I would like to clarify that although my blog is intended to be peaceful, loving and centered, it may not follow the standard “kumbaya” vibe that I observe a lot of conscious folks often times portray. Life is not all meditation, reflection, observation and revelation. Not by a long shot. There are times in life where we must communicate clearly our boundaries and expectations regarding what we will and will not allow into our lives. This may translate into the way someone is speaking or behaving that directly affects us. True, we do not have control over anyone but ourselves and our reactions to external circumstance, we DO have control over communicating what we simply will and won’t accept regarding staying in our “sponge” (see my Squeeze Me post where I further discuss being a Sponge-Like Chick post)
We must be very mindful of what our sponge is exposed to and absorbs. Many times the actions of other people in our lives whom we must interact with on a daily or even weekly/monthly basis undoubtedly will test our resolve as to how much we protect the environment in which we dwell. Sometimes people do not honor their commitments and/or obligations which in turn has a direct effect on our lives. These circumstances are where the Therapeutic Check Mate comes into play. “Therapeutic Checking” is a term used by my late brother Michael, and it refers to effectively communicating how your personal boundaries may have been compromised in one regard or another. This is not to be confused with tearing someone a new one because we “don’t like” what they did. I’m talking about true, mindful and calm communication of what you will and will not tolerate into your space and the implications of such. Many times, the person on the receiving end of the “Therapeutic Checking” is in dire need of someone to be mindful of them as they may not be in a space where they are mindful of themselves. Withholding the “Therapeutic Checking” may actually result in continued or enhanced inappropriate behavior/speaking and does not serve ourselves nor the recipient well.
Again, I want to emphasize that in no way am I condoning or justifying “cursing people out” or “going off”. Those two things usually have a wild anger behind them and are really masking our Gift – Wrapped Bullshit. No, it’s not alright to recklessly abandon the feelings and responses of others, even when we perceive they may have done that very thing to us. It is alright, and often times needed though, to express in a mature fashion, and with a solution driven approach that what they are currently engaging in will not be tolerated.
It’s called Therapeutic Checking because it truly is therapy. It allows for us to set boundaries while it provides the recipient with the opportunity for honest self – evaluation and quite possibly some growth. I personally have tons of experience Therapeutically Checking folks, and I can see the difference when I come from a space or love (for myself primarily in what I allow to permeate my life) and when I come from a place of anger/frustration/fear. It does take some practice to really differentiate the source as the recipient still may not be able to tell the difference, however we need to be very clear on our intention. Let me also add that therapeutic checking doesn’t always need to be an external expression verbally. Sometimes it can just mean refraining from interaction until the person(s) have made their own decision to respect your boundaries, and truth be told, some folks just need that “time out” to better reflect and evaluate what your presence in their lives means to them.
Therapeutic Checking is a natural, healthy and needed dynamic in anyone’s life. It can makes the difference between living a life filled with anxiety, guilt, misery and resentment versus a life that is open, healing and growing.
With So Much Love,