Boundaries as Life Design

By Deb Merchant

In April’s Tools to Thrive, we had an amazing conversation in which we explored differences and similarities between self-actualization and thriving.  We also looked at some myths around thriving which distinguish living from the fear-based, separation-based system we were born into and the unity-based system so many of us crave. 

For May, we will investigate the idea of boundaries.  Many years ago, in one of my early psychology classes, the lecture included discussion of the need for healthy boundaries.  Most of us would agree with that statement.  I did at first, those 30+ years ago.  However, something just did not sit right, and I began to listen, observe, and think.  Before I came to know Tantra, I had been observing what was termed ‘reality’, noticing the foundations of fear, separation, knowing your place, and other conventional definitions of being, doing, having.  Continuing my studies in psychology over the years had me see that the idea of boundaries may not be healthy at all – in the way referred to by traditional psychologists.  At some point, I recognized that the word ‘boundary’ or ‘boundaries’ could have additional definitions, which I call ‘boundaries as life design.’  

There is a great deal of difference between understanding human nature from a foundation of health as the innate starting point and what we have been immersed in from within the system we were born into which studies human nature based on those who are considered ill or broken.  One view of human nature is life-enhancing, even including the moments of disturbance or imbalance.  The other view of human nature is life-defeating for several reasons, including that if one is starting from being defined as broken, it is nearly impossible to dig oneself out of that identification.  It is similar with boundaries: they can be life-enhancing or life-defeating. 

I invite you to join us in re-designing and re-tooling boundaries for ourselves and our ability to thrive individually and in unity.  I look forward to seeing you there!