Usual Error Intensive: Week Three

by Megan M. on September 14, 2007 · View Comments (Blog) |

Whew: 9:06 PM! I got my computer out late this week because it’s been a busy evening—my vegetables from Greenling got delivered late so I ended up ducking out for the middle of check-in and dashing back to the apartment to get everything into the fridge before it went bad! But everything’s all right now, and we’re about to get started with Boundaries!

If you’re not already familiar with this material, I posted it in three parts the last time it was covered: Part One, Part Two, Part Three. Take a look, or read concurrently as I liveblog tonight. Marty and I will probably stay till ten-thirty, especially since I had to leave earlier!

Here we go!

Being a Big Girl (or a Big Boy)! (9:17 PM)

  • Having healthy boundaries is awesome!
  • “Nature seeks a balance.” (Andrea is brilliant.)
  • If you have unhealthy boundaries in one direction, you will find yourself amidst many people with unhealthy boundaries in the other direction. Interesting and alarmingly on-target!
  • But it makes sense—those people aren’t comfortable without your unhealthy boundaries to balance out your unhealthy boundaries: their only option is to healthify their boundaries, or drift away.
  • Grokkage! Kyeli keeps going—“HEY!!” She is pleased.
  • The results of healthy boundary adjustments can be incredible. We’re all rattling off stories about how unbelievable it is to establish our healthy boundaries and see the amazing effects of that on our social structure.
  • Treat people well—treat yourself well—things are fine. (An)
  • “It’s denying others the choice to have healthy boundaries.” (P) Re: Choosing to have unhealthy boundaries. You are the one who is limiting them. Whoa.
  • It’s like taking all the responsibility for the project when you’re convinced everyone else is going to fuck it up—but whether it’s justified or not, you are still taking away the opportunity for them to learn and grow by being accountable. (Marty)
  • There are situations where you’re stuck with a certain person or group of people—in those situations nature cannot find its ideal balance, you’re stuck with those people. But in more natural situations (where you’re not “stuck” with someone), nature will find its own balance. In this case, one of two things happens: Either the island person will come out and meet you, or they will go away. These situations are artificial and we can do things to make them suck less, but we can’t really fix them.
  • Kyeli: I don’t like being an island. Can I have a hug?
  • You can have healthy boundaries, but if you don’t communicate them clearly, it doesn’t matter. Ha!
  • Often the communication of boundaries is dependent on the ability to transcend communication styles.
  • One of the worst things you can do to a child is to protect him from the consequences of his actions. Taking away a person’s power to make good choices keeps them from learning how to make good choices.
  • It feels like we’re doing them a favor, but we’re really not. (P)

Fierceness. RAWR! (9:40 PM)

  • Marty is now rubbing my feet. Wow. Liveblogging is awesome.
  • Pace is saying ‘boxes’, but many of us are, inexplicably, hearing ‘foxes’. I can’t help but feel that Marty should draw the Peaceful Fox and the Violent Fox…
  • “Well you know what I say?! I say that’s BULLSHIT!” (P)
  • Cat boundaries! Standing up for yourself, being fierce, is having healthy boundaries. Violence is pre-emptively attacking with intent to harm.
  • Some cats do that. (Am)
  • We’re talking about well-balanced cats. (P)
  • B is talking about the idea that people can’t really live in either of those boxes (foxes), and so maybe tend to bounce back and forth.
  • Personally I’ve noticed a flux between overlarge boundaries and overtight boundaries—the one ricochets you into the other. This is a universal theme, actually…
  • N: You must conform to the median level of non-conformity. (N constantly says brilliant things that I can’t properly convey while liveblogging.)
  • N in clarification to R: You can’t tell the truths that are offensive to your circle.
  • The more you can say without actually saying anything, the better. (Marty) The more inane, stupid shit that you can come up with, without talking about anything of any consequence, the better off you are. If you start talking about important things, or something that matters, you’re going to piss somebody off.
  • Women have something similar (they were talking about men) – and it tends to be snark.
  • I don’t know any of this so much, I guess I hang out with the wrong folks…
  • “Go into downward dog maggots!” (P, taking a cue from R) Re: the stress you can’t show in the workplace.
  • Marty just went into the kitchen and returned with a second Mountain Dew. Hmmm…
  • There are a whole bunch of social conventions and institutions that reinforce this Myth of the Two Boxes, which discourage fierceness and healthy boundaries. (P)
  • What if you didn’t take all the shit you think you have to take?
  • If you react fiercely, many people have no idea how to respond—because they expect you to fall into one of two categories, and this is a new one.
  • Stealth Fierceness, by N: DUDE. This is awesome. I wish I had time to parse this into text. Re: Different groups having different ideas of what each box contains, and this resulting in interesting interactions. Also, trying to change perceptions for that group of what the boundaries are. You don’t have to make a big deal about it. Huh. “Yay mind control!” (N)
  • An: Both boxes are about compliance. Huh. You’re acceptable. You’re never YOU.
  • You can respect and trust people who are fierce, because they are who they are all the time.
  • (10:05 PM) It’s pretty late, so we’re going to cover the rest of fierceness and wrap up. We have plans to extend the weekly / monthly length of the Usual Error Intensive to cover all this material—extra sessions at the end, which is awesome.
  • There is a fear of fierceness—a fear of what might happen. It can be very difficult to overcome. And that is TOTALLY okay. B says: Figuring out what your boundaries are, what you’re comfortable with, ahead of time, can really help you get perspective on these fears.
  • We skim over topics so quickly, that I find myself wondering what else C was going to say. I would like to find out.
  • We have training to go into the peaceful box, so it’s no wonder it’s so hard and scary to learn how to be fierce! We’re trained just to be obedient from the time we’re children, and it doesn’t stop.

And now it’s 10:14 PM. At this point I’m about ready to head home—a little bit itchy and worried about my allergies coming on, wanting to get into the shower and then into bed. This is really an awesome group, though. Really incredible. This material brings out amazing things in people, things I’ve never seen and really appreciate.

I’m going to wrap up—more UE in two weeks when we have our fourth session!

  • Kyeli
    I can’t help but feel that Marty should draw the Peaceful Fox and the Violent Fox…

    That would be totally awesomely hilarious. (;

    I really love these live-blogs. They bring it back to life for me. (:
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