridge and drink and leave the toilet without toilet paper. Stig of the Dump. Strangely also, with those wide open boundaries pushing away nourishing, healthy relationships.
I’m learning to not say everything I have to give. Because often those ‘gifts’ aren’t welcome. I’m learning to use this list before expressing my innerds:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
I’m learning to close down in places where it is not necessary to over-extend my infantile needs to be center of expression-land, which leaves me with energy to be more present and open in places where it is more nourishing to do so. I feel more space inside, and when I do express it feels natural and effortless and safe. I am building flexible walls. It feels good.