Boundaries vs. Limitations

I have talked a little about boundaries before, and how it is important for us to maintain them, for our health and sanity.  And it is important.  But, there are times when those boundaries, which we create to sustain ourselves, become more of a hindrance than a help.  If it helps you to cultivate your own dominance, strength and/or Sovereignty, then the boundary is serving you, as it should.  If, instead, it is keeping you in a neat little box of unending comfort, then you are serving it.  And in that case, it is no longer a healthy boundary, but has become a stifling limitation.

I have actually been thinking a lot about my boundaries, as building and maintaining them has been a central theme in my Work for, and with, Apollon. Being too open, never saying “no”, and always taking on the responsibilities of others (who should be quite capable of managing their own affairs) was quite possibly the first thing I was Told to change.  And indeed, I get that lecture a lot more often than I’d like to admit, publicly. For me, saying “no” (and sticking to it) is challenging.  It is uncomfortable.  It is necessary.  But it can also be taken too far.

For instance, the divination that I’ve recently begun offering as a part of my service and training…  I was Instructed to start doing so way back in October of 2011.  But, did I listen?  Nope.  I said “no”.  It was “too scary”.  I had just started the blog and was afraid of the responsibility inherent in the task, as well as the reactions from random strangers.  All meaningless excuses, of course, but still I refused, using that little word hardly uttered throughout most of my life.  I thought that serving the spirits of the Land would be enough, that focusing any attention upon human affairs would disrupt my life and practice, and I ended up shoving myself into a box because of it.  I used flimsy excuses to cage myself within my own hard-fought boundaries, and was in the end, limited by them.

I also lived in an extremely rural area, which made it that much easier to sequester myself within the boundary of my own Land, to not care as much about what was happening outside of my small corner of the world.  And you know what?  The Land knew it.  I had become a hermit, which was never really supposed to be my role.  And that is when the dreams started.

New Lands awaited me in these dreams.  New Lands, with new spirits to befriend, and from whom I could learn, if I tended the relationships properly.  It was all very puzzling, because on one hand, it hadn’t occurred to me that I might actually leave, one day.  But, on the other hand, I had never really thought that I would live there for the rest of my life.

Where I am now is just as lush and beautiful and filled with spirits as the place I left.  The main difference, is that there are people here.  The Land brims with the synchronized energy of human, animal, and spirit.  It is a totally new ballgame for me, one which pushes against my boundaries and stretches the level of my comfort beyond anything I’ve experienced in a very long time.  We have to be pushed outside of our own comfort zones on a regular basis.  That is something that I had to learn, that I am learning, even now.

This was not, of course, the only reason for my move.  Mundane necessities, such as working to earn money for food and bills, are much more easily done here, and indeed, they too push me in ways that I don’t always like.  But it’s worth it.

I am a mother and wife, in addition to being a bride/possession of Apollon.  I was mother and wife before I acknowledged my Prince’s claim, and thus, I am allowed to fulfill those duties in addition to those required by my Lord.  Perhaps the pushing of my boundaries looks a bit more mundane than that of the average spirit-spouse, but one thing I’ve come to learn about the way Apollon works, is that He will use any, and all, life situations as teaching moments.  I have had a lot of those lately, as well as having been utilized much more frequently by my Lord for the fulfillment of various tasks.  And trust me, it is not all sunshine and roses.

So, yes.  I think we all should do what is best for ourselves, as dictated by our gods, and our own individual interests.  However, to become so dependent upon one’s boundaries can be very limiting, and even detrimental to our spiritual development.  In a nutshell: Walk your Path, but don’t forget to go off-roading every once in a while.

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7 responses to “Boundaries vs. Limitations

  1. I’m not sure that one can ever come to know one’s self if one doesn’t go off roading (keep typing ‘off reading’, there!) regularly, honestly. How well do we know ourselves when we are young and in the houses of our parents, with reality defined by their experiences and not our own experiences? Boundaries are like all tools–they’re only so useful until they’re detrimental, and then they need to be set aside.

    • Exactly. And even when we think we know ourselves, we don’t, because the gods know us far better, and They *will* push us, even when we try not to push ourselves. But, we mustn’t rely on Them to always be the ones pushing the envelope, either. The responsibility for our spiritual development falls on our own shoulders, as it should. If one isn’t doing something that they’ve never done before (spiritually speaking), at least four – five times a year, how can one gauge the progress that has, or hasn’t been made throughout the year? If you can not make yourself step outside of those boundaries, then you are living in a cage, no matter how lovely the cage may be. As always, my opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. :P

      • If one isn’t doing something that they’ve never done before (spiritually speaking), at least four – five times a year, how can one gauge the progress that has, or hasn’t been made throughout the year?

