our property, like every other in the known world, comes with boundaries. we know where our land starts and ends, and so do others. but we have no walls. that is, anyone can enter.
the message is, we're not afraid, we're welcoming, but i'm not going to be okay with you using my front lawn for a BBQ, 'kay.
without emotional boundaries we look up one day to find we have become doormats, or we're going unheard, or we're being taken advantage of, and so on.
a friend recently set up some boundaries. that is, i feel that this is what she's done. i feel that in her mind they are 'appropriate boundaries'. but with the subsequent consequences of this i see that what she's built are walls.
walls protect us, and walls are also barriers.
connections of value as well as soul growth do not occur with walls up.
now i'm not saying building up walls is a bad thing. on the contrary, sometimes it's essential.
we are not all capable of soulful connections or ready for soul work.
if we have the experience of paranoia, disliking being vulnerable, afraid of facing our Shadows, belief in a loss of personal power, or lack of trust with the world, well then, we cannot live without constantly putting up protective barriers.
those feelings, experiences, and beliefs, must be dealt with before a person can jump on the deep soulwork train. and when i say 'must' i never mean should, but rather it doesn't work any other way.
a person i know where i live doesn't like me. she could have set firm boundaries and we could get on civilly as we mix in our mutual circle. but she chose a strong, high, wall instead. she believes it's the only choice. worse, and spiritually a not so good thing, she encouraged a mutual friend to do the same. passing her fears to another through subtle emotional manipulation - you have doubts? see, put up a boundary now. behind those words - i'm afraid, this is how i react in fear, if you do the same i am justified.
so, while boundaries are very very good, i do wonder if someone using the term is referring to a healthy line, or a barrier. if they're referring to fleeing, running from facing something or someone, denial, or cutting themselves off from possibilities. it's not the walls that are a problem, but the thinking that walls are the same as appropriate boundaries.
walls are an external crutch that do work. but while we feel safer and thereby happier for a bit, there is always an underlying lingering bad taste. walls provide safety, not peace.
many of us have need to learn the empowerment of setting boundaries. how many of us are aware of needing to learn softness?
thing is, boundaries empower us, and others. walls keep us safe, until we're ready to face the world, including our own inner selves. but they have nothing to do with self-empowerment.