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August 08 • Boundary Lines

Day 761

I have more boundaries in my life right now than I've ever had. But I also have fewer. In that contradiction is the difference between a line I've chosen not to cross — or allow others to cross — and a line that I'm afraid to cross for social, parental, or eternal hellfire reasons.

The boundaries I now have in place are about being a better person, as opposed to not being a worse person.

My decision to stop drinking alcohol is not about fear of punishment; it is about wanting to always have the strength to think clearly and make the right decisions. Not that long ago, getting drunk meant using up some of my 'get out of hell free' cards while chasing that state of mind where bad decisions are welcome and even sought. My choice to stop looking at porn is not wrapped up in the idea that God can see what I see. But God knows what it does to my compulsions and self-destructive decisions.

Both of those examples would be like crossing the boundary between the United States and Mexico — the Rio Grande River — and I could not do it without knowing I was doing it. The lines that scare me today are more like the boundary between basketball's frontcourt and backcourt. As I advance the ball into 'my' territory, an unexpected lunge by a defender at just the wrong time can cause me to inadvertently stutter-step backward in a way that sends me into the enemy's court and results in my losing the ball. It can happen without me knowing it until the referee blows the whistle, and it's a line that crosses the entire playing area; it's always a factor, but it's easy to miss.

I feel pretty good today as far as crossing rivers go. I feel a little less good about the little lines and slippery slopes available to me all the time.




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