Lessons in Boundary: On Being a Mean Person
"What is a 'mean person'?" I asked myself one day.
Well...this is what came to me immediately...
~ Someone who puts their own needs and desires before anyone/everyone else's.~ Someone who doesn't care how their actions affect others.
Okay, full stop. What did I just say? Is that really my subconscious free-writing-revealed description of what a "mean person" is?
What happens when *I* put *my* own needs and desires before anyone/everyone else's? What happens when *I* don't care how *my* actions affect others? I start feeling that I'm in a body. A warm, fleshy, tender body with real bones inside it. My sense of hearing becomes sharply keen. I feel a simultaneous desire and need to look after the one who lives in this body, the One I carry around every day. Suddenly I remember that I matter. Oh, I matter in a very big way.
Every thought I give a seat at my table starts to make itself at home, and this is an every-waking-moment thing for me. Every thought deserves a chance though, right? Just like every person deserves a chance? Where did that idea come from...sounds legit, right? You've heard this throughout your life too. Who are we, who am I to judge between thoughts/people and decide for myself which ones to let in and which ones to turn away at the door? Surely my desire(need) to create a home world that feels good to me should take a back seat due to the importance of this person-thought that wants to eat at my table with me and mine. They look hungry. Let's just go with it, despite the uneasy feeling in the gut. We're good people. We give unconditionally, right? I can't just turn someone away without a tearful, apologetic explanation with hands shaking, can I? I need to care about their feelings. What if they feel hurt by me?
I hear someone somewhere say it's going to hurt more later than it is if we say a short, sweet goodbye right here and now, instead of trying to untangle our roots and branches from each other a year down the road. It might feel like I don't care how my actions affect others, but the truth is that I'm taking the big picture into consideration. If I set my mind on fire to keep the suffering of others at the forefront of the stage...I will end up burning them down by default, regardless of my good intentions and self-sacrifice. I know because I've seen it. The thoughts of suffering are given a seat at the table, and they proceed to eat EVERYTHING.
*cue the ignoring of the intuition and observe the "noble" Me, putting my household at risk for the sake of another, for an ethereal concept-being with a bottomless stomach*
How quickly this time there is nothing for my children, my family, nothing left for me. The Hostess falls ill and retreats to the sick room, writhing in pain and medicating. I am in too much pain to care for the children. Meanwhile the house begins to fall into shambles, a stench grows, the dishes pile up high in the sink while the Thoughtling of Sufferingtown continues to eat their fill, finding more creative items to eat the dwindling remains of my houseplants off of.
I hear whimpers at my feet and see my youngest, Innocence, look up at me and ask if she can eat the overripe apple she found in her room if she promises to share with our guest. The clarity comes through in her request and shatters the shell that covers my heart. This is the part where I throw my blankets off, grab my weapon from the bedside and head downstairs. I stomp. An unfamiliar sensation as shockwaves careen up my legs and through my core, but it feels so fucking good.
"Get the fuck out of my house", I say, staring with flaming eyes at my engorged house guest. I hope I don't have to use force, but am locked and loaded and will strike at a moment's notice. Thankfully they leave immediately, like they've been caught by surprise and fear what happens next. I don't have to say it twice, I just had to say it right the first time.
I drop to my knees and weep.
And so the clearing begins, the picking up of the pieces strewn everywhere, and the slow and tender process of feeding my family back to health, setting my home in order, and regaining my Strength.
"I knew I had a feeling about us letting that one in", says my oldest, Wisdom. "I asked you not to let them in...why didn't you listen?"
"Apparently because I had forgotten how much I love you/us/me and needed to be reminded. I shouldn't have doubted you for a second."
I love me so much that I will risk being seen as a "mean" one in order to keep this love strong and vibrant. I can love you from afar, but I can't love me from afar. Not anymore.
-Eden Marie Peach
IG: @eden.earthytoes.137 & @earthytoes137.arts