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Despite all my high flying spiritual ranting (see Sucky), I am beginning to realize more and more that there is a very confused and neurotic part to all of this, that I am just barely beginning to realize.  So, if this post is going to be confusing, it is because it’s confusing for me, and this is a quick attempt at clarifying it.

For starters, I knew for some time that I’m really bad at boundaries, but frankly, I didn’t think  much of it. I have a hard time setting boundaries, understanding boundaries and also respecting them. I also tend to rationalize this through spiritual “teachings” - we should move beyond boundaries, no personal territory, etc, etc. But as my girlfriend said, you can’t transcend boundaries, if you don’t even know what they are! I’m beginning to agree. This causes a lot of confusion, like it did in this current case. I thought we were being just friends, deep friends for sure, but friends nonetheless. But then, I have no clear idea where the boundary lies between friendship and “something more”. To me, it just feels, I like this person, like spending time with them, what is wrong with that? However, it seems that on some level, I am giving out mixed messages, my boundaries are not clear. And then I realize that I miss this person when I am not around  - and I think, well, of course I miss my friend, we are having such a great time together. But is that really all that it is?

An emotional triangle develops without me even being aware. Of course my partner is aware and feels jealous - which I find unnecessary,as there is clearly nothing going on. You see, my idea of boundaries is at this point physical - if there is nothing happening physically between us, then I am keeping my boundaries and she should not be jealous. As I am slowly beginning to understand, there’s much more to this. It took me some time to realize that she does have the “right” to feel that way, that I am taking some energy and focus out of our relationship into another one.  Sigh. The problem is, this way of behaving - what I see as me having deep friendships is so much a part of me, that I have a hard time seeing that changing. And also, at this point I have a hard time discerning where is the neurotic part in all this and where is the sane part. I do know that they are both there, but at this point lack awareness to distinguish them.

I also realize that this is crucial for me to understand and resolve, not only for my current relationship, but also for my work as a meditation instructor, and even more as a therapist. Both are the kinds of roles where boundaries are crucial.

And, you know, I never gave much to the whole  Freud idea about what happens between mother, father and a child, and how that affects your whole life,especially the whole Oedipus complex thing, but nonetheless I am slowly beginning to realize that there is something there at all. The whole thing however goes really against my Buddhist training - there we are trained to distrust the story line, not really go into it, but focus instead of how the whole mechanism of suffering comes about and dismantle it. In the psychotherapy approach you are doing many times exactly the opposite - story line is important, you are digging into it, trying to understand it and more so, change the deep memories that were imprinted in you at that early age. I am mostly finding it difficult to reconcile the two approaches at the moment, I have to say. Although there is also a glimmer of understanding that both are important and perhaps can complement each other.

Ok, enough for now, I have to go and study for the psychiatry exam! Yuck!