For the most part, I understand where these boundaries come from although that understanding does not necessarily help me to avoid putting them up at the very next opportunity.
- We teach our kids to set and respect boundaries. Boundaries are very important to Americans. So, is it any surprise that I would instinctively set up boundaries with God? (I don't want to, but habit is so strong...);
- Then there is touch. We are taught not to touch. Managers, especially, are taught not only to be careful about touch (oh, do I violate that restriction often) but also to know in depth all the EEO regulations (the ones I violate on a regular basis);
- Personal violations that I have experienced -- physical and sexual abuse -- make it difficult to remove the boundaries and certainly difficult not set them up in the first place.
When I am conscious of my own thought, I pull back the most strongly and/or establish the thickest boundaries. Perhaps that is why meditation is nigh onto impossible for me. I am conscious of what is going on in my mind as well as, to a lesser extent, in my environment. Likewise, perhaps that is why contemplation, over which I have little control (no thinking involved at all), is easier for me and more meaningful to me. Communication with God and relationship building happens for me only when I am unaware and unsuspecting, when I have no conscious thought, when everything depends on God and nothing on me.
Recently, in a moment of feeling guilty about my self-established barriers, I asked God, “What kind of relationship do you want me to have with you?” In response, I felt a touch on my hand, then felt myself being drawn very tenderly, very closely into a figure without limits that I can only describe as pure love transparently embodied. I was instantly enveloped in a depthless embrace that moved me to tears.
What an offering! What a promise! I am highly grateful for it, so why can I not simply accept it? Why, at the last minute, do I often pull away? I wish it weren't so, but God had a lot of work yet to do on me so that I can simply accept in full (rather than in part) the depthless, boundless love that He offers.