We are generally led to believe that closeness or oneness are characteristics of a good relationship. According to spiritual teachings, we are all one.
But in order to have healthy relationships in this world, nothing beats a definite boundary. We may be all one, but I still need to respect you as an individual with your own thoughts, needs, motivations, feelings. If I assume you agree with all that I believe because we are all one, you are likely to be offended.
In fact, it is the projection of one's self onto another and failure to recognize that person's individuality that constitutes abuse. In her book about emotional abuse, Controlling People, communications expert Patrician Evans discusses the dynamics of this projection of thoughts and feeligns onto another individual.
Most of us grew up with adults violating out boundaries to some degree. They often did so for good reasons; to keep us safe, teach us to behave in socially acceptable ways, or to run a household efficiently. As a result, many of us, as we grow up, have to sort out what we really think and feel from what our others told us to think.
Some parental boundary violations are less benign. "That didn't hurt!" "You have nothing to cry about." and similar statements deny us our individual thoughts and feelings.
Energetically, repeated boundary violations result in us carrying the energy of other people's thoughts and feelings around with us. You can identify this energy mentally by looking for beliefs that make you feel uncomfortable. Beliefs from your true self come with a feeling of peace and "rightness." Other people's projections do not.
For example, when I think, "I have no business being an actress," I feel a comfortable faith that it is the truth. When my friend has this thought, she gets a stomach ache. She is a good actress. But, she is hearing one of her parents' pronouncements made because they wanted to protect her from a career in which it is tough to succeed.
When a spouse says, "You're just trying to make me angry." Their partner knows that is the last thing he or she intended, but also wonders why he or she is perceived that way. This sort of boundary violation is crazy-making.
Take some time to examine your beliefs. Are they all yours?
Come back next week and see how to create better boundaries.