The other morning I opened my fridge to find much of my roommates food items crossing the middle line that divides our space.
While its no cause for World War, it made me think of my teacher Douglas Brooks and a line he commonly quotes from the Jewish text the Talmud.
The line states that "Good fences make good neighbors."
I imagine that the majority of yoga philosophy would look at this ideal and think of it as a bad seed. Fences create separation and isn't yoga about breaking down walls, connecting to love and peace, and remembering we are all one?
While fences can cut us off when over used, the Tantric Tradition would argue that they also have a useful place in the skillful participation of life.
Fences represent boundaries and it is often the case that a conscious limitation can actually lead us to more freedom.
Its the idea that we can't say yes to every person, request, or creative idea we encounter.
To return back to my fridge example, having a clear boundary line creates clarity of how much space each person has to manage and what food item belongs to whom. It's a useful system for organization that helps mitigate potential drama.
In the human conversation, while I'm happy to aknowledge the rights of all humans, I am not under the illusion that I must genuinely love every single person I meet.
The reality is that there are some people I encounter that are total jerks. I can have compassion for them, recognize where their behavior stems from, honor that they are doing the best they can, and all at the same time I can still choose to put up a fence that clearly communicates moveon.com, not interested in spending extensive time or energy here.
It too often that in Western culture we walk around with no fences, put on a fake smile, and then get pissed off at how others behave towards us. We then spin drama, get seduced by overly negative states or get taken advantage of.
Is there a place in your life where a clear boundary, a spacious but clear fence might make a frustrating situation clearer and more easeful?