PHP Week 3 (Belated) – Baubles and Boundaries

I consider myself fairly easy-going regarding the various spiritual items that I keep around both myself and my personal spaces.  The topic has come up elsewhere in relation to altars and keeping those safe from people who aren’t respectful.  Honestly, I don’t care if someone wants to touch the items on my altar.  Nothing in my physical world is either so incredibly sacred nor any person so profane that it’s worth getting angry over items being handled in a non-destructive manner.*  If someone’s energy is negative, then it’s easy enough to sweep away the residual energy they leave behind.

Bauble Boundaries

We all have our limits though… and mine is very well-defined.  The minute I put on a piece of jewelry that has even a hint of sacred meaning or is charged for a specific purpose, it becomes off-limits to the rest of the world.    Look all you want, but don’t touch.  If you try to touch something I’m wearing, my head will spin 360 degrees and pea soup will issue forth from my mouth.  I will bite off the fingers of anyone over the age of three who tries to reach out to touch a necklace I’m wearing.  I turn into a seething beast with a vendetta against all humanity for their transgressions on my personal space.

Ok, not really, but  I do get very, very uncomfortable with attempts to touch jewelry I’m wearing, particularly ones worn around my neck.  I tend to get very snappish and short-tempered when I see a hand reaching out to touch it.  I’ve been known to jump backwards a couple of feet or to grab the offending hand before it can reach the bauble in question.  I realize that the person is usually just curious or intrigued with a design or stone, but aggghhhhh!  The skin on my neck tries to crawl away just thinking about it.

My world is not going to end if someone touches a necklace I’m wearing, but a bad reaction on my part may be incredibly destructive to a relationship.  This is particularly the case at my workplace when I’m dealing with the public.  I have one client who is particularly fascinated with anything shiny and I’ve learned that it’s much better for both of us if I take off a necklace to let her see it rather than waiting for inevitable attempts to touch it (we’ve had the “please don’t reach into my personal space” conversation to no avail; she’s apparently part magpie and must grab anything shiny).  Cleansing the piece takes a lot less work than trying to explain to my supervisor why my teeth marks are clearly visible on the client’s hand and why I am foaming at the mouth.

Knowing your boundaries is always a good thing… and being able to handle the crossing of those boundaries in a non-destructive way is even better.  It begins by clearly defining in your own mind where those limits are.  I can’t expect someone else to respect my boundaries (spiritual or otherwise) if I can’t clearly state them myself.  Granted that some boundaries may be more fluid than others or have exceptions to them, but knowing that there is fluidity or exceptions in advance can help us in coping with unwanted intrusions.    Anticipating that there will be violations of personal spiritual boundaries and planning our reactions prior to the violation can go a long way toward avoiding simple situations escalating into something ugly and complicated.

 

*Handling spiritual items with destructive intent is a whole another story.  That’s when the teeth and claws really do come out.  I refuse to be nice to people who intentionally destroy anything that I claim as my own.

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4 thoughts on “PHP Week 3 (Belated) – Baubles and Boundaries

  1. Uggg, this. I have serious personal space issues (I don’t let anyone go into my bedroom and hate even the most casual of physical contact) and there are always those who have to get too close. I know they are trying to be friendly, but it just makes me want to hurt someone.

    And Finn is right about how a necklace can easily become a noose if someone is a bit overzealous in wanting to see it. And Juni, I don’t see how you don’t bean people with the nearest heavy object for unsolicited touching.

  2. Aisling

    I blame it on poor parenting. When I was little “Look but don’t touch” was a practically a mantra in our house. In spite of being (even now) intensely curious about the world around me, I’ve learned the “look with your eyes, not your hands” lesson very well.

    Unfortunately, some people either don’t learn this lesson or suffer from compulsive behaviors that make it difficult for them not to touch things.

    1. fionn999

      God. I mean… GOD. That’s just all kinds of gross to me.

      It’s common sense, to me. You don’t reach out and touch pregnant women’s bellies without asking, and really, if you’re asking, I really hope you’re younger than 10 and related. Because… that’s just kind of ew and bordering on sexual harassment.

      You don’t reach out and pet someone else’s dog, or reach down to touch them while walking by without asking, and in this case, asking is totally normal and acceptable because everyone wants to pet the nice doggies omg you are too cute. … Ahem.

      And really, you don’t touch *reach out and grab people to read their tattoos* (EWWWW Juni) or *grab their necklaces* because one pretty much is sexual harassment and the other is just a step away from turning the chain into a noose. You *ask* what the tattoo says, and the bearer will likely show it to you and explain because who doesn’t love to show off body art, and you *ask* if you can see their necklace and wait for them to remove it or not because some people like to show off their jewelry and some people don’t. If they don’t want to show you, *drop it* and *move on*.

  3. I will never understand why people think they’re entitled to touch whatever they want just because they want to look at it. I have slapped more hands than I can count of idiots grabbing me to read what my tattoos say.

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