Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pretty Lady Has a Brilliant Insight

Hello sweeties! How long has it been! Pretty Lady's life is All Chaos, but she is nevertheless bringing order to it, particularly in the corners where the dust bunnies tend to collect. She is proud to report that several areas of Stagnant Energy in her household have been well and truly Cleared, and more shall be forthcoming. She cannot tell you the peace she feels, when walking into the walk-in closet and discovering that this is, in fact, possible.

(Confidentially, she is engaged in this de-stagnification process on account of her Gentleman Friend, who is taking the gargantuan step of Moving In. As she told him, one's own personal chaos may be marginally tolerable, but Chaos Squared is not. So a new era of Orderly Adulthood is dawning in our lives.)

However, Pretty Lady had to take a break from purging closets and packing Christmas ornaments for storage in order to share with you all her groundbreaking, revolutionary, life-changing Insight. This Insight, if properly understood by the majority, could save the world; at the very least it might preserve a number of arcane friendships. Listen closely:

A boundary is not the same thing as a judgment.

Pretty Lady must pause, here, to allow the ramifications of her genius to sink in. Then she must paraphrase herself:

Setting a personal boundary in no way implies that another person is being judged.

It is possible that some few of Pretty Lady's readers may not yet fully understand the wide-ranging implications of her statement. Thus, she must illustrate:

When Pretty Lady declines your very tempting invitation to: engage in a threesome with you and your dear husband; accept you as a full partner in her fledgling business plan; vote the way you do; subscribe to a similar theological philosophy; repeat nonsense syllables over and over in her head because you told her to; or any similar activity--she is wholly and merely declaring that such activities are not for her. She is not, by any stretch of the imagination, stating that you are a Bad Person for being polyamorous, casual with money, politically extremist, theologically rigid, or Buddhist. She is merely claiming personal sovereignty over territories wherein she is the undisputed expert--her own preferences--and leaving the territories of others entirely untouched.

Pretty Lady understands that to the six well-adjusted individuals upon this planet, this statement may come across as a complete tautology. You six were obviously born wise; let Pretty Lady alone to continue enlightening the rest.

There are many well-meaning persons that take the statement, 'Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged' a wee bit Too Far. Pretty Lady has been one of these persons in the past, which is why she knows. These persons can be spotted by their calm, understanding demeanor when their then-lover declares, "I'm going to travel through the world, leaving a trail of bastards behind me." They betray no hint of personal indignation when their desirability as a monogamous, committed mate is thus casually impugned; at least, not until they snap, and end up on the police blotter of the Post.

The trick is that these codependent little ladies are, indeed, judging someone. They are judging themselves. They are judging themselves for, deep down, not particularly liking the idea of casual abandonment by cavalier impregnator. Thus, in remaining silent, in failing to state their preference for a more reliable brand of mate, they are desecrating their own souls in the name of non-judgment.

Similarly, persons of a more rigid bent may choose to follow every Biblical law to the letter, except for the abovementioned exhortation. They, subscribing wholesale to a transcendent Moral Law, feel perfectly comfortable in excoriating others for failing to do the same. That is the definition of 'transcendent,' isn't it? 'Transcendent'='Applies to everyone'?

Pretty Lady's reply: No. Not in that way.

Because in order to transcend the individual self, one must first differentiate. That is, one must set a boundary. 'All is One' does not mean 'We are all the same.' It most particularly does not mean 'We are all the same, and if you are not the same as me, then obviously there is something incorrigibly wrong with you, which must either be immediately altered, or eliminated completely.'

Thus, in order to attain the inner Peace which passeth all understanding, it is first necessary to know oneself, and to be fine with that. Then one may begin to know others, and be fine with them, too.


Chris Rywalt said...

I wasn't a big fan of U2's song "One" when it first came out, but it's been a staple of many different radio formats for a while now, including classic rock, so I've listened to it more than I might have. And the more I really listen to it the better it gets. I thought, at first, that it was just one of those "We are the world" kind of songs, but it's so much deeper than that. As Bono sings, "We're one but we're not the same."

"One" is a musical statement of what you're saying here.

Anonymous said...

E pluribus unum. Or as the Internet Inventor once translated: "From one, many."

Anonymous said...

Careful of the parnter you choose.

k said...

Oh, my. That was LOVELY.

Polyamorous. Delicious! It's now listed in k's Top Tier of Sex-Behavior Descriptives, right alongside Omnisexual.

I've really wanted a nice Boundaries post lately. Your point about boundary setting not being a judgement is exactly what I was trying to work out.


Wait a minute.

Did I miss the huphalump in the room?

Contratulations on the Gentleman Friend moving in! How extremely happy an event!