Our race has evolved through ‘breaking boundaries’. Sometimes it was the success of achieving flight, space exploration and medicine, and sometimes it was human sacrifice, holocausts and the ozone layer.
We are constantly at play or in experiment with boundaries, and the same goes for our personal boundaries, whether in a relationship, at work, or just in conversation.
We have spent millenia developing a legal system to ensure suitable boundaries are in place to safeguard our fellow man. Alongside the legal system, a grey area of morality and social accord has been developed in unspoken contract.
While the hard boundaries of the legal system are largely set to prevent crossing a line, this grey area is the place in which humans dance. It is the place where corporations plunder the earths natural resources, because while immoral to many, it is not illegal. It is the place where we can shout at each other violently but not hit each other. It is also the place where we can produce and consume as much as we want of anything without consideration of who it affects.
We too are commodotised, like any other natural resource. We live in a world where we have been domesticated to trade our time and energy for money in order to survive. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because some of us love our work and we can live in relative peace.
Self-sacrifice does not only relate to work, but also social situations. How many times have you wanted to be part of the pack, and so sold a little of your soul in order to be a part of a community who is blindly following institutional guidelines. This could be as innocuous as going for drinks after work, smoking cigarettes behind the school, or just dressing a certain way because your ‘friends’ are. These are all examples of how we sacrifice parts of ourselves for our innate desire to belong.
We feel bad when we have self-sacrificed, because we have not acted with love towards ourselves. We feel a different type of bad when we are selfish, as we have not acted with love towards another.
In trying to fulfil ourselves, we are left with a more empty feeling, as opposed to the self-imposed burden of self-sacrifice. It shows how interconnected we are as a species, and how we must take care of number one in order to be of service to others, and to serve others when we are abundant with love.
You are here to serve humanity and should not get bogged down with busy work dictated by others, but should observe when you are called to action.
How often do we find ourselves giving more than we can afford? When resources are limited we can only give so much, but when we awaken everyday with a renewed source of energy and time, we seem to spend it without consideration. How long have you been stuck in a job you that didn’t fulfil you? Whether it is the promise of retiring in 30 years, not wanting to let people down, benefits and security, it is irrelevant. For those of us in high functioning jobs, the threat of leaving usually results in some form of golden handcuffs, whether it’s a pay rise, promotion or a new project. Sometimes this is enough to keep us motivated a little longer, but it only provides more recognition, not more fulfillment.
Every time a boundary is crossed, our body reacts in some way. Many of us have become desensitised to this powerful antenna, because we think only in rational terms. So while we may hold a little seed of doubt, the voice of rationality implores us to pursue the social, relational, or financial goal.
Often, we can become depressed, lose sleep, or experience physical pain without understanding why. This is our body screaming out that we have crossed a line.
We often hear of multi-millionaires becoming depressed upon achieving all their goals. This is not necessarily that they have achieved all their dream and have nowhere to go, but they have followed the misguided dream of others, to dominate a space at any cost, rather than pursue something meaningful to themselves.
Boundaries — Empowerment & Disempowerment
Setting boundaries creates self-empowerment.
We have discussed where we stand in this inflection point of breaking boundaries, but what about the influence of others?
Many people, whether they seem lovely or not, have a sinister force acting behind their actions which seeks to disempower you. Like the boss who promises you the world, but is more focussed on draining your resources for profit. Sometimes this trickster wants to profit financially from our energy, and sometimes they are seeking attention due to another insecurity. We are distracted by charm while their hand is in our pocket. In extreme cases, we often refer to people that do this as having personality disorders, yet it also happens on the most subtle levels. This is why there is a correlation between psychopathy and capital centered business owners. Your time and energy is merely but another resource plundered by industry.
The same happens when your ‘friend’ invites you to something from a place of insecurity, rather than a place of love. Your instinct may tell you that you prefer to stay in a read, rather than go to a party to enable your friend’s insecurity of attending alone.
Empowerment through boundaries
Of course, there are those who are seeking to empower you. These people do not exhaust us, or trigger us emotionally, but meet us at a place of mutual respect for one another’s time and energy. They add coal to our fire. They act from a place of love and support. There is no glitter-bomb of guilt lacing their invitation.
Creating boundaries protects your energy, empowers you to become your really are.
Being nice, polite or kind at the expense of your power is perhaps more insidious, as we do this under the guise of kindness, but we are self-sacrificing under the lie that this is for the good of the collective. We do this because of conditioning and predetermined boundaries set by our cultural systems.
Even things as innocuous as tv and social media require boundaries as they sap our energy because they have been automatically programmed to. They are technology developed by people to empower us to communicate as much as to monetise our time and energy.
Of course, there are those of us who are extremely dismissive of others, creating a prison cell around them so as to protect them from others. We must be flexible in order to explore, yet remain strong in our conviction when we battle for energy.
Often we become reclusive or dismissive if we have been taken advantage of, whether it has been sexual, relational, work related or whatever it may be. The trauma of the circumstance makes us wish to close off from this aspect of reality and potentially miss out on the joy that this area has to offer.
Your Body Is Your Guide
Anger is a key emotion here. He protects us from being disempowered, much like a warrior protects his village from predators. He is strong and fierce which is why we often fear him. When we misuse him we can feel guilt for pushing someone away and when we keep him locked up he can have a tantrum within us.
When something feels right in the body, we do it. Yet, that superego we have developed because of the world around us can prevent us from doing this because it does not coincide with our plans, identity or personality. We must learn to trust our body in guiding us toward a decision and when to defend or surrender.