Copyright 2006 Ada Porat
Are your boundaries protecting you or suffocating you? Boundaries indicate where our no-go zones are: they are intended to define and protect that which is valuable to us.
We may also put up boundaries to protect ourselves from being hurt. While boundaries do afford protection, they can also create walls between us and others, blocking out new growth, learning and freedom.
Just think how often we hold back from revealing our true identity, beliefs or feelings until we feel safe that the other person will accept them. We may also hold back from sharing new insights out of fear that family and friends will disagree or ridicule us.
So what defines a healthy boundary from an unhealthy one? Acting out of fear rather than from confidence usually gives a good clue. When we start creating boundaries based on fear, these boundaries tend to hold us back from the very interaction that we crave with others. Instead, we may find ourselves cut off from others, unable to share insights along our journey of inner growth and expanding awareness.
Are you living in the closet, imprisoned by your fears or beliefs? Have you put up walls between yourself and others around you, believing they wouldn’t understand? Are you hiding your truth from co-workers, friends or loved ones, believing that they wouldn’t accept you if they knew what you really believe?
When fear drives us to hide behind boundaries, we deprive ourselves and others from the benefit of sharing our unique perceptions of the human experience. As humans, we all share similar experiences on the journey through life. When we give ourselves permission to share perceptions and insights, the simple act of sharing can result in profound healing and encouragement.
Sharing our truth with others is not about trying to convince them to see things our way. Rather, it is about being honest and transparent in our personal process of growth. And yes, sometimes it can be scary!
When sharing your perspective with someone from the heart, it always makes a difference. At times, we may sense that someone is not ready for deeper levels of sharing. That does not mean that we should not share our truth at all it merely means that we should be sensitive to how much to share, and not overwhelm them.
If great inventors throughout history had not shared their brand new ideas and concepts with the world, we’d still be living without electricity, thinking the world is flat, and travel by foot. Your insights may not seem as enormous as inventing space travel, yet they may be very important to the person you share with.
Have you ever shared something with someone, only to have them respond with, Thank you, thats exactly what I needed to hear! They may have been waiting for a clue or confirmation to guide them in a new direction, and your words provided that.
When we allow the walls of protection to come down and dare to share aspects of our personal journey from the heart, that act of sharing becomes a gift. Those who hear our truth, have free choice to receive and apply aspects of our truth to their lives.
When we remain behind boundaries of safety, everyone misses out. We miss out on the opportunity to emerge from behind our walls of self-protection to share truth, light and love. We also rob others of the opportunity of receiving that gift, and to choose how to respond.
Personal boundaries can become a comfort zone that needs a little stretching. Growth comes when we are willing to emerge from behind the safety of that comfort zone. Sometimes we take the initiative to share with others, and at other times it is the gentle exposure to anothers perspective that helps us break free from the confines of our limiting beliefs.
We are all both teachers and students. We learn by being exposed to different perspectives and information were not familiar with. Sometimes we learn from people’s mistakes, and at other times we learn from their examples. Others offer us mirrors in which to see ourselves – opportunities to learn and share what we have learned. When we start to consciously participate in this process, we can greatly expedite everyones learning process.
According to the book Cultural Creatives, there are over 50 million people who desire to create meaningful change in the world. Are you one of them?
If you desire to make a meaningful difference in the world we live in, consider dropping some of the defensive boundaries that hold back your light. Start peeking out from behind your boundaries and allow your light to shine!
When you emerge to share from the heart, youll find others eagerly waiting to respond. Let your light shine and help bring about the change you would like to see in the world. Shining your light can help light the way for someone else!