Podcast week #2 is about boundaries and something called “self-referencing”.
Clocking in at 5:55 (should I be playing that in the lottery??), it’s a quick and easy listen.
Thoughts, comments, etc. are most welcomed in the comment section below this post. I’d love to hear what you think!
Hi, and welcome back to my weekly podcast. This is Lisa from Practically Intuitive and thank you all so much for the wonderful feedback I got on last week’s show. I’m glad so many listened and even happier that what I said resonated with you.
This week I’d like to talk a bit about something called “self-referencing”. My intention is to talk a bit about boundaries but I’m going to lay this foundation on self-referencing before I go into that.
As I mentioned on the last show, I’ve been listening to and reading a good bit of Robert Ohotto’s work and this subject kept poking me in the ear so I thought I should pay attention.
He uses the term “Self-referencing” when talking about boundaries. Andrea Hess speaks about this as well in her work (albeit using different language).
Self-referencing, as I have come to understand it, means that when you talk about how something affects you, you speak about it from your own point of view. How it affects YOU. Because all you can change and speak about are your own feelings and behavior.
Ownership before change, Andrea has said. You have to have an understanding of what is within your control to change and what is not. And that’s where boundaries come into play.
When I was in college, I was an intern at a counseling center and they taught us a model of communication that went like this:
When you do (A), I feel (B).
For example, “When you are late to any meeting we set up, I feel as if you don’t respect my time.”
That’s very different than “You’re always late to the meeting. What is wrong with you? Can’t you keep track of time?” That’s, like, the opposite of self-referencing.
The other person only hears the “…what is wrong with you?” part and gets defensive and fires back at you and nothing ends up happening but a lot of bad feelings between you.
By saying how their behavior affects you, you speak to the thing about which you have the most authority: your own self. It’s not attacking someone or criticizing someone. It’s more like “Here’s how I feel about what you did.”
It facilitates communication rather than hinders it.
The first step in setting a boundary is understanding what is yours and what is not yours.
The second is learning how to speak about it in a way that lifts you both up rather than tearing another down.
Robert Ohotto said something about criticism and it was this:
When has criticism of another EVER brought you closer to them? It disempowers, diminishes, controls and shames another person so that you can feel safe and comfortable and happy. Or at least self-satisfied and smug. But it definitely doesn’t create a sense of safety and intimacy.
And the same goes for how you speak to yourself. Criticisizing yourself only serves to make you feel even more inadequate. It’s almost human nature to do that, though. It’s all around us. We are taught to look for what is wrong with ourselves rather than what is right. Treating oneself with kindness is much, much harder, isn’t it?
It’s very easy for me to hear the voice of my Guides and Teachers. They are always the ones who pick me up, dust me off, kiss my head and say “You’ll do better next time.” I have consciously tried to take my critical voice and turn it into one of love and caring, not only for others but for myself as well.
And by being kind to yourself, it’s easier to be kind to others and that includes setting boundaries for what you want and need as well as talking with them when there are conflicts.
If you come from a background devoid of boundaries, as I did, learning how to take care of yourself and set healthy and appropriate ones is hard work. There’s still a part of me that fears that if I say “this is not acceptable to me” the other person will leave. So, I allowed behaviors that were not for my well-being to continue out of that fear of abandonment. Then I end up feeling resentful and aggravated. Not a win/win for anyone.
And that takes us full circle to the self-referencing. I cannot control what another will do. If I say “This and no more”, they can choose to leave. That’s out of my control.
But the clearer I get on what I need and want and communicate that well, the better I am – whether they stay or not.
Boundaries are all about self-care. Healthy boundaries tell others how you want to be treated. It’s not punishment, it’s not being mean – it’s about taking care of yourself.
I hope this information has been helpful to you in some way. You are welcome to email me with any thoughts or comments or leave them on the blog page for this post.
If you need some help with tending your own boundaries, please know that I’m happy to assist in whatever way I can. Your Guides and Teachers have wisdom to share and ideas for you to act upon so that you can get moving on your own path. I offer all kinds of intuitive readings and healing work so if you find something that resonates for you, please drop me an email and let’s talk.
Thanks again for listening. I’ll be back next Monday with a bit more to share on how to live your life intuitively with the help of your Guides and Teachers and your very own higher self.
Until then, enjoy your week!
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