Being a fairly new non fiction writer (publicly) and first time author (Your VividLife, An Invitation to Live a Radically Authentic Life) after being behind the scenes as curator and editor of an online resource for almost a decade, certainly has it challenges, and of course gratuities.
Navigating connections and within those connections, contracts (as my Psychotherapist recently referred to them) has been a double edged sword. Writers (or anyone who puts themself out there) and most predominately, personal development writers (teachers), will perhaps relate.
Once you put yourself, and or, your perspective out to the Universe; all sorts of questions, projections, boundary crossers and of course ‘trolls’ come out of the ‘wood work’ (as to be expected). Perhaps they’ve been touched by your work and want more, or in someway they feel they know you, whether a childhood friend who found you through your work, social media, a stranger who feels their story in yours, or someone who has a different perspective or is ‘triggered’ (a trending word in which my Psychotherapist offered me the perspective is ‘victim mentality’. Contemplate that for a moment).
As writers, speakers, teachers, social workers, or anyone who is dealing with the deeper aspects of life; when you open yourself up (this reminds me of the Rumi poem The Guest House), it all comes in. And it’s our individual responsibility to govern with discernment.
And up until yesterday this was one of my biggest challenges. I let everybody in (the door to my office, home and heart always open). Especially to those who are suffering. And although compassion is a divine characteristic, I am (we are) not the compassion embassy. And so it’s in our best interest to create relational contracts. Just as we might if we were president of a corporation (and we are, however the corporation is our own life). We have VP(s), Directors, Coordinators, Maintenance, and so on…
Are you getting the picture?
So each person within our lives; family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, fans or followers, we develop a cognitive contract with, in relation to our connection with them. Perhaps our Mothers (if we have a healthy relationship) hold the position as Director, in which has more access to us on a regular and deeper level, or, our partner(s) hold the position of VP and are consulted on but never make the final decision, and our fans and followers just visitors, and or consumers, to whatever our corporation (ourselves) offer(s).
And so as in a corporation, we don’t see the maintenance crew (although essential to the corporation) stepping in for the VP. Their positions both corporately and personal are earned, and so as the great teacher on vulnerability, Brene Brown so sharply states;
“Vulnerability is based on mutuality and requires boundaries and trust.”, “Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them.”
Who’s holding what position in your corporation (life), and have they earned that?
Our karma is in our actions, and so. If we allow others a position they haven’t earned, we eventually pay the price (whatever that looks like) because people who step into roles (or that we unconsciously invite) they haven’t earned (boundary crossers) don’t have an aligned intention or the depth of perception to sit at our boardroom table (the right to our vulnerability).