I feel that the “cancel culture” we have created in our society, our focus on the conflict, on being “wrong”, is a result of us feeling insecure about our own limits. We feel a need to make someone “wrong” so that we can justify our own “no, thank you!”. It seems to me.
One of the most powerful learnings I have made in my Sexological Bodywork practice was the skill of claiming my own boundaries without making the others “wrong”.
I recall once in my training sessions, I was giving bodywork to a fellow student. After the work, still lying on the mat, they asked me to come down to them to receive a “horisontal” hug. I didn’t feel comfortbale doing that, so I declined softly. Instantly I sensed a feeling of shame rising in the person – shame for being “wrong” to ask… They didn’t insist. I didn’t like to let it there, however.
Our work with this person was focused on relieving the person from an external framework of what they “should” be wishing and coming to noticing and ascknowledging their true desires and needs. So they did, and, in doing so, entered instantly the next learning:
What happens after we express our true desires to the world?
Does that mean we get to have them?
What if we are rejected?
Why bother to dig in for my true desires if I will be rejected anyway?
How to stomach this “No” coming at me in the moment of utmost vulnerability, when I finally – finally – asked for what I really want?
My feeling was it was absolutely essential to make them see how my boundary was about me, and my choice of how much intimacy I’m willing to allow at the moment. And not about them being wrong. How their freedom of asking was the same freedom I had for saying No.
They eventually said they wouldn’t like me to do what they were asking if it was not my heart desire as well.
Shame will not be gone so soon even if we understand it in our head. But we can always choose to remind ourselves: our limits are our personal choices about how we exercise our boundaries. They are changing depending on the situation and they require communication from our side, when we want the world to respect it. The consequence is: if we like to have a freedom to exercise our boundaries, we must equally respect the freedom of others.
Sometimes it helps to physically remove ourselves from the situation that is “too much” for us, withoit making the judgement about the situation itself.
That does not make the situation “wrong” just because we cannot handle it.
That does not make our counterpart “wrong” for wanting something we don’t find acceptable.
The world does not have to comply with our wishes, needs and limits. The world is just like it is. It is up to us to navigate through it, staying true to ourselves.