Welcome to the middle path
- Jana Svoboda, LCSW
- Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
January 13th Challenge: Check your walls
Sort of. For most of us, it's spent catching up to prepare for the work week: grocery shopping, getting laundry done. Hopefully your Sabbath included some time for reflection and reverence, however that works for you. I had planned to be a little more reverent in slumber, but my sweetie thought we should get up and high-tail it to the early service. It was a brisk 24 degrees, which in Corvallis feels like a deep-freezer, so I layered on long underwear, pants, vest, fleece and coat. Glad we did. The sermon was about walls and the concept of protection vs division. The rev touched on Berlin, cell biology, Robert Frost (of course). We sang my favorite hymn, Prayer For This House. It concludes with this verse:
and, though these sheltering walls are thin,
may they be strong to keep hate out
and hold love in.
The allusion to cell walls is one I use often with my clients when discussing boundaries-- the idea of having a semi-permeable membrane that lets in nourishment while keeping out harm.
It's the difference between having a screen door and a brick wall. One lets in the good stuff, the other blocks everything effectively-- including fresh air and light.
Take five minutes to look at where you may have overbuilt your defenses. Are past hurts and fears disrupting your now? If so, is there a way you can reassure your Self of protection, without being your own crippling helicopter parent, or shutting down opportunities for growth and nourishment?
And conversely, if your lack of fencing has led Psyche to be overwhelmed, how can you build shelter for Self? Is it time you need, time for reflection and restoration? Are there relationships where you are sorely overfunctioning with little return? Have you hushed your own voice so often that when it comes out, the pent-up energy distorts it?
Somewhere in between selfless and selfish a place we don't even seem to have a word to describe. See where you are in the continuum, and adjust those fences.
Quote of the day, from Robert Frost's "Mending Walls". This poem is often neglected to completely misdirect the meaning of its most famous line: "Good fences make good neighbors".
"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense".