I spent a little time this past week catching up in my garden. This included hoeing to get rid of those pesky weeds that seem to spring up the minute you turn your back. It also included picking my beans.
As I was standing in the fenced-in, rabbit proof portion of my garden (at least I thought it was rabbit proof) I heard the noise of something smashing against that chicken wire fence. Every time I looked the animal seemed to have disappeared.
I finally discovered a rabbit hiding in my beans and with the help of my husband; that rabbit was escorted out of the garden. (No he was not harmed in his removal.) I proceeded to finish with my gardening chores and had a little time to ponder as I did so.
It kind of amazed me that a rabbit actually made it through the fence that we had so carefully built and put into place. It also caught my attention that once that rabbit had made it into the enclosure he could not figure out how to get out.
I think our lives can be a lot like that. There are rules/bounderies set in place that are intended to keep us safe….much like the fence was intended to keep my beans etc. safe. I wondered why so many times we look at those “fences” as something that is meant to keep us locked in, rather than to keep the “rabbits” of our lives out, and to keep us safe from those “rabbits”?
Thinking that over, gave me a new perspective on the boundaries that we all have in place in our lives. It made me think of the parent who allows their child to do anything; because they feel that to discipline them, means they don’t love them. It made me think of the friend who is afraid to speak truth in love to a friend because they are afraid it will ruin the friendship and hurt the other person.
Reality….setting boundaries for our children, for ourselves and for each other speaks love. It says we care enough to hold ourselves and others accountable for actions taken and words spoken.
I used to tell my children that if I did not love them I would not give two beans what they did. I also told them, that I would be loving them till the day I died so, unfortunately (or fortunately??) for them, I would be holding them accountable for that length of time. Hopefully, as parents, they now appreciate that logic more than they did when they lived under our roof!
In my pondering I also thought about the fact that even though we do build those fences of protection..life happens and rabbits do end up where they should not be. When that happens….it is always good to get help to escort those “rabbits” right out of your life…..because that is what friends and family are for.
May this week find you checking your “fences” and making sure you have someone to help you with the “rabbits” in your life! May your boundaries be clear and your fences be strong.
Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.
Edwin Louis Cole