We continue our theme of Borders, Boundaries, and Barriers, with a post from Anna Aysea, in which she talks about the borders, or lack of them, between self and others and how this is often experienced.
Walking into a room where there is a tense atmosphere, you can instantly feel the tension without anything being said. This is one of the ways our interconnectedness is manifested.
A newborn child has not yet developed a sense of a separate self and lacks the filters that come with it. A baby is highly sensitive and impressionable and is not yet able to differentiate between self and other. This changes during the process of socialization the child undergoes when growing up.
Due to a combination of predisposition and environmental factors, this high sensitivity can remain intact in adulthood. In that case, there are no filters in place and the emotions of others are experienced as the emotions of the self, that is, the emotions of others are experienced from the first-person perspective.
Up until around my mid-twenties, I believed that I was emotionally unstable. It was a surprise to discover that not all of the experienced emotions originated from this body-mind.
I used to have a recurring dream about doors. In the dream, I have locked all the doors of the house but somehow the locks don’t work and people can just walk in. They can even come in through the walls.
This borderless state where the feelings of others are experienced from the first-person perspective is confusing, to say the least. In the end, it doesn’t really matter where emotions like fear or anxiety are coming from. How you deal with them is the same in all cases: allowing the feelings to arise within the space of awareness, knowing that that space cannot be disturbed by whatever is arising within it.
When you start to notice a correlation between the arising of certain feelings and being in a particular situation, that insight gives you the freedom to walk away from these situations. The lack of filters as symbolized by the dream of the failing locks is less problematic by becoming more and more established in the space of awareness and the freedom that comes from gaining insight into particular situations.