Boundaries are not the exclusive properties of places on the face of the earth. True each town, county, state and country has its own boundary which is expected to be honored. Many a war has been fought over disputes about boundaries. But people have boundaries as well. Like geographical boundaries, when violated, there can be unpleasant results.
When involving people, the personal boundaries may define what is public and what is private about us. The boundaries are internal to us, defining what we will or will not do, what we will or will not say. While we are willing to reveal much about our private selves to a close friend, the same information is not shared with a casual acquaintance or complete stranger.
There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by without the need for us to make a judgment call as to whether we are going to say or do something or not, and whether it will require us to cross our internal boundary. If we are fortunate in these matters, our boundaries are the guardrails that save us from running off the road of life and into gullies from which we may or may not be able to extricate ourselves.
Most times when in a gutter, gully, ravine or canyon (you decide how deep it is), the strong and disciplined manage to pull themselves out. Sometimes a tow truck, in the guise of a friend or family member, will help us out. Sometimes we are in a canyon and it is too deep for us to get out on our own and too deep for others to extend a hand and to reach us and help. Those in that predicament seem to be spiraling ever downward into a black hole. Then it takes a super-human effort from us and our “tow truck” to get out.
Very often the hole is the result of a drug or alcohol addiction. Those problems seem to be in the deepest canyons, the ones that help of a friend, family member and/or professional mentor is necessary but not sufficient. Those requires us to reach way down inside to the very core of ourselves to extricate ourselves. The climbing out doesn’t result in broken fingernails but rather pain and suffering beyond the comprehension of anyone who hasn’t gone through it.
It seems we all swerve off the paved road now and then. If we are lucky we quickly get back on life’s highway. If you do end up in that ravine, let’s hope you have the strength to get yourself out or there is a tow truck around to help. Otherwise life is going to be a miserable trip for you. How long you last in that gully or canyon depends on how deep it is and if you have the fortitude to pull yourself out. If you don’t get out, you will live the rest of your life with that high, unconquerable wall around you. And say what you will, we both know that isn’t where you want to be.