What happens when you change, but the some people still treat you or view you as you used to be? This is a lesson that seems to be coming at me from all angles lately. I know I have changed so much over the years and I hope to continue this pattern until I leave this life. I am not the same person I was in my teens (thank God). I am much more settled, grounded and self-assured than I was in my twenties. Now in my thirties I am finding an ease in being who I am and finding more meaning in my life. What happens though when those around you still treat you as though you are the self-absorbed teenager? the self-loathing twenty-something? or even the reactive person from last year? What then?
I have noticed the flip side too. A person has started to change and says she is changing, but I still see her through the lens of the person that cared only for herself and hurt my feelings or let me down repeatedly. How do I let go of that view of her and find new ground? I am certain this comes up all the time in relationships. Reality, truth and self is ever-evolving as we discover who we are underneath the layers. Relationships are continuously re-invented as we see the flip sides of things and the shades of grey. So what do we do?
I spoke to Max about this recently. His advice was to meet with these people and develop new agreements. Explain where there were hurts in the past and find a new meeting ground. Then if the agreements are broken, go from there. His statement to me (which he has said before), “Boundaries are an expression of love and just because you are a yoga teacher does not mean you have ‘doormat’ on your chest.” This works when I need to regain trust in someone, but how do you do this when someone needs to see you for who you are today, in this moment?
As the holidays approach, I am sure many of you will return home, only to find yourself acting like the teenager as your family still treats you that way. What tools can you put in place to create a boundary and enjoy your time as you are right now?