Her demands are not intentional.
Her boundary testing is not to piss me off.
Her No’s are not trying to push my buttons.
She’s not attacking me when she hits my face again after I’ve told her no.
I notice sometimes I take it personally and I get sad and angry that she’s hurting me.
It’s not personal. In fact it has nothing to do with me. It’s her feeling lots of energy in her body and needing a place to express it. It’s her discovering what’s ok in this human body.
She needs to feel her "no" matters. That she gets to exert her power and sovereignty.
And she gets to learn that her choices have impact and consequences. Reminding her of what she’s choosing and if she keeps choosing that then she will not be able to play with that anymore. And following through with my word. This way she knows my consistency with boundaries. It’s not always this black and white or straight forward. I don’t enjoy saying no all the time. So I’m feeling into my own system where my absolute no’s are and where there’s grey room to negotiate our needs.
No hitting, pushing, or harming mine or anyone else’s body is really my main one.
She has consent over her body and the other side of that is her understanding that I too have consent over my body and what’s done to it. I'm letting her feel her sovereignty through choice. If she chooses this, then this will happen. It’s a different framework than me exerting my will over hers. I don’t want to be in a power struggle where one is dominating and the other is being oppressed. I’m interested in both our needs being here and feeling respected. And, I'm helping her feel empowered by reminding her that this is what she chose to continue doing. And following through with my word! Consistency and reliability help create a container.
"I don’t want to be in a power struggle where one is dominating and the other is being oppressed. I’m interested in both our needs being here and feeling respected."
And sometimes it just feels hard. I don’t want her to learn that she can barrel me over with her will. And the opposite of that is not wanting her to feel dominated and in a power-under position. Power with is where healthy boundaries are consistently in place. So she knows that no means no. And that her no’s get to be respected as well.
It’s really about working both sides of the power dynamic with the intention of us both resting in our seat of power. She’s testing boundaries to actually learn what a boundary truly is. That it is words aligned with action and follow through. That it is not empty threats, because then she will never learn to honor her own no and body consent. I’m modeling to her how I respect my own body in relation to her so she gets that imprint of the respect her own body deserves.
"It’s also the reassurance that there is love in the boundary. My love is always here and sometimes it looks like a boundary."
Sometimes I have to remind myself of my deeper why because in the moment I can get lost in the power struggle and give in to her cries as they escalate. It’s also the reassurance that there is love in the boundary. My love is always here and sometimes it looks like a boundary. Reassuring her that I still love her but do not like her behavior of hitting me and helping her know the difference between the two. My love isn’t conditional. It is always here and it is inclusive of boundaries.
Big Love and Delight,