Boundaries + compassion = safety

Boundaries + compassion = safety

Have I ever given you an “equation” to work with? One of my oddnesses and way I made it through school when memorization was called for was by making up equations for things.

Anyway, here’s an equation for us all…boundaries, boundaries, boundaries on everyone’s lips these days…most of us live on one or other side of the pendulum with boundaries; so “soft” or “rigid”—these are also descriptions of brain function by-the-way. So soft boundaries, maybe we do not set them clearly or we wait until we are angry or feel violated to set them. OR we set strong, firm, sometimes harsh boundaries, maybe stronger or harsher than necessary hoping to stay safe but maybe accidentally creating conflict.

Any of that ring for you?

Well, here’s an equation that works for wherever you may tend to land on the pendulum and that will help you find a more connected place to land – which is where safety lies. Generally speaking, we are safe when we are connected.


Yes, boundaries plus compassion equals safety.

Compassion is a powerful action, though often silent and invisible.

Compassion begins in our own hearts, is fundamentally self-referencing but then ripples outwards—so if we tend to forget about or ignore our personal needs, adding C reminds us that we matter and empowers us to keep ourselves in the equation. If we can get caught up in our own survival and safety and forget others, C will send us from ourselves to who and what else is in our circle. Both of these reference points—self and other—matter and again we each tend to swing more in one direction than the other so adding C can be simple but magic in terms of getting us what we want. Stressed brains tend to “forget” important details like ourselves or the bigger picture and C engages the heart and the frontal cortex—both of which settle us and make us want to be create linkage– with ourselves and others.

Simple, and kind of the same thing I’m always saying from a different angle…connect, connect, connect—this is BOTH an inside job and an outside job. As hyper-relational animals we need deep and intimate relationships with ourselves and others while remembering the truth—there is no other.

Let’s be all about MWE MWE MWE.

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