Boundaries: They’re what you make them.
“Good fences make good neighbors.”
~ Robert Frost
In some of our fellowships we speak of boundaries, and well we might. Good boundaries are major bricks in the foundation of emotional health and recovery. It seems, however, that many people have the idea that boundaries are like a fence we build around us that others aren’t permitted to cross. That’s not the case; boundaries guide our behavior, not that of others.
Boundaries are essentially knowing when to say yes or no. Perhaps we were not allowed ever to say “no” to a parent. That crippled us. We felt as though expressing ourselves was against the rules, that it would place us in danger of punishment or, less obviously, by damaging a relationship that was necessary to our survival. We felt invaded and ruled. As a result we may never have learned that it is okay to make our own healthy choices. Continue reading
Our society is obsessed with sexuality. It’s used to sell, to convince, to attract, to capture, to control, to compel, distract, comfort and sometimes to destroy. We live our lives saturated with sexual images and imagery: literature, TV shows, advertisements, magazines, clothing, and — last, but by no means least — the Internet. Preteen children have access to pornography and other sexualizing influences that were totally unknown to previous generations. A recent study on pornography planned by a Canadian university had to be cancelled because the researchers couldn’t find a sufficient number of students who had not viewed porn to make up a control group.
Whether this is a good thing is moot. Like it or not, the US (and Western societies in general) are saturated with sex. Barring a complete political and social upheaval, it’s not going away. Despite that, for the most part we have failed and still fail to give our kids and young adults, dealing with raging hormones and rebellion, the information they need to navigate this morass of temptation. Instead, our leaders take the “moral” route, keep them ignorant, and then point fingers and cry “Shame” when the ignorance that was forced upon them gets them into trouble. Continue reading