O God, you are my portion and my cup;
it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
Culturally, we push back at the thought of boundaries. We don’t want to be limited, don’t want anyone telling us we cannot go somewhere or do something. We believe that freedom gives us the ability to live life on our terms.
But I’ve come to realize that living without boundaries is not healthy. Lack of boundaries was draining life from me. Limitless living, while it sounds exhilarating, is really exhausting. I am recognizing that I must be conscious of what is actually mine to do, and, perhaps more importantly, what is NOT mine to do. As I stay within my boundaries, I develop a greater recognition of what nourishes my soul. Drinking from the cool waters of my Divine Center, my True Self, I am so refreshed that I am grateful for the boundaries that allow me the freedom to say no to what is beyond my limits.
It’s a wonderful cycle of staying within my boundaries, which allows me to go deeper in the knowing of my soul, which helps me know my boundaries more clearly, which takes me even deeper into knowing myself (and thus knowing God). Instead of living in the so-called freedom of no limits, where I’m scattered and splattered over too many activities, I live in the true freedom to be who God created me to be—and no more.
Over lunch recently, several folks who had been to Haiti were talking about the boundary between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They noted that even without a fence separating the two countries, the border was obvious because of the contrast in the actual land. The land of the Dominican Republic is lush and fertile, while Haiti’s land is barren of vegetation because prior farming practices stripped the land of its nutrients until the land itself was exhausted. This happens to us when we attempt to live beyond our limits.
Sadly, there are not many who will support us as we live within our boundaries. It is countercultural to our society’s message to “be all you can be.” But knowing our boundaries actually does allow us to be all that we can be—all that God has created us to be. If you desire to live a life that nourishes your spirit, find a friend or a spiritual director who will help you discover your boundaries and hold you accountable to them. Live in the pleasant land encircled by boundaries that draw you into greater intimacy with God.