This morning I heard about a serious car accident just east of here, near I 75. It was reported that one car crossed the boundary into the oncoming traffic, and hit another car head on. The news announcer said the accident was under investigation at this point. I couldn’t help but wonder if the driver suddenly become ill, or was under the influence of one thing or another. Nevertheless the point is clear, the driver crossed a boundary that he shouldn’t have and the results in this case were disastrous.
I am reminded of one of my favorite country songs by Ricky Van Shelton, “Keep it Between the Lines.” The song is sung to a young teen who is apprehensive about learning to drive. The application of the song spreads much further to include you and me and how we live our lives.
The words are something like this…. “All you gotta do is keep it between the lines…Cause it’s a long narrow road. Only the good Lord knows where it leads in the end but you got to begin…So keep your hands on the wheel, believe in the things that are real…Just take your time and keep it between the lines.”
The song literally speaks of lines on the road and suggests if the young driver stays within them, he will be fine. Figuratively, the song reminds us that we have boundaries everywhere in our lives. For the most part they keep us safe and healthy and able to continue our journey. We have lines on the road, rules in our neighborhood association, agreements between spouses and partners and children, ground rules for our business meetings, and our values that provide us personal boundaries.
Simply, we need to focus and to keep within the boundaries that guide us to do the right things. In our country, communities and business organizations, it is easy enough to determine the boundaries that will guide large numbers of people to safety and productivity.
In households where there are children, I think the boundaries need to be just right. They need to be broad enough to allow those who dwell within to function with an element of freedom , individuality, and creativity. If there were no boundaries or they were too wide-spread, then the environment might be chaotic and out of control. By the same virtue, if the boundaries were too narrow and restrictive, those within the home could hardly grow and development into independent human beings. The lines need to be painted clearly and appropriately and the children and parents need to keep between the lines.
Women with High levels of SUCCESSTROGEN set boundaries and live them consistently. They have spent time deciding where the boundary lines should be drawn and their behavior reflects their desire and ability to keep within them. In a home like mine, with just one person in it, I need to every so often check the boundaries I have put on my own behavior, making sure I live life to the fullest within guidelines that fit with the person I wish to be. I need to keep between those lines.
How about the boundaries in your home? Are they clearly set? Do they align with your family values? Do they respect your growing child’s need for independence? Do you and your children keep between the lines? And in your work life?