On Putting Boundaries

In an interpersonal communication and in inner work

On personal boundaries:

A person that has got a meaning and value for his life, needs to have boundaries. 

But only when your life has a direction and a goal, you need to put boundaries, a fence, with which you make clear what will enter your life and what not. Only when you define your life, you exist. 

A person that has got something important in his life must put around it very clear boundaries, in order to keep its importance.

One of the problems of parents today, is putting boundaries to their children. It stands in a direct contradiction to the importance of those children in the parent’s life. 

The whole idea of putting boundaries comes out of the wish to define and protect something which is important for you. 

Boundaries are vital for anything that has life in it. Without boundaries no living creature would be able to hold on. Our body has got well defined boundaries, no one will be lost in the other. 

The more valuable something is – the more it needs boundaries, otherwise the value and the essence of what is without boundaries – will be dispersed.

The meaning of putting boundaries is to make known what is accepted and allowed and what is not.

It is to make a difference, in a clear and decisive way, between both. To be assertive.

It is interesting to take note of two areas which are to do with boundaries; one is the boundaries of our sanity, the other is the boundaries of the body, which is the skin.

When a person is becoming insane, his boundaries with reality lose their stability and fixed form.

The skin defines the border between us and the world, it makes clear where we end and where the world begins. 

We are used to seeing boundaries as something bad, something that limits us from being free. For example in the emotions; we see the limiting of emotions as limiting our personal freedom, but emotions which are wild cannot express anything, it is like  a wild herb, or cancer, both have no boundaries. Life has to be well defined; they have to begin somewhere and end somewhere. We confuse freedom with living a full life. We don’t understand that freedom without boundaries is an opposite to having a life, lack of boundaries cause boundaries in life to be dispersed.  

In the same way that everything needs a space, so does everything that needs boundaries. There is no space without boundaries and every boundary exists on the account of the space which is in it. Both are interconnected. People, in general, don’t like spaces; when people meet empty spaces, whether it is in home or outside, we rush to fill it up, in the house with furniture, and outside by roads and buildings.

The reason why so many parents don’t put boundaries to their children is because they, themselves, don’t have inner life. And because of that, they do not have boundaries, and because they don’t have boundaries, they cannot put boundaries to their children, and then everything is all over the place, everything is possible. Nothing is more important or less, there are no priorities, no goal, and no value. Everything goes, and what especially goes is: pleasure, to live the moment, to live from stimulation to stimulation. 

The infantile approach says that if he puts boundaries to me – he does not respect my freedom and independence. No! The opposite, the one who puts boundaries wants you to preserve your life so that they would not fall apart and be dispersed all over, so he put boundaries. The child does not see it in this way, for his life is at the stage of having fun. But if there are no boundaries nothing will be ripe, we can only mature within well-defined boundaries.

In the world we live in today – almost everything becomes permissive, open; everything is possible. You can do anything, travel everywhere, marry almost at any age, and get divorced. 

Boundaries and frames in inner work:

Everything needs boundaries, a frame, a dividing line; what will come in and what would not.  But with it, (mainly in inner work) the issue of boundaries is a matter of proportionality; if your boundaries are totally closed, you are disconnected from the stream of life – you must be open to everything above you, that nourish you and is charging you with vitality, and to be closed to everything below you, that comes to contaminate, to stop you, to disturbed you.

At the first stage you must put a dividing fence. At the second stage you ‘play’; you create selective boundaries; when you already have a border, you can open it from time to time. But if you don’t have any boundary, you are a victim of that which you would not want that it will enter in, or escape you. 

The main issue and problem in the whole area of inner work is the area of putting boundaries between outside and inside, if a person is not able create a boundary between him and invasions – he cannot maintain what he is being to create inside. For example; in the emotions; if he doesn’t put a well-defended boundary between what threatens his emotions, his emotions will get a trauma with each invasion. And if he doesn’t have well-defined boundaries between a territorial threat and his own space – he will shrink inside, and lose his power.

Boundaries are for something alive, but if the inside is dead, the boundaries become the walls of a prison.

One remark on how to put boundaries: imagining a thick, dark wall between us and the thing we wish to set the boundary to. The more vividly we imagine the wall, the more succesful it will be.

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