“Inside my piece of land”

A friend of mine from Italy introduced this Italian phrase to me (in English). It seems to me to be a wonderful idea. Just like the best ideas, it is both big and small. Small enough to remember, but only the tip of a giant iceberg of possible applications and deeper understanding.

When I am talking to someone, I can be aggressive and intrusive, only talking about myself at the other person, trying to market myself as much as possible, having a definite self serving agenda. This is often lauded as being an ideal, being competitive, having an edge, being smart. But how smart is it to not hear others, not see others, to block out your senses and your heart? It must be a terribly lonely life, full of pain and only offering pain, blocking out all happiness with pain.

Ah, but look at me, here I am talking about others who’s personality bothers me (or is it an aspect of myself?). Am I really staying “inside my piece of land” or am I being intrusive myself? Am I extending out my listening intrusively, or listening and trying to understand as others intrude on me? Where does my “piece of land” end and theirs begin? It is not a simple thing. If I see someone existing in pain and I offer compassion, am I interfering? If their pain intrudes on my boundaries and I am overwhelmed and can’t help them and have to push them away, then I fear I am seen by others as causing this person the pain that they entered my territory with already. But I am limited in resources and have to maintain my piece of land or else it becomes barren, in pain, seeking to invade other lands for relief!

This idea could go on and on. I’d love to hear more from others and I may add on more at a later date.