Boundaries, Anger, and Agreements
If you do not have strong boundaries, you have probably adopted a "soft" negotiating style, in which you value your relationships so much that you find yourself accepting agreements that you can't really live with, and sliding into cycles of avoidance, resentment, and conflict. Alternatively, to protect yourself, you may have become a "hard" negotiator, refusing to compromise your interests for fear of losing yourself in a relationship, and blaming the failure of the resulting bad agreements on your partner. The secret to negotiating agreements both parties can keep is to separate being generous in maintaining the relationship (through kindness, respect, affirmations, romantic gestures, loving touch, or whatever is appropriate to the type of relationship) from solving the problem. If you let someone walk all over you OR blame the problem on the other person, you will end up with a less effective solution to the problem AND a relationship filled with resentment. Anger can be an effective ally in boundary magic if you allow yourself to feel it when it first arises and use it as an indicator that a boundary has been crossed. Use the fire energy that arises to strengthen your aura until you feel safe and strong within yourself, and then act calmly to call the boundary violation. Anger that has soured into resentment, on the other hand, is an indicator that your lack of healthy boundary magic has resulted in a bad agreement and you're blaming the other person for the problem. Letting the relationship sour will only get in the way of solving the problem. Once you take responsibility for separating the relationship from the problem, it is important to let go of the accumulated resentment from the past and strengthen the relationship in order to be able to work effectively with the other person to solve the problem. In the following trance, the goddess Sekhmet will help you strengthen your boundaries, so you can let go of resentment and create healthy agreements. Sekhmet is an African goddess who migrated to southern Egypt from Sudan, a shape-shifter who appears either as a black lioness or a powerful Black woman with the head of a lioness. She is a powerful ally for boundary magic!
Magical Practice: Letting Go of Resentment and Creating Healthy Boundary Magic
Ground, align, and create magical space. You may want to protect your space more strongly than usual, by imagining the circle flaming around you. Drop into a trance state, and see yourself walking down a path. You are headed toward a sacred place where Sekhmet will show you how to create healthy magical boundaries, release resentment, and negotiate from strength. This magical place may be the sacred place where your own Divine Spirit is in residence, or Sekhmet's temple. Just notice your surroundings. What is around you? What do you see in the distance? As you approach the sacred place, notice its boundaries. Is there a high wall, a low fence, or no protective structure at all? Is there a public area outside the boundaries where visitors can be entertained? Are there guardians of the gate, or guides to greet you as you approach? What must visitors do to gain entrance to the sacred place? Enter the grounds, and notice who is within the outer boundaries. What is this most public interior space like? Keep going within, until you reach the most interior sacred space, where you will meet Sekhmet. Once you are within the inmost sacred space, become aware of Sekhmet's presence. How does she appear to you? Stand tall and meet her gaze, knowing that she is here to lend her strength to you and be your Ally. Look deep within her cat eyes, and see reflected there a situation in your life in which you are feeling resentment. See yourself and the other person in the situation, and first focus on your relationship with them. What is your connection to this person? How have you been treating them? How have they been treating you? Then shift to the problem that you need to solve, and consider your own interests. What concerns do you have? What aspects do you need considered in forming a solution? Why? Call on Sekhmet to give you the strength you need to stand firm in representing these legitimate interests in future negotiations with this person. Now dive into the other person's point of view. What is their connection to you? How does the relationship feel from their side? What are their interests in solving the problem? Can you let go of your resentment, having seen the situation from their point of view? Returning to your own point of view, listen to Sekhmet's advice for how to release your resentment and take responsibility for your boundaries in the future. Then see yourself acting to strengthen the relationship, knowing that you can stand firm and negotiate for your interests in solving the problem, without blaming the other person. You may want to spend some time imagining creative ways to meet both your interests, but don't allow yourself to become attached to any one solution to the problem. Use this time to loosen your attachment to your position, and see that other possibilities exist. When you are finished, return to the sacred place where Sekhmet is by your side. Thank her for her strength and wisdom, and move back through the gateways to the exterior of the sacred place. As you see the boundary structures again, if this is your temple, you may want to make some changes. How do you want to meet the world? What boundaries do you need? Allow some time to see what healthy boundaries look like, before you leave this sacred place. Walk back down the path to the place where you first began your journey, and when you are ready, open your eyes. Journal about your experience. Follow through on your insights for ways to release your resentment, strengthen your relationship, and open yourself to new creative possibilities for solving the problem. Love and Magic, WildCat P.S. For more information about negotiating agreements, I recommend the classic book on the topic: Getting to Yes