        Yes! Another thing, too, to point out is, doing something different doesn’t have to be a hugely complicated thing. I know one of the first thing I did for myself, for Poseidon, when he “moved in” was to attend a walking meditation workshop at a then-local-ish Buddhist monastery. It was extremely hard to interact with other people I didn’t know on a spiritual level/regarding spiritual matters. In the I wanted to curl up and cry in the corner sense of hard. That was, for me, big and complicated. But there are small, uncomplicated ways (read: small enough that any complications can’t really be used an excuse to Not Do It) to push yourself, too. Obviously, only the person in question can know what those ways would be, but I do think it’s important to push.

        ‘Course, as Navigator Extraordinaire that I am, exploration is extremely important to my own path, and what is pushing yourself other than self-exploration?

      • This is also true, but I’d posit that the ways in which we push ourselves can become much more complex with time. In my own life, I know that there will come a time when I must put Apollon first, above all else and all others. But I also know that I have until my daughter is raised and out of the house before I make that commitment. Building yourself, and your life, up for the Work may take time in some instances. I used to want more children, but not anymore, and not because I do not love children, but because I can’t keep raising children while devoting my life and spirit to my god. Those who are childless and/or unmarried may not have to deal with the same issues that those of us who are married, or who do have children, must face. They really do present very different circumstance with which to live and Work under.

      • “Those who are childless and/or unmarried may not have to deal with the same issues that those of us who are married, or who do have children, must face. They really do present very different circumstance with which to live and Work under.”

        I think the fact that we are not all cut from the same mold, nor do we have the same issues or the same influences in our relationships with our gods is an important thing. What works in one case is not going to be the same across the board. In my life Apollon is put first, however while I feel his presence continously in my life it doesn’t mean that I have no life either, but rather than my life and the way I experience and see the world is tempered by my relationship with Apollon. My love for him influences how I interact with my family, and also in how my daughter is raised. As you say these are not issues for those who are not married and without children, but I don’t consider it a burden either, nor a negative impact that takes my attention away from Apollon. And it possible that those who don’t have these things may not see how it is possible.
        Apollon is foremost, but that doesn’t mean that my love is so limited that others in my life don’t share it.

        Our relationships with our gods naturally do grow and become more complex over time I think, and so will our own boundaries change as they do so. I have gone through many instances of this myself as I went from refusal of sharing any part of myself with anyone other than Apollon (and my daughter naturally) to realization that the kind of enforced isolation was just as you say…I served it and for a purpose that did not serve me, nor one that He particularly desired. Growth, change and discovery is all a part of the game of life :)

  2. I am eternally grateful that the child raising I did, I did *young*. (Younger than people should *have* to, but that’s neither here nor there). I was able to have the experience of being a primary care-taker for a child without it actually being mine, and without it taking up my adult-life time. Good, and bad, and mostly it was what it was. Which doesn’t mean I think people who put their children first are *wrong* — in fact, I believe the opposite; I have much respect (and gratitude) that there are people who do put their children first; were it that the world had more people who acknowledged that parenting is a path that must be walked, for at least the time that one has young children depending on them, and not something that should just be fumbled through.

    I lose my eloquence when I see parents like you who have a reasonable grasp on what it means to parent, and I can only say, thank you. (May sound dorky, but, I come from where such a thing didn’t happen, and it sucks, and I can’t not say thank you, so again, thank you.) (/end dork)

  3. I love this post and the comments between you and Naiadis :-) Our Gods (our Men, really) know what needs to be pushed and what needs to be left alone to help us grow into the best of us. I’m an extremely shy person in real life and there are times I have a very hard time dealing with new people. Hermes isn’t a shy Person at all and so I get pushed into social situations to help make me acclimated to “being out there”. That sort of experience would seem very trivial to a social butterfly: “Where is the challenge?!” but sometimes it takes all I have to go to a new place to meet new people.

    As for the raising of children…*happy blissful sigh* I love being a Mama and take such pride and pleasure watching my boys grow up. I’m excited about what sort of men they will become and how many grandbabies I will have ;-) Being a Mama is part of my spiritual growth and has healed many hurts in my heart.