Mouse BanditThe cheese is gone. When I awoke yesterday morning, we discovered the nighttime mousy visitor successfully stole the cheese from two different contraptions and got away, apparently, without so much as a scratch. We replaced the cheese with peanut butter, thinking the stickiness of that treat would prolong his visit to the trap long enough to set it off. When we got home from a day-long event, the traps were untouched. When we awoke today, the peanut butter is still there, seemingly untouched.

Originally, when Mr. Mouse showed up, I had memories of my own violation, abuse and boundary-crossing throughout my life. As the days have rolled on, I’ve thought about it all, wondering what additional message Mr. Mouse has for me. A bandit, by definition is a person who takes unfair advantage of others; one who steals or defrauds. What bothers me the most is the fact that have had to accommodate his presence. When the miniature pebbled traces of his existence first showed up, there had to be a reorganization of my belongings to avoid further possible violations of boundaries that I hadn’t previously realized needed to be set. WHY am I rearranging my life for him?

That pattern of experiencing the violation of boundaries I hadn’t realized needed setting is a familiar pattern. Most of my life, because I spent it outside of myself, trying to please others and be who I thought they wanted me to be, I had no idea what was going on inside of me. Now I realize that knowing what is going on inside of me is an integral part of setting boundaries.

The part I’m still curious about is… how do I set healthy boundaries for situations I am not expecting? It is easy to be prepared for everyday, normal experiences and to be clear on what is a “yes” and what is a “no” for my own life in those situations. However, when a “mouse” shows up to surprise me, at this point in my life, it is a practice of “forward and back” – I have to start defining the acceptable boundaries after the violation has occurred.

That sounds so not delicious to me and something that I am willing to change. I commit to being willing to learn how to be clear prior to the violation and I am aware that I have no idea how I can achieve that.

Now… holding space for the awareness about that to unfold.

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