Knowing and Knowing

For a while now, I’ve been experiencing a lot of growth and change. Specifically in these last few months, as I’ve dug deeper into my issues with eating and self-care, I’ve seen and overcome so much. Something that’s helped me during this time has been to close myself off a bit. I’ve created this metaphorical bubble around myself in order to better evaluate the things in my life, removing what’s unnecessary for my well being. It’s been really tough, but without these boundaries I may have fallen apart.

What’s happening recently, though, is I’ve come to a bit of a plateau. My old patterns (thoughts, habits, tendencies) are still kind of lingering around. And I think the reason may be that I have outgrown my current “bubble”.

So the thing about my boundaries (if I’m being totally honest) is that I’ve always been pretty good at that. Boundaries are easy for me. I know not everyone is this way, but for me putting up walls around my heart is kind of like second nature. When something feels like a threat, I know how to distance myself.

Oddly enough, I didn’t know this about myself until recently. I’ve always felt that who I really am is someone who is open; someone who looks past the walls we build around ourselves and sees people for who they really are. Who I’ve always wanted to be is someone who is okay with being seen, but my reality has been much different.

This vulnerability is a concept I’ve known about for my whole life. The concept of being open and looking past the walls is something I’ve heard about for as long as I can remember. I could write essays on this topic. I could advise people how to be more open all day long. But I’m learning that there is a difference between knowing and knowing. And although I may intellectually understand how to expand my boundaries, in my own heart, I’m actually clueless. And it’s really fucking hard for me to admit that.

It’s so funny the things we think we know so well, but I think life is constantly inviting us to know on a deeper level; to experience the broad concepts we intellectually understand in a real, meaningful way.

Even though it’s scary, I want to say yes to that invitation. I want to let life work its way into my little bubble of safety, and challenge my notions of what it means to be human. I want to be the open and vulnerable person I’ve always known that I am.

I’m not suggesting that boundaries are not important. They are necessary. They play such a huge role in what makes us human. But our boundaries are not limited. They are not fixed. They move as we move, and change as we change. And I think the way that we truly grow is by getting to know our boundaries in an honest way, so that we can move with them.

I only realized this halfway through writing, but today is the birthday of Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, a teacher and guru whose teachings are so close to my heart. I’ll leave you with some of her words, because she says it best:

“Sometimes you seem to think you know what love is all about. Sometimes you think you know and find out that you never knew at all…

…Now is the time to die, time to let the Ego pass. The time to light the fires that will last, the fires of the Ego-less place of the soul. The time for the Mother’s child to become whole.”