De-Compartmentalizing Your Life and the Extinction of Boundaries

De-Compartmentalizing Your Life and the Extinction of Boundaries

It could easily be said that my entire life’s purpose is to live in complete congruence.

I would say that that that is your life purpose as well — and perhaps everyone’s — if we take the idea far enough.

So first, let’s talk about what this even means. Because if you’re like me, the word “congruent” probably reminds you of 6th grade geometry and not much else. It actually has another meaning, though, and that is alignment.

When you’re living in complete congruence, complete alignment, no part of you is conflicting with any other part of you. There is no disagreement. No disturbance. No fakeness.

For a long time, I lived my life highly compartmentalized. I was one person when I was with my friends, a different person at work, and yet another person with family or my wife. It’s this kind of fragmentation that chokes your spirit.

Let me be straight: we are all multi-faceted beings. We’re not the same person in every situation all the time. We’re not binary, single-function amoebas. We manifest and express ourselves differently according to what is appropriate to the events surrounding us.

For a long time, I lived my life highly compartmentalized.

That is natural. That is perfectly fine.

What is not natural, and what is not fine, is changing who you are; manipulating yourself in order to fit some kind of mold of what is or isn’t appropriate.

That’s the way I used to live. Slow suffocation.

The really interesting thing is, this is the way people are expected to live; compartmentalizing each part of their life where relation from one area of their life to another is virtually unrecognizable. For a long time, I didn’t realize that this was what I was doing. I could be five different people in one given day, and none of them was me. They all contained fragments of me, hidden beneath my attempts to be something I was not, in order to gain the acceptance of others.

I was a slightly different (and more fake) person around family then I was with friends. I was a different person with my friends than I was with my wife. I was a different person alone, than I was with any of those other people. But most of all, where I felt most suffocated was the dichotomy between who I was everywhere else and the person I was at work.

No resemblance. Total deception.

But as I said earlier, this type of deceitfulness is totally accepted in our society. No, not just accepted. It’s expected.

It took me a while to realize that even though a lot of people choose to live this way, I didn’t have to.

Once I realized that I didn’t have to make that choice, I started to open up the airwaves and release the restriction I had placed on myself.

Then I asked one life-changing question:

What would it be like to live in complete congruence? What would it feel like to have total alignment