Boundaries go unnoticed too often, but they have become more important than ever in these recent pandemic months. New imposed boundaries have affected everything. They have impacted what we wear, where we go, what we do and how we are personally, nationally and globally, and the manner of our reaction to the changing boundaries says much about us as human beings and as souls.
Boundaries have been significant always as a means of indicating how far we have achieved our learnings about being human. They relate to timidity, fear, freedom, risk taking, responsibility, relationships and equilibrium. Some people have no boundaries, often thereby causing hurt to others through thoughtless speech or selfish action, or hurt to themselves by never saying “no”. Other people’s boundaries are so tightly drawn they drive others away and their lives are sad and narrow – extremes of introversion and extroversion personified.
Often we never think about our boundaries as we get on with living life as best we can, but they are important in defining us and providing a framework for how we live those lives. Children who grow up in homes where there are no structures and therefore no rhythm or routine can feel lost and insecure as they are tossed about on a sea of uncertainty, while an excess of discipline and tight control can be just as damaging but in a different way.
The boundaries we set, or not, in relationships or lifestyle create our foundations and affect life and soul. We even have boundaries, or not, about whether we eat indiscriminately and excessively, or say “no” to sugar, for example: our attitude to food determines our first spiritual initiation which is about physical self-control, and so our approach to food and drink and connected boundaries matters.
Because of their importance, it is interesting to reflect on how we each have reacted to the new boundaries suggested or imposed by the Coronavirus. Some of us welcomed the opportunity to raise the drawbridge of our personal castle and to shelter from a busy world behind it; others railed against the restrictions and refused to comply at whatever cost to others; some extended their attitudinal boundaries in order to help others at a challenging time while others, motivated by self-interest, tightened them.
New boundaries will be required of us in weeks and months to come as a result of a continuing viral contamination and economic pressures that will make us lower our drawbridge to confront a new reality of recession and inflation, even as further restrictions to our old freedom of action are required. Some of us will comply with everything asked of us, some will refuse to co-operate altogether and others still will choose how far, if and where to change our boundaries.
Until the pandemic broke there was a loose national cohesion based on cultural norms and tradition: that cohesion is being stretched to the point of dissolution which could lead to more of the social unrest we are beginning to see now, challenging the status quo and causing us to rethink who we are as a society and what do we want or need to be, as well as testing each of us personally at every level.
We walk on shifting sands, but we have strong earth beneath the sands, the mysteries of the Cosmos above us and seas stretching into infinity before us, all aspects of the divine and reassurance that Spirit is with us on this great journey. Whatever else you do, stretch your boundaries as much as possible to enable you to feel and see the wonder of being alive today, protected and loved so much. Use your boundaries well.