Oct 23

Personal borders

There’s this show I watch, Doomsday Preppers, a show I like very much. It shows people doing something about a situation most people choose to deny or avoid.

There’s this episode where the person being featured is a trucker, meaning he makes his living driving other people’s cargo across the United States, connecting elements of American society beyond the miles. He has a big heart, and his first instinct when seeing somebody in need is to go and help.

Except that in the show, his brother arranges to teach him a lesson, to test his preparations and his instincts.

His brother arranges 2 vehicles so that they appear to have had a collision, and asks somebody to lie on the ground, pretending to be hurt. He then asks other people to lay in hiding behind one of the vehicles and on the sides of the road.

When our trucker friend comes in with his 18 wheeler truck, he sees this lady on the ground, perhaps injured. He stops his truck, comes in with pistol in hand just in case, and asks the lady, “Are you hurt?” He then sees the person behind the vehicle, figures that something strange is going on, and demands that the person come out with his hands up. The “injured” lady then takes out her weapon and points it at our trucker, and so do the people hiding on the sides of the road.

If this was real, our trucker friend would have just lost his truck and all his supplies, left stranded in the middle of nowhere, just because he wanted to help somebody who appeared injured.

The TV program proceeds to state that in the event of an economic meltdown, your top priority is you, your loved ones and your cargo reaching your safe haven, and that you should ignore anybody who asks for help if it means putting yourself at risk.

I used to be like this – I couldn’t say no to anybody asking for help, even against my better judgement. I had weak personal borders. For somebody who is trying to create or repair relationships, having weak personal borders is almost fatal, because it will be very easy for others to play on your emotions and abuse you. Personal borders means that you don’t just accept the emotions others give you as your own, and you can distinguish your emotions from theirs. You stop to think if the demands they give you are reasonable, if their expectations are valid.

I’m not saying that if you see somebody lying on the ground and perhaps injured, to keep going and not try to help. That’s a totally different topic altogether, and I’ll get to that later.

But the fact is, in this world we live in, people do use other people’s emotions and naiveté against them. And personal borders are our natural emotional self defense against such people. Except that not everybody is taught how to use their personal borders, some are even discouraged from using them straight from childhood, almost being raised thinking that it is shameful to say no.

And if we are to be well rounded creators capable of creating what relationships we deem necessary, it will be very important to develop our personal borders first. This involves developing a healthy skepticism, not believing everything other people tell us. Don’t be gullible. Think for yourself. Discern the truth, using both your wits and your instincts.

One way to do this is to learn to communicate not only through words but through feelings. Do the words the other person is telling you match the emotions he is projecting? Or is his emotions telling you a very different story?

Complicating this process is the fact that most people who portray themselves as victims and are in need of help believe their own story. I know because I used to be one of these people! They themselves have weak personal borders, allowing specific people to bully them without resistance, then lament their case to every body else. They create their own victimhood, albeit unconsciously. Which is why conscious creation is so important.

The best approach in dealing with this kind of people is to stiffen your own backbone and insist that they grow theirs. Be an example to them. Show them that they create their own victimhood, and that by believing in themselves and asking other people’s help to stand up to their oppressors, they can create a different reality for themselves.

Going back to the question of whether our trucker friend should have gone to the injured lady’s rescue or not, the answer is, “It depends.” The angels know. Ask them. Remember, they speak to you through your emotions, and for you to hear them you need to be very quiet. “Be still,” and practice achieving that “Peace that passes understanding”, until you can do it away from your sacred space, even in the real world, where snap decisions may mean a world of difference.

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