Boundaries Have Purpose
Boundaries are equally important as time and space. Boundaries are physical, non-physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and cosmic demarcations. Technically speaking, boundaries have a purpose, and that’s to keep you safe. As far as age is concerned, boundaries begin at birth and accumulate till our departure. However, there’s more going on after our departure than we realize and can claim as our boundaries.
So, when you and I were inside the womb, we knew and could feel our boundary within that great motherly sack. But when we came out, wow, we were stormed with boundaries. Everywhere was a boundary: mom’s eyes, her smile, her hum, the lights, the chatter, the temperature, the smells, the breeze, and the air. So, observing boundaries became a vital aspect of life every second after that.
An excellent way to perceive boundaries is to consider that within the border, you are safe. You retain a sense of security and knowing. However, what’s outside the boundary could be detrimental or challenged into the unknown. Generally speaking, life has a rhythm that you are okay with. However, the moment you cross a boundary, a different drum sounds cautioning you that the journey of life experiencing may not be safe as you perceive it to be.
Some boundaries are apparent, but most are not. Many people consider boundaries as limitations or restrictions. As accurate as that may be, do you consciously observe each of your limits throughout the day? For instance, your bathroom. Is it being shared with other family members or roommates? If so, examine who can use your counter space and personal towels.
Who cleans the toilet? What’s the standing non-written agreement of occupying the bathroom? The same with the kitchen and every other room in your home. Are there any boundaries within the refrigerator? I remember getting mad that my roommate drank my milk and ate most of my cheese after he promised me he wouldn’t. Who has the right to use the most comfortable chair? Or to watch television?
If you have a computer, do you know how many agreements each application provides, which delineate rules and permissions of usage? If you drive a vehicle, you have boundaries: driving lanes, stop signs, crosswalks, speed limits, and menacing drivers. Speaking of which, what is your tolerance level when another driver hackles you? Do you give that driver the finger or shout f**, or wish him well and not be intimidated? See all the invisible boundaries. I call these behavioral boundaries the ones stationed deep within your psychological realms.
Don’t forget all the government boundaries and restrictions. For example, is it necessary to have a passport? Without one, you can’t travel abroad or might not be eligible to enter another country. In addition, did you ever consider the enormous number of boundaries and limitations placed upon you by your society or culture? For example, paying for fees or permits, imposed taxes, and marriage considerations placed upon you for selecting a partner concerning race, ethnicity, religion, height, and weight.
Let the fun begin regarding all the subliminal boundaries placed upon each other in a marital relationship. Who sleeps on what side of the bed? The fun debacles occur between a vegetarian in the family from meat gobblers. These are some of the boundaries that we deal with daily. But what makes one spouse critical over the other is probably a violation of some aspect outlined in a disputed boundary. These can be a form of sexual involvement, traveling, watching TV, eating disorders, lying, lack of attention, flirting, or being disrespectful. All these impinge on an agreed or assumed boundary.
My latest book, Getting Out of the Box: Working with Spiritual Concepts, cites many problems people have by limiting their growth opportunities. When a person becomes stuck in the “Box,” they short-change, even sabotage their growth. They become complacent and lose sight of the joys of learning and exploring their environment. Living in the “Box” becomes detrimental as the boundaries harden. Humans are creator beings and must learn to expand their borders and reduce limitations and restrictions. Every invention made serves as an excellent example of expansion. The evolution of humankind predicates itself on stretching the boundaries of life.
In summary, all boundaries have a purpose, and with that comes obligations. We can live our lives safely and adjust our lifestyles with known limits. But for unknown or unwanted boundaries, we must sustain a height of awareness not to violate our safety yet discern how to move constructively forward.
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Robert V. Gerard
Copyright © 2022 Robert V Gerard
757 words [ 24 Feb 2023 ]