The Line in the Sand
It’s always been seen as a dare really. They draw a line on the ground and then dare you to cross it. Usually, it’s a prelude to a fistfight if the person being dared had the guts to cross it. I wish I had been given this option growing up. Then I could have just turned my back and walked away. Instead, I just got punched without warning.
In our lives, we each have that line in the sand that we’ve placed there. We’re safe on one side, going about our business, enjoying our lives; our family. We may flirt with the line once in awhile; go right up to it until our toes are just barely scraping it. Kids are notorious for doing this to lines their parents have put down for them not to cross. They want to see how it feels near the line. Most never cross it, however, because they know there’s pain on the other side of that line just as if they had been punched by the school bully.
In everyday living, the line doesn’t represent a dare. Instead, it symbolizes our boundaries. It’s as far as we’ll allow ourselves to go in any given direction. The line represents our standards; our rules to live by and we know to cross it means risking losing ourselves.
Some lines are meant to be moved about and there are people who constantly move theirs about depending on who they are with or what phase of life they are in. The lines are easily erased and moved either further out or closer in. Our life experience opens our mind in some areas or closes it in others. We reevaluate things we hold onto and decide whether they are worth keeping or not. These aren’t major issues. Some may involve things others consider pretty minor but to each person at one time or another they were very crucial.
Then there are those lines that are drawn in concrete. These we won’t cross or move no matter what. They are the standards that we feel the strongest about whether it’s because of our faith, our character or just what life has taught us. These are probably few in number and involve things like stealing, murder, or not eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream after midnight. Most of mine involve my beliefs in family and my expectations or what I will tolerate from those I surround myself with as far as friendships.
There are times when life will try and coerce you across those lines. Whether it’s the icy grip of rage or hitting the rocky shores of hard times, emotions or circumstances will try to force you into a compromise. Don’t surrender. No matter how intense the pressure becomes or who in your life might leave your side, hold onto those core values that make you who you are, Once you allow those lines to be jack hammered into desecrated shards, you’ll never be able to piece it back together again. Then will always be cracks that have just been filled in and that line will remain weak.
I have always had strong opinions about certain things. Not many, mind you, but enough that I’m not going to waiver on them. I don’t force those lines on others. I mean, they have the right to be wrong. However, it’s easier to draw closer to those who share my views, especially about family. Hopefully, you have lines of your own, those things that keep you from walking right into Life’s fist. Sometimes that is a punch that packs one hell of a wallop. I’ve seen it knock some completely out, never to recover. Hold fast no matter the cries of public opinion and you’ll stay standing, and that’s a lot better than being knocked on your ass.
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