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Collective spaces and the limits of boundaries 💠

3things jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness stayinlove Mar 14, 2024


“Don’t speak to my child that way!” — yes. Of course. But also, maybe I shouldn’t be taking my child to places where people speak to him that way?

It’s complicated, right? There are a bunch of boundaries that we try to place on the commons that seem reasonable until we realize that stuff is not ours to claim. We all have a right to make requests and negotiate—we even have a right to make demands!—but we suffer when we confuse these for requirements and feel hurt, resentment, and indignation when others don’t meet our expectations. 

A hard truth is we are never just independent. We impact each other (thankfully). And that means we’re never fully in control (thankfully, again). As one of infinite examples, death comes at any moment.

I don’t know about you, but a lot of my feelings of oppression or victimization fall into this mistaken understanding of what’s in my power to set a boundary upon. Why do I expect presidential candidates to be inspiring leaders? Why do I think people should be emotionally intelligent, or owe me understanding? What makes me think I have a right to the things I don’t want to walk away from (to enforce my preferences)—even if instagram or the latest pop-psychology book tells me so? What makes me think the world should be just? Or that my participation in justice is anything other than a sacred opportunity to be the hands of the better world’s enactment?

If I take this question seriously, my answer is clear: I want to be a victim, because then I don’t have to look deep into my own soul and face the (seemingly) unbearable sense of guilt for (seemingly) having separated from God.

What's your answer?


With love, Jordan


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