Boundaries are natural:
Like skin that separates your vulnerable internal organs from exposure and contaminants.
Or banks that hold rivers on course.
Or tree lines that separate the safe haven of the forrest from the open fields where animals feed.
The loss of these natural boundaries are potentially catastrophic for each of these ecosystems.
Why is it any less true that individuals, families and societies are harmed when appropriate boundaries are not kept in place?
Boundaries=Definition. They make up the “shape” of who you are. They are the defining factors of what others know about you and what you know about yourself. Much like your physical shape, if you don’t like what you see (or fear what others perceive) you have to make changes that redefine you. Definition is a decision.
Boundaries=Differentiation. I’m me, you’re you, we are a certain group (family, organization, culture), while you may be of a different group. Differentiation is to be accepted (even celebrated!)
Boundaries=Distinction. I am who I am for a good reason. I shouldn’t be like you because of those reasons. Maybe there are reasons I should be more like you, and vice versa. But I, and you, choose daily who we each are to be. Distinction is to be respected.
Regardless of things that may change about me over time, I have to have core values and morals that I hold as unchangeable. And so do you. That’s not a bad thing- it is a necessary thing.
Boundaries are important in the everyday lives of people, families, and our society. I’m afraid that we are in a time that is post-boundaries. And I want to share why in the next few posts.
But here’s the idea- the loss of boundaries means the loss of identity. And that is something to mourn after.
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