With Saturn’s beginning of its’ 5-month retrograde in Sagittarius last Friday (March 25th, 2016 EDT), we are each of us exploring our relationships to boundaries- social, and personal, and how the two marry.
With social-activist unrest going on in the world these days (which I wrote about here), let's start with the social and transition it to the personal (you'll see how it's all connected, I promise) :
There is a concept important to get, of people in recovery from any form of oppression, abuse or pain, needing time of healing, away from the group most-responsible in oppressing them, and wanting safe sacred spaces devoid of that group, available to them for those reasons.
It can be an hour, a day, a month or a year, a one-time experience or a regular setup.
Unfortunately,while this stuff is well-explored in some activist and spiritual circles, so much of society doesn't yet have the language or the conscious concept of this practice, and may not realize right away that this is an important part of what they want to create-
they may experience their unconscious boundaries crossed (even by well-meaning people), feel unsafe and angry, and lash out.
It’s understandable, yet it isn’t fair to the well-meaning individuals going in blindly into territory they do not know is off-limits.
By all means, let us support and create safe spaces wherever they're needed- but there is a way to set it up, and draw those boundaries consciously, in a healthy manner and ahead of time.
That does take time and practice to learn to request, set up and uphold. Yet, without boundaries being consciously spoken/requested/clarified, it isn't always easy to tell when we may be crossing over one.
With Saturn's retrograde though Sagittarius, this is something we as a society need to relearn, individually and collectively; redefine and clarify our boundaries, to give the world a chance to respect them better.
Unfortunately, that same concept can also be distorted in defense of ill-intending (and/or ignorant) perpetrators (claiming what they did was ok because they weren't told "No" clearly enough etc.), so methinks we must also teach/learn to ask for clarity in the boundaries of others, ahead of time, and enter others' space with that manner of respect.
It’s challenging on both ends- for the oppressed party to learn to
A. Explore their ideas of boundaries, and clarify them for themselves. (extra-challenging when boundaries were never considered, explored or respected in their past experiences, as is often the case for various abused/oppressed parties).
B. Develop the self-worth necessary to take a stand that their boundaries are important, and seek to enforce and uphold them.
C. Develop enough trust towards the group most-responsible for the previous offenses, to let one’s boundaries be clearly known, and request that they be respected.
And that’s just the set-up of safe spaces and boundaries, and doesn’t even touch on the healing journey one begins once within this safe space (whether it’s just within the psyche, a physical space, mental space or all of the above).
For the other party- the alleys, those belonging to groups some members of which have done wrong (and, isn’t that all of us too? Unfortunately, there are very few groups of people left, some members of whom have never been the perpetrators of SOME manner of problematic behavior, in some way- Oh, for a world that is otherwise! Let us build a world that is otherwise!!),
the journey holds other challenges- Developing the sensitivity and the practice of asking those we interact with, to clarify their boundaries and inform us of them, so that we may tread upon our path minimizing any harm we may do.
Of course, it is impossible to please everyone, yet there is a difference between seeking to please/appease everyone, and showing respect to the specific person/people we are surrounded by. (Worse-case scenario, is leaving the company of some people, if their boundaries of safety and comfort clash with your own, and seeking new groups of/individual people to connect with, who’s boundaries match yours more naturally).
Pleasing others may in some cases involve crossing our OWN boundaries, and this can be an internalization of harm - and is just stuffing the problem inwards/martyring ourselves for the sake of others. Not a healthy option!
Respecting others, however, is choosing to honor their boundaries while also honoring our own. Not always easy either, but, imo, highly necessary to learn to seek a balance of, especially at this time.
In a world struggling with the concept of boundaries, I hope this Saturn retrograde, and my musings on the subject, help to open up the dialogue.
Happy transits, folks.