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We Need Boundaries to Come Together

[node:summary]Spiritual leader Larry Stillday, Ojibwe, talks of boundaries and oneness at Red Lake School in April 2014, his last public teaching.

The concept of needing boundaries would seem to clash with the reality that we are all one. But in fact, said Larry Stillday, who left us on May 20, 2104, they are different facets of the same thing, and one cannot exist without the other. Here, Stillday elaborates on these two notions that would seem on the face of it to be at odds. 

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Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits. They are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.

It is setting the distances one allows others to approach.

"To make circles you have to be in the center."

Having a healthy sense of self serves not only you and everyone else, but also the universe. And ultimately your happiness is everyone else’s happiness as well…because we are all one.

Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people.

We can think of a boundary as an imaginary line that uniquely defines and separates your personal happiness (Spirit); your personal desires (Heart); your personal needs (Body); your personal integrity (Mind); and therefore most important, your personal truth (Self) from the rest of the universe.

He who does not listen to and respect what he himself feels, violates his own boundaries. He who does not listen to and respect what others feel, violates other people’s boundaries. It is as simple as that.

So how does this idea of boundaries fit into the idea of a universe that is all one?

It would seem that a boundary would defy the truth of the unified nature of the universe. If I am truly accepting of and honest about who I really am, and what I really want and feel, I am embracing the unique expression of Source that I am, rather than seeing myself as separate from others or from Source.

And so personal boundaries are not a contradiction to Spirituality. We are simply using a word “boundary” which we associate with resistance.

Examples of Healthy and Un-healthy boundaries

In one sense, to have boundaries you have to differentiate between yourself and the rest of the world. You have to define your individual feelings. But this is already done for you, because of the fact that you have come into a physical human brain and body.

Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people.

It was always the plan for you to experience a separate self because this perspective serves the expansion of the universe’s own journey to self-awareness. So we all already do experience a self and that which is other.

This perspective creates a good deal of unhappiness until we allow ourselves to go in the direction of individual happiness, which ultimately leads to our discovery that we are all one and that whatever serves our individual happiness, serves all else that is. 

"Our (personal) boundaries protect us and give us a sense of who we are; they are not fixed, we change them with what we feel and who we are with."