To maintain healthy space and integrity, most would agree we need some sort of boundary with others . Yet, at the same time, how could we ensure that we aren’t inadvertently blocking out necessary information from ourselves, and each other, in the process (i.e. we aren’t creating a barrier)?
One answer is to see a boundary like, as a friend of mine used to call it, a ‘membrane’. That’s the best way to treat a boundary. Just like a cell, we need to allow some stuff in, and keep other stuff out — for our own self preservation. Also membrane is semi-permeable. Mature, informative information gets passed through. Less mature reactions are kept at bay.
In addition, it’s important I find to see boundaries as a last-resort, not a first-resort. Boundaries need to be formed from our well of experience and discernment cultivated through what we’ve gone through. When we arbitrarily and instantly throw up boundaries, we are ultimately sealing off our own opportunity for growth. It can actually be a reaction of fear, rather than a response of integrity.
To keep some gradient with the world around us is certainly part of our journey. Hopefully these couple of principles can help us form more mature dialog and interaction, while safeguarding our well-being in the process.