The aphorism printed on the little paper tab dangling from the string attached to this morning’s teabag claimed: “You are unlimited.” Fortunately, that’s not true.
I have limits. Physical, intellectual, relational, financial, and — yep — even spiritual. Which I think is what the teabag was attempting to contest: That spiritually speaking, I am unlimited. But the myth of limitlessness, while occasionally effective in poetry and pop songs, has lately gotten lazy. And, except as a crutch to prop up cults of conquest and consumerism, I’m not sure it ever had much substance to begin with.
Boundaries give substance to our capacity to relate to each other as other.
Of course, there are such things as false boundaries, walls that we build up to protect ourselves from threats that aren’t real. It’s a great idea to deconstruct those limits.
And a lot of boundaries are permeable, their severity in flux according to where we are and what we’re engaging, which is a good thing to keep in mind.
Not: You are unlimited. But: Your limits are dynamic. That’s what I think. Some of us need to be more honest about our capacities, others of us need to be more generous with our limits. Most of us fluctuate from day to day between the two.