Donal and Lynette continued the workshop on sexuality by inviting the Brothers to share on their experience in community. Many shared how the climate in community has an effect on the way Brothers manage their sexual energy. A community that is vibrant and cohesive, characterised by gentleness, compassion, intimacy and love is certainly very beneficial to the capacity of Brothers to express their sexuality is healthy and empowering ways.
Then Donal went on to quote ‘Good fences make good neighbours’ and explained that physical boundaries are important in the area of sexuality. He highlighted how recent news reports pointed to the fact that many men in the entertainment business seem to cross physical boundaries, causing great emotional harm to women. Respect for physical boundaries involves choosing who can touch me and when and where.
Donal also explained the importance of emotional boundaries. He said that a self without a boundary is like air without a balloon; it’s shapeless, formless and diffused. ‘We all have a right to a self’, he said, and stressed that we set our emotional boundaries by choosing how we allow people to treat us. He outlined how we set boundaries:
- by maintaining our right to say ‘no’ and the freedom to say ‘yes’
- by respecting our feelings
- by accepting differences
Donal concluded by saying that boundaries bring order to our lives. As we learn to strengthen them, we gain a clearer sense of ourselves, and our relationship to others.