Resiliency, Boundaries and Capacity
I believe in autonomy.
Personal autonomy, put simply, is the reality that we have the capacity to make our own choices without being bound to any social expectation. In the United States, we also have political autonomy under the law. In other words, this means that the intention of our legal system is to respect, honor and abide by our choices for ourselves. Although we have the capacity, and legal right to make choices for ourselves, in the United States, most choose to live as social beings. In fact, it’s hard to live in the United States without running into other people. That’s where things get sticky! The choices we make have a ripple effect for others around us; whether we intend it or not. For the protections of our autonomy, we accept the responsibilities of living socially. Many people choose to subscribe to a religion, political philosophy, or evolving community norms to provide daily reminders of their responsibility. Although these are rich sources of perspective individually, using them as cheat sheets when making choices in a social context often leads to significant conflict regarding our sense of self. If you are doing things that you don’t know how or can’t explain why; it’s a really good sign that you’re on autopilot, and not taking full responsibility for the process of making choices. Working on a practice of mindfulness can significantly increase the harmony between your personal and political autonomy.
Mindful people consider many perspectives in making choices. It's a great deal of work that is often overlooked in the race to achieve. Mindfulness isn’t about worrying about everyone else, rather it is an increased awareness of the ripples we create. When we are aware of what the results of our choices might be, we make stronger choices which ultimately gives us flexibility in moving forward in life. When we encounter obstacles, we have a much deeper understanding of our own resiliency, boundaries and capacity.