"Beyond this point..."

There is a sign at the end of the float homes in Victoria harbor that reads:

It made me laugh when I first saw it yet simultaneously triggered some thoughts. Are we always aware of what our ‘Beyond this point’ is and what that means for us? Do we see it when we reach it or do we realize it only once we are in the water? What does it take for us to reach that point? What makes us realize we are there?

I am not very good at this game, must admit. Especially as far as it concerns relationships with other people. I usually ‘wake up’ too late and when I do, I am already in disbelief or in anger or both. What are my reasons? Usually good faith and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, way too many times. Denial? Naiveté? Wish to be liked and accepted? Perhaps. Probably.

What mechanisms usually bring us to that point? I found out it is mostly lack of good communication and of establishing proper boundaries in the first place. Other big strong factors are expectations, values and beliefs about how people are supposed to behave. All based on how we behave and treat other people, expecting that others would or should do the same.

Yet that is a rather self-centered approach to the world. Not everybody thinks, feels or is like us. Not everybody lives under the same circumstances, understands the world in the same way or perceives the world the same as us. Not everybody shares the same values has the same needs or aspirations. So where does that lead us? How do we prevent this from happening?

We need to have a strong sense of self and embrace a paradoxical attitude. Being open minded and accepting, while mindfully observant and at the same time establishing clear boundaries and communicate those effectively. Practicing non judgement while being self-respectful. Letting go of expectations while not losing sight of our goal. Making plans while being flexible and prepared enough to withstand a sudden change of course. Taking calculated risks while being prepared to accept the consequences gracefully.

Sometimes the shit hits the fan, what then? Cut your losses clean and quick. Let go, move on, don’t look back, don’t overanalyze. Stay strong and free. Free from self-questioning, self-doubt, self-beating and self-humiliation. Take the lesson and keep going forward.

When ‘Beyond this point’ refers to your capabilities and limitations

What if you find yourself at a point where you need to gauge and assess yourself in terms of whether or not you are able to do or undertake something or not? How do you know whether this is a point beyond your capabilities? What if you come face to face with major limitations?

How can you know if you can do something if you don’t try it? What if you fail I hear you say? So what? Failure is lesson learned. Lesson learned is experience. Experience is invaluable and necessary in order to progress and move closer to success. When there’s a will there is a way or you make one. You find the information you need, you find the resources, you make the connections, you go the extra mile.

What if you are certain this is something you cannot do? Things are pretty darn clear then. If you still want to venture you need to get the necessary tools, funds, resources, knowledge to do so. If you are not ready and/or committed to get everything you need then perhaps you need to change course and try something else. That doesn’t mean you failed, it means you have enough self-awareness to know the direction you need to take.

When ‘Beyond this point’ refers to your values. Whether it is a negotiable or non-negotiable.

This one is perhaps the easiest of all questions. When it comes to values and what we hold dear in life there is no doubt, no hesitation. It is binary, it is either yes or no. We feel it in our gut, our heart our whole body. We know it in our core when we have reached the ‘Beyond this point’ limit.

Values are deeply held, rarely questioned, sometimes revised and that only to be replaced by another  value. Values are concepts and are not open to doubt. They have strong energy, are clear and absolute. Why? Because we have decided it is so. We have made up our minds about something, we experience a strong emotional charge and a clear mental resolution.

What keeps us from doing the same in the other above mentioned situations?

It is the relationship factor. Be that with ourselves or with another. It is the endless questions, doubts, analyzing, weighing the pros and cons, evaluating. You cannot question ‘Honesty’ as a value if you have adopted it but you can certainly question yourself or others. Relationships to anything presuppose the notion of ‘in relation to someone or something’. By its very nature a relationship to someone or something includes comparison to, evaluating something against something else, insinuates the sum of and the relationship between the separate and different parts. It is complex and multifactorial. It is easy to get lost and confused. That is if there aren’t any clear guidelines and rules.

‘Beyond this point’ is clearly a line drawn in the sand or a sign to warn you that if you keep going you will end up in the water. Self-awareness is key. But self-awareness without self-esteem and self-respect is useless. You need the latter two to be able to establish healthy boundaries in regards to relationships with others. You need to know how willing and committed you are to break them if these represent your limitations. You need to know what you believe in, what are your negotiables and non-negotiables.

There can be no respect for others if there is no self-respect. What you think is respect is subservience, it is betrayal of yourself. There can be no self-respect if there are no strong values and by values I mean values regarding our own self. For that to exist we need a healthy self-esteem and for a healthy self-esteem to exist we must have come to terms with our past hurts, wounds and traumas.

If our hurts have not healed, if we walk around with open wounds we are unresolved problems attracting problem people and situations. A scar is a healed wound, it is a lesson learned and dealt with. It has no emotional charge anymore. You can live and thrive with scars but you will struggle with open wounds. A scar is a clear line, is that ‘beyond this point’ knowledge, is the gained experience.

Some of us are luckier than others in that we grow up in better family situations than others. We grow with a well nurtured sense of self-worth and self-esteem. A healthy body is as good as an injured one that healed as long as there are no open wounds any more, but only scars. We can nurture ourselves back to health. We can heal and overcome our emotional hurts. All it takes is a choice. The choice and commitment to heal no matter what.

When we have a strong sense of self, a healthy self-esteem, strong values and a powerful commitment we can navigate life while being the captain of our lives. We know what our ‘Beyond this point’ are in relation to ourselves and others. We can recognize the signs of getting near them, we know how to maneuver around them and feel confident in our decision to go beyond them if we so choose.

Practically that means that:

·       We move through life aware of our value, cognizant of the risks we are willing to take and

        react from a non-victim point of view and mentality 

·       We assume full responsibility for our choices and decisions, actions, thoughts and feelings

·       We carry our scars as an inherent part of us, no more nor less

·       We learn from our failures and keep moving forward

·       We communicate efficiently, openly, honestly and on time

·       We do not waste time double guessing relying on expectations or from a need to be   

        liked, acknowledged and accepted

·       We act from a place of appreciation and respect both for others and ourselves

·       We are healthily assertive as well as compassionate and fair