Posts Tagged ‘physical’

virtual boundaries

June 30, 2010

Physical boundaries in life are generally easy to spot – there is a wall, a fence, a closed door, a large DO-NOT-ENTER sign, and other manifestations of lines that one does not cross without permission. Learned boundaries include not touching another person unless invited, walking on the sidewalk, and only eating off of your own plate.

We have emotional boundaries. The rules are not quite so obvious and clear. Our sense of closeness and comfort with another person and their role in our lives usually govern how much of any emotion we might reveal. Reading the emotional boundaries of others takes time and experience. Some people hold their emotions so closely, we always have to guess what they are feeling. Some people wear their emotions like a disguise. Still others are emotional fountains that are overwhelming. Most of us fall in between. We learn to respect when and who to ask: how do you feel? And how much we trust the answer.

The majority of us learn the appropriate boundaries of times, places, events, and people that evoke specific emotions. We learn to smile and be joyful at weddings and to be sad and grieving at funerals. We learn to have emotions regardless of whether we might truly feel them. We learn to deny that we might have certain emotions because those emotions make others uncomfortable. We learn through the customs of our society and through trial and error in relationship to our parents and teachers as we are growing up.

We have virtual boundaries, too. It is impolite and a transgression of etiquette to use another person’s computer without their permission. The computer may or may not be their property. The virtual information stored on the computer is. The emotion evoked in a person whose virtual boundary has been violated is not virtual. For that person, their digitized life is very, very real as are their emotions. If all the electricity went out in the world, there might be a few people who would actually cease to exist.

Because of people who have no respect for certain boundaries and cross them without hesitation, we tuck our binary information behind virtual boundaries of passwords, PIN numbers, and authentication codes. Just like thieves who slither inside your home or your car to grab some piece of you, virtual thieves silently sneak inside your virtual world with keyloggers that copy down the key strokes you make to enter your accounts and when you walk away, they siphon off your assets. Some of them get so much information, they can go out into the world and pretend to be you.

When anyone crosses our boundaries uninvited with intent to harm, whether those boundaries are physical, emotional, or virtual, it is a violation of everyone’s well-being. In our karmic world, the harm they caused will revisit them with a vengeance. Whatever we focus on will grow.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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The presence of pain

April 8, 2010

Pain (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, whatever) is an indicator that I have cut off from me . . . blocked my flow of energy – the energy of well-being, love, inspiration, kindness, health, transformation – any energy that will take me from here to there; my pain can feel sharp, burning, clutching, sad, numb, bewildered, afraid, jagged, and it is all uncomfortable for a reason: to get my attention.

Emotional and mental pain send me the message that I believe something is wrong and often when I look at the source of my pain, that is where it has originated – in my thoughts, my expectations, my illusions – I believe something is wrong. Love and connection feel as if they are dying and leaving an empty spot when a friend, a lover, or a child leaves my life. I even grieved for 8 months after I quit smoking cigarettes because there were these huge empty spaces in my life that smoking (and the emotional equilibrium that nicotine provides) used to occupy. People are irreplaceable and I need to acknowledge their loss, yet at the same time, I need to remember that there are others in my life who I can connect with and love. Loss also opens up new possibilities, even though at the time, I may not want to admit it.  

Physical pain indicates that something in my body needs attention. Sometimes, pain is a gift. That blaze of rocketing flame in my chest might indicate a heart attack. I have to stop and look at exactly what needs attention and what kind of attention do I need? For an injury, I probably need a person with a medical degree. I am not going to stop, analyze and resolve the underlying issue to my injury right then (for example, when I set my thumb on fire with one of those sparklers we light up during the 4th of July, it was very evident from the golf ball size blister that visiting someone with burn treatment expertise would be a wise investment of my time and money). Other pain, like a headache, many times means I need sleep, a massage, less thinking, or a long, long walk in silence.

Spiritual pain is often present within any other kind of pain. I am a spiritual being and spiritual pain means I have cut off from that which is permanent and indestructible: my eternal presence and my connection to all that is. I am forever, as are those people who I might believe I have lost. Every creature on earth has the gift of self-comfort, including me.

I am on fire today – all my similes and metaphors and examples indicate something is ready to be lit up, cooked, heated, warmed, or incinerated.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass