To some, lack of inhibition means lack of control. To others, inhibitions create structures for social order.
My hunch, the hunch I’m working on and living with, is that my inhibitions hold me back from something I want.
I want to make contact with people I think of as more experienced than myself. I want to touch power and not get shocked. I don’t want to shock others, but my experience is that the universality of the experiences we conceal means that we are simply inhibiting expression rather than exhibiting self-control.
There are things I won’t say, though my kids tend to believe otherwise. I’m not going to say them here because, as I mentioned, I won’t say them. That is less inhibition than context; even though this is MY forum where I get to talk about what interests ME, I’m not interested in letting all my hair down for everyone.
Boundaries are important to find, though once I discover a boundary, I question it:
- What purpose does this boundary serve? Is it helping me or others have a better life?
- What are the consequences of violating the boundary? Will I grow, even if it hurts me? Can I keep from harming others?
- What habits have grown up around a boundary that keep me from having to think? Where can I think my way through to a new place?
- In what way does keeping this boundary in place reflect my identity, and in what way does it create my identity?
That last one is significant to me. I remember thinking, at the age of 20, having just been invited by a relative stranger on an adventure: “I’m not the kind of person who…” and having to cut myself off from finishing that sentence. How the hell did I know what kind of a person I was? I wasn’t being asked to kill someone or steal something; I was being asked to trust someone who I trusted and who sort of deserved it. Someone I believed wouldn’t hurt me who didn’t. Someone I learned life lessons from traveling with, however briefly.
Twice today I’ve said to other parents that one of the most painful moments in my life was when I realized I could not protect my children from the hurts that would necessarily come their way. Whatever pain my children experience is not because the world is a bad place, but because there are and should be novel situations that no amount of preparation can prevent. I hope they do not get broken, but I know they will get dented and perhaps bent.
In the meantime, they are uninhibited enough, not having touched the electric fence enough times, that they will roam and experiment and screw up. And if they can take it, I can de-inhibit myself more and more, using each screw-up to grow from.