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WHO MAKES THE RULES? And what happens when they get broken?

A woman stands in a dark forest, arms folded, with a quizzical expression on her face.

You know that frustration you feel when someone behaves in a way that you yourself would never behave? That burning feeling of injustice?

Maybe they forgot to thank you for the favour you did. Or they were blunt and tactless and hurt your feelings. Or they took the wrong person's side.

How could anyone actually behave like that? It's obvious to any right-thinking person that that behaviour is not ok. Right?

Weeellll... this may piss you off, (I'm sorry!) but - says who?

Who actually makes the rules? Who decides what is right and wrong? Is it God? The Government? You?

Here's a whopping (and difficult) truth for you - there are no rules. There are no great Universal truths about how to behave, we're all just making it up as we go.

So - who actually makes the rules? And what happens when they get broken? Why does it hurt so much?

In case you haven't worked it out yet, it's YOU. You make all the rules that you live by. Your upbringing and environment may influence you - or you may rebel against it - but you make the rules.

We all have a set of rules that we try to live by - probably inconsistently. And those rules are created by each one of us, individually, in our own minds.

And many of our personal rules are unspoken; 'I always say thank you when someone holds the door for me'. Or 'I never interrupt when someone is speaking'. Or 'I always admit when I'm wrong' (Oh no you don't!).

And that's the other thing - we even break OUR OWN personal rules! This is why diets fail, why exercise regimens flounder and why you get back with exes that you were supposedly done with.

So really - what ACTUAL rules ARE there? And what happens when someone else breaks YOUR rules?

This can be a huge source of pain - someone has done something that you would never dream of doing, right? Coming from your place of hurt, you absolutely KNOW that no decent person would ever do this - just ask anyone!

So you do - you ask people who you know will agree with you - and they are dutifully outraged for you.

But your pain, although soothed temporarily by being 'right', actually grows. Resentment is born. It calcifies around your heart and makes you harder.

If your rules get broken often enough, you cut people out of your life completely.

You might tell yourself these are boundaries to keep you safe from hurt. But healthy boundaries are flexible - these are actually walls, and they keep others out, and you locked in.

If we don't keep our own rules, how can we expect others to?

And if our rules are unspoken, how can we expect others to know what they are?

I can hear you shouting - 'But they should just know, it's obvious! Everyone knows that!'

My love, this belief is what is tripping you up - the belief that your rules are universal. They're not!

What offends you might be totally unimportant to someone else. What hurts you might make someone else laugh. Your rules are YOURS, not everyone's.

So here are some things to ask yourself, when someone else breaks your rules:

  1. Is this a rule that I have clearly and explicitly communicated? (This requires you to be REALLY honest with yourself, because the answer is usually no.)

  2. Is this a rule that is unbreakable for me? Can I be flexible about it? Can I let it go completely? Can I have a reasonable conversation about how I feel when this rule is broken?

  3. What am I making this MEAN? (They don't love me, they don't respect me, I don't belong, etc)

When you turn your thoughts inwards and reflect on your own (possibly inflexible) beliefs, you automatically create a softer space in your heart. 

You create understanding and compassion. You enforce healthy, flexible boundaries. You become open-hearted - and all good things come from that place.

And, to be really clear, I am not advocating for being boundary-less. Some people need help creating rules and boundaries, because they're not strong enough in the first place.

And if someone repeatedly transgresses your very clearly expressed boundaries, then that is a person you no longer need to be around.

However, if you find yourself repeatedly pissed off at other people's behaviour, then there is learning in here for you, if you are open to it.

As ever, it is REALLY helpful to get a trusted guide involved here. Someone who will lovingly tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. I'm here to help you with that.

Let go of who's wrong and right. Re-write the rules. Open your heart - it's a big one.

Big love to you, warrior soul,

Sophie x

P.S. What happens when you break your own rules? That's another good question.

I can help you answer it with more love and compassion than you've been showing yourself till now.

Book a free chat with me HERE.


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