04 January 2010

Magic and the Invisible Fence

We have a wonderful mountain dog named Magic. He's coming up on two years old. He's well-trained, affectionate and lives like a King on our one acre lot in the Rockies.

When we got him, we did not want to build a fence around our lot due to cost and aesthetics. So, we got an Invisible Fence instead. For those who don't know what that is: you bury a wire all around the perimeter of your yard and then run a current through it. You place a special collar around your dog's neck that gives him a little electric shock if he gets too close to the wire. With a little training, the dog learns where the wire is and not to cross it. Magic, like many dogs, has learned this lesson so well that we don't even need to put the collar on him anymore. In other words, we've conditioned him to accept the limits of our yard.

I thought about all this as I was driving into work today after an extended holiday vacation. I wondered if I had a collar on - if I had learned my limits? Perhaps so well that I didn't need my collar anymore? Do I keep to my lot and think that I am King of all I survey? Never venturing beyond the boundaries I just assume are there? Accepting the boundaries placed on me?

I'm sure that the collar assumes many forms. Conformity, of course. Meeting others expectations. Naturally. Getting ahead. Materialism. Consumerism. Keeping up with the Joneses. Knowing your place. Cultural norms. Customs. Traditions. Body image. Gender identity. Queer. Straight. Sexuality. Power. Control. Fear. The list goes on and on.

What keeps you and me from living as our authentic selves?

What false sense of limitation keeps you on your lot? What boundaries do you accept?

What does your collar look like?


1 comment:

Gumbomum said...

I have been wrestling with my Invisible Fence a lot lately... It sure is a tough battle, and I don't know if I'll ever win. But I'm getting closer, I think.