I watched a short video yesterday on the wonderful site theworkofthepeople.com interviewing Brené Brown, the researcher who has written about the debilitating power of shame and liberating power of learning to be vulnerable.
She was speaking about the importance of boundaries. Her research showed her that the most compassionate, loving, generous people are not people who are just nice all the time, and let everything everyone does be okay. They are not just okay with everything. They are people who have boundaries, which simply said means: saying what’s okay and what’s not okay, and not being afraid to be straightforward about it. She links the words: Boundaries. Integrity. Generosity. B.I.G.—She asks: “What boundaries need to be in place for me to be in my integrity, and make the most generous assumptions about people?” She points out how afraid we are to set boundaries, mostly for fear of what people will think of us, and that people won’t like us. It takes courage and clarity to hold boundaries, in order to create and protect the vessel of an open and generous heart.
If we follow Christ, then we are in the business of setting boundaries, and cleansing our heart to become a temple of the divine. This is another way of saying, to make of our heart a grail.
What Christ does on Holy Monday is cleanse the temple of the body, the temple of the heart, of things which are not okay in that place. He does it with a holy anger, a divine wrath that has nothing cruel or unkind in it. He does it because he is utterly committed to what should be taking place there.
His power is one that seeks to return generosity to the temple of God of earth. We are this temple. Boundaries are not walls or divisions, but are a way to create a more genuine and deeper connection. They help us to prune away what hinders or no longer bears fruit, help us fight to create a true vessel for the generative and generous spark in us and between us.