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We talked about rest back in episode 45. Do you make time for rest? Do you give yourself permission to rest? It's a concept that really should be revisited frequently because it is so easy to get and stay busy and far too many people are willing to help you stay busy. Not enough people help you find rest. Seeking out a balance between work and play will likely always be a constant struggle, but our intention isn't to reprimand or shake our fingers! As always we want to draw you back to basic principles that will hopefully provide you with encouragement to make small adjustments in order to reap big benefits.
Much of what Brian talks about in this episode has to do with creating boundaries and then sticking to them. Boundaries are super interesting to me, both in the physical sense and in whatever abstract way we want to think about them.
I want to paint a little picture analogy between physical boundaries and abstract boundaries. When I was growing up, my backyard was full of tall Maple and Elm trees. They were so thick we couldn't see our neighbors behind us. When I was in fifth or sixth grade, my city was hit by a severe straight-line winds storm which took down nearly all of them. We ended up cutting down 22 trees in total. For the first 13 years of my life, the boundary around my house had always been clearly defined by the thick grove of trees.
When that storm hit, the boundary became much less defined. Our house was much more visible and we started to get a lot of unwelcomed traffic through our yard. To alleviate this, my dad put up a fence. It wasn't much of a fence, but it kept people from cutting straight through our yard (and ruining gardens and such). The backyard just felt naked though, and the privacy we felt went way down. A couple years later, my dad trans-planted some pine trees. They were baby ones and were going to take time to grow up… and only now, 15 years later, do they really afford us more privacy.
It is really hard to replace boundaries, you always end up sacrificing something. Had my dad chosen to put up a tall wood fence, like our neighbor did, we would have lost a lot of sunlight to different parts of our yard. We might have experienced some vandalism as well due to where our yard is in the neighborhood. Had we transplanted 22 trees, to replace the ones that had once been there, we would be looking at a decade or two of waiting to regain privacy. And then we had to think about the message we were sending by the type of fence we put up, how tall it was, and all of that. Are they snobs? Are they shut-ins?
When one boundary gets knocked down in our lives, sometimes it can be hard to put it back up or replace it with something else. We try a variety of things that don't entirely feel the same and don't protect us in the same way, and over time we do other things to help support that boundary we've re-established. And sometimes we just choose to live with the way things are because it's more hassle trying to re-do it than to just go with it. But for all these boundaries, when they keep us from experiencing rest, they are not doing their job.
So discard perception. Discard what other people think. Don't be afraid to use boundaries as a means to give yourself rest so that you can give back to other people. Boundaries around a home can help preserve an area and cultivate it to be a thing of beauty and a thing of rest. Boundaries are NOT barricades! When we start thinking of them as such, we lose sight of the purpose boundaries are meant to bring us.