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February 27, 2006

Finding my Edges

Did you know that J. K. Rowling is the first person to become a US dollar billionaire by writing books? Did you also know that in 1995, while living with her one-year-old daughter in a flat in Edinburgh, receiving state unemployment benefits, she completed her first book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? What an amazing story of triumph over adversity that is. I'm not sure that adversity really exists however, perhaps there is only opportunity. She is certainly one of my heroes and is on the hero-list that I carry with me.

Today I went for the first time to the recently started ACA meeting in Brighton. ACA is short for adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families. It was a big meeting with about fifteen people attending. They were all so very self-aware and so strong in themselves. I identified with a lot of what they were saying about how their lives are affected by what they learned as children. It's a very good group and I'd like to go again.

Brighton is an amazing place. There's so much happening there. It's buzzing, alternative, cheeky, and alive. It's full of unusual people and shops: Malarkey, Infinity Foods Café, Vegetarian Shoes, and Tantra. It's a friendly, creative, and wholesome town. I felt very happy and at home there.

I've heard a lot in the past about boundaries; people talk about "setting boundaries"; this is a sort of cartographic use of the word. It sounds as if there's some process of building a wall around oneself, or kicking people out. I had an intellectual concept of what boundaries were, but I didn't fully understand them until recently.

I'm getting an emotional, almost visceral, sense of boundaries and to me it feels more like the mathematical meaning of the word; a kind of transition line, or an edge. So I'm going to call them edges. And what I'm feeling is that I have edges. It's as if I'm an object with a center and a periphery. In the very center, I know very strongly who I am, but then as I move from the center to the edge, I know who I am progressively less. It's as if the sense of self weakens progressively toward the edges; perhaps this attenuation actually goes out to infinitely. And my edges seem to abut, and sometimes overlap with, the edges of others.

It seems that I have found out who I am. I am the I am that I am right now. It's this feeling of being, and I can't describe it, I can only know it. Since I know what I am, I know what I am not. And knowing what I am, at my center, and what I am not allows me to know my edges, or perhaps to choose more clearly where I stop and you start. When I know my edges, I just live within that; it comes naturally. So you see there are no boundaries for me to set. I simply had to find out who I was.

I'm finding that knowing what I'm not enables me to be with people more comfortably. I am able to be with someone who is unclear about who they are and who is either thinking that they are part of me or thinking that I am part of them. In the past, this disturbed me greatly; it threatened my sense of self; I was in fear of annihilation. For example: someone telling me how I was feeling, or treating me as if I was abusing them, or trying to care-take me. Now when these situations arise I feel rooted in my center, and I unshakably know who I am. So I can allow them to be the way they are, and I can respond appropriately. I can clearly see what is their shit, and what is mine.

I think that knowing who I am is enabling me to provide a space for others to realize more clearly who they are. I didn't used to love myself and it was because I didn't know who I was. Now I know myself at the center, I can see that I am lovable. There are people who I suspect don't know who I am now and I realize that if they did, they would love me; so it's their loss. And I know that they are lovable too, but we can't love others until we can love ourselves; this really is true.

I now realize that I have disempowered people in the past because I've allowed them to assign to me all the things that they reject in themselves, and to be accepted by them I have agreed with them. And this has prevented them from finding themselves, and realizing how truly lovable they are. To those people I say: I am not responsible for your unhappiness and I am sorry that I hindered you on your path to love; self-love.

People say that I am self-obsessed. I am. I want to dig down into the roots of myself and know the truth. I want to know myself because that's all I can know and that's all I need to know. Do you really want me to not be able to see you because I cannot see myself? I want to see you. I don't want to be covering you up with a layer of the parts of me that I am rejecting. I appear to be self-obsessed, but before I started to introspect I truly was self-obsessed; the whole world was a projection screen upon which I played the movie of my own denial.

If each person on the planet looked deeply into themselves, I can see that we would move into a utopia. There would be no more war, starvation, or environmental damage. If one thousandth of the energy that people are using to try to change the world was funneled into finding the inner truth, then the outer benefits would be one thousand times greater than we are getting right now using one thousand times more energy.

Meanwhile, I am really happy to just be me. Oh, and by the way: please buy my first book.


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