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Having healthy boundaries doesn’t mean a lack of receptivity; instead, it is a discerning receptivity, an openness that can just as easily say a full-blooded “no” as a “yes”. The undiscriminating openness and too easy “yes” (and possible show of equanimity) of those who are underboundaried is especially difficult to cut through when it’s taken to be a sign of spiritual attainment. When we cannot voice and embody an unequivocal “no,” allowing ourselves to be closed at times, our only way of protecting ourselves is to dissociate, to get away from what’s difficult rather than face and pass through it.

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