Sunday, August 7, 2011

Step On A Crack, Break Your Mother's Back

"Come on honey, hurry up" said the mother.
"I'm coming mommy. Wait for me, I don't want to step outside of the lines" replied the daughter.

This I overheard recently, while vacationing in Maine, from my room early one morning. I then proceeded to go to my window to see what was going on and I observed a little girl jumping up the sidewalk, hopscotch style, trying to catch up to her mother.  As she hopped up the sidewalk, she was very careful not to step outside the mortar lines holding flagstone pieces in place to make the most intriguing sidewalk pattern one had ever seen. As interesting as this sidewalk was, I was more intrigued by her not wanting to "step outside the lines".

After hearing this comment, I reflected on what a profound statement this young girl made without realizing it. Isn't it amazing, at such a young age, this little girl new if she crossed the line or stepped outside her boundaries something out of the ordinary would happen.

We are taught, from the day we are born, that we should not cross the line or step outside our boundaries. Invisible lines in our life that keeps everything in check.  Invisible lines keeping our daily activities balanced.

In many situations when that line is crossed or boundaries broken, our lives are turned upside down; bad things happen. In other situations, when that line is crossed and boundaries are broken, good things happen that are unfathomable.

So what makes us stay inside our boundaries. Is it that we always want to play it safe? Do we not want to upset others by expressing our true opinions about the way we feel in certain situations? Or mostly, are we afraid we will look bad in front of others?

Remember, you have one life to live and only you can decide how you're going to live it. Are you going to live a powerful life, or are you going to live a passive life?  Don't be afraid to cross that line or step outside your boundaries. It can be a freeing experience and it's the best way to be true to yourself.

The British musician, Richard Thompson, said it most succinctly, "I have to remind myself not to set boundaries".

I have always felt that if you set boundaries, you set a limit as to what you can do or achieve. I have found, if you set boundaries, you also stop others from being themselves. Imagine if our grandparents or great-grandparents never got on that boat, to cross the ocean to experience a new beginning in a new world, because they were afraid or someone else told them not to follow their dreams. Those invisible lines were just that, invisible. They could not see them, so they pursued what they believed in and believed in what they could accomplish.

We have one life to live. Step outside the boundaries you have set for yourself and just go for it. I guarantee you will feel free, but mostly, you will be amazed at the power you have given yourself to live the life that was meant for you!

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