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creating peace + empathy, neutrality, and boundaries
What do you truly value? Where are your boundaries that you absolutely won’t tolerate being crossed? Do you have a lot of those that you’re willing (or able) to fight for?
In a world of increasing intensity and polarity, where preserving your own energy is more critical than ever - I think the question we ought to be asking more often is, what’s actually worth the fight?
I’m no longer interested in raging against the machine, or trying to change it from within.
Those attempts are not working - and they’re distracting us from our true mission, which is to raise the collective frequency of the planet!
We do this not by stirring the shit pot - but by prioritizing our own delight, joy, peace, and genuine happiness (i.e. not participating in the power-over-others game).
So what have you done lately to raise your frequency?
What conscious choices have you made that let you feel phenomenal, expansive, full of joy and light and ease and freedom??
Who have you spent time with lately - that both of you came away feeling nourished, uplifted, seen, and loved?
Have you watched a sunrise recently? Made art? Danced?
Sang your favorite songs while driving with the windows down?
Played a board game or baked cookies with your kids?
Listened to the sounds of nature and really tried to imagine yourSelf as just another leaf on a tree, or a bird singing without a care in the world, except to catch the next breeze and sing a song of delight at being alive—?
These are the important things. The really important things…
Personally, I don’t much care how or why the Matrix is crumbling - because I’m interested in co-creating a reality which is as inTERdependent, flexible, and as genuinely free as we can make it.
Shame and empathy-traps were used on me extensively when I was younger to control my behavior. That's probably why I have a fine-tuned sensitivity to notice when others use it, and why I have little patience for it now.
We must maintain the courage to risk upsetting others in order to live in integrity. The truth is still the truth, even if it hurts or angers us.
Nobody can or should be telling you how you’re “supposed to” feel.
Using empathy to manipulate others is highly toxic - and yet, it’s been used extensively, globally, “officially” in the last two years to create compliance and obedience. But I digress..
My worldview naturally includes a lot of empathy, nuance, and grey area. In Human Design, my most potent gifts are that of the storyteller and secret-keeper.
As far back as junior high, friends and even acquaintenances would call me and say, “omg, Krystal, you won’t believe what happened…” and dish juicy secrets and shocking tales of social drama, because they somehow felt that I was the only one they could safely share with.
I’ve always been a repository of others’ grief, sadness, traumas, and tales they couldn’t tell anyone else…
This was partly because I was often uninvested in the outcome and therefore neutral - and partly because I tended to ask the right questions that gave them clarity about what to do next.
In the past, however - I didn’t have clear boundaries, and allowed myself to become so immersed in empathy for others (anyone who crossed my path, really) that it would cause me to suffer.
Even into adulthood, I felt desperate to understand the suffering of others - to the point that I felt obligated to subvert my own optimism and willfully suffer in solidarity.
Now, I recognize that my sacred duty is to rise - and that nobody can pour from an empty cup.
It doesn’t make sense to stifle our gifts, talents, and joy, for some weird attempt at creating “equity” via self-destruction.
Empathy can be a tool for growth through understanding, but it becomes crippling when we remain awash in our feelings, unable to take a step back to re-anchor into our own identity.
We are not obligated to set ourSelves on fire to keep others warm.
neutrality as a spiritual practice
Neutrality helps us to stay out of righteousness and an “us vs. them” mindset…which is to say, duality.
Duality is another trap, because so much of what we’re seeing on the world stage has been specifically engineered to pull us off balance, to provoke an emotional response like fear, anger, or righteousness.
These feelings can help us to discern our personal boundaries and tolerance levels - but being in a state of righteous anger or indignance over the actions of others creates a leak in our energy field.
We are being conned into giving up our power - and nobody benefits from us remaining blind to our innate power, except those who want us to stay small, scared, angry, and most of all, disconnected from each other and what we wish to co-create.
In the long run - all of those polarized, heightened emotions are ploys to render ourSelves impotent in the face of engineered change.
The more emotionally volatile we are, the more susceptible we are to manipulation - which is why neutrality is helpful.
So how to practice neutrality? It’s not the same thing as apathy - it’s more like “the peace that passes all understanding”, as Jayme Price explains it.
Neutrality is rooted in a deep, broad perspesctive of love - and it invites us to drop the story of being in battle.
Neutrality is about cultivating peace. It creates stability for the structure of our lives, so that we can anchor into peace, and grow with a firm foundation beneath us.
When you are neutral, you are able to unite the separation within yourSelf, and become a loving, grounded beacon of light that shows others how to do the same.
Some people think it’s awful to be neutral, and even go so far as to accuse you of siding with the oppressors if you’re not angrily resisting with every fibre of your being.
Resistance and anger may feel good and righteous - but righteousness is still duality, still victim-aggressor energy, still participating in an “us v. them” mentality.
That’s not what I’m interested in creating more of, personally.
We can learn to be peaceful, while we keep our knife at our side (to quote Nahko Bear).
Peace is about how we choose to engage with the world. It’s about anchoring ourSelves within universal love, instead of fear and chaos.
upholding boundaries as an act of loving kindness
So, my friend Allison is a postpartum doula trainer, and she’s the queen of excellent boundaries. People respect her voice and value her opinions, even if they won’t like everything she has to say.
She’s helped me to understand the difference between being nice and being kind.
The cultural conditioning of “being nice” as women starts young, and goes deep.
“Nice” looks like…
- smoothing all of our rough edges
- pre-apologizing for any real or imagined faux pas
- hiding, avoiding, silencing our truth in favor of vague head-nods
- shrinking and contorting ourSelves to fit in with the loudest, most critical voice
…and ideally, we do these things with a smile, so as not to appear too brash.
Being kind can include empathy, but it MUST be based in clarity.
Kindness sounds like, “I understand that you’re upset with me, but I’m not willing to continue this conversation.”
Or, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but my answer hasn’t changed.”
Or even, “I will not tolerate you speaking to me this way.”
When we’ve gone our whole lives being “nice” - the stark clarity of solid boundaries can feel, well, mean.
But it’s not ‘being mean’ to communicate clearly.
In fact, Inelia Benz teaches that the most unloving thing you can do is to allow others to mistreat you.
Being “nice” for the sake of keeping a tenuous, false peace is a grave disservice to both you and the other person - regardless of whether they have malicious intent, or are just blissfully unaware of their actions.
It’s worth noting that I once spent years of my life agonizing over the question,
“Is he treating me this way on purpose, or is he just clueless about what he’s doing?”
Finally, one day it hit me like an avalanche: It doesn’t matter what the answer is!
I didn’t like how I was being treated - and ultimately, I could either choose to accept poor treatment as my lot in life, or remove myself from the situation.
Sometimes, kindness looks like removing yourSelf from a situation, or refraining from commenting on a situation that may upset you, but it’s really not about you.
Other times, the most kind and loving thing we can do is to state our boundary clearly, without apology - and then disengage and move on.
I’m still learning to drop the “nice” in favor of greater authenticity. Are you?
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