Friday, September 23, 2011

Vessels


Alan meditating (I assumed) on site.
While the day was huge … my first work day, meeting (and kissing) the English and those from many other counties, sitting by Imogen, and just being around so many life-giving people … the overriding thought of the day was that of being vessels.

Alan, a practicing Buddhist from the San Francisco Bay area, was sharing about how he viewed relationships as being vessels for one another … and in one context, vessels that could hold the hurt and help the other heal.  In one case, a friend shared something that was too much for him to hold, and what made an impression upon me is that he recognized it, communicated that capacity to her, and was able to gracefully support her within clear boundaries.

Maybe that sounds like a bunch of words, but for me it’s quite significant.  I’ve had a challenge with boundaries.  And people close to me have challenges as well (some with running over boundaries and others with over extending their own).

I like thinking of boundaries as vessels, actually.  There’s a capacity, a limit, a boundary within a vessel.  It’s clear how much a vessel can hold.  It’s usually not clear to me how much I can hold.  I feel like I never do enough.  Others say I do too much.  And when I do recognize that I am overwhelmed, I feel guilty.  I think I’m going to challenge myself to carve out my vessel.  But not just to know it well, I want to know its purpose.  I want those kinds of limits that promote a healthy perspective that feeds my own spirit, soul and body as well.  One that isn’t overwhelmed, one that can give, one that can hold, and one that can heal.

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