Who’s to blame? We all like to blame our problems on someone else. We know we shouldn't and will convince ourselves that we aren't blaming anyone, but we do. We learn a lot about what we think we can and can’t do from our family of origin. Since no family is perfect there are views that we learn that don’t line up with truth. We also learn to fit in with societal norms as we observe the way the world works. We often don’t evaluate what we learn. It just becomes part of us. And there are cases where we have been directly taught that certain boundaries are appropriate when in fact they are never what God intended. Regardless of where boundaries have originated from, there is no one else to blame once I accept them.
Face it. I have claimed the territory. Once I have accepted the boundaries and begin to live inside them, then I have claimed that territory. Over time I settle in to the prescribed expectations. I behave within the limits and I cease to explore options that exist outside those borders. Life becomes small and predictable. No one else did that to me. I have claimed it for my own. I am the one who has built my life on it.
When I began to realize that God’s territory for me was so much larger than the life I had accepted, I had an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. I realized that all the time that had passed before could have been different. I felt like something had been stolen from me, kept from me. I wanted to blame those who had taught me that certain areas were not available to me because I am a woman. It didn't take long to come to the conclusion that to blame would be a waste of time and energy. I couldn't do anything to change the past, but I could make a decision to live differently in the future. I could begin to explore the perimeter of what I had previously accepted as my boundaries.
Time to explore the edges. What about you? Have you tried to blame others for your decision to live a life that is smaller than God intended for you? Have you begun to realize that you have claimed territory that limits your ability to fulfill your God-given purpose? I am encouraging you to begin to explore the perimeter of the parameters you have accepted. Begin to imagine what life might be like when you start to step outside. Radical change begins by taking small steps. It begins by exploring the possibilities that exist outside what I have accepted as normal. Radical change begins with daring to dream that life can be different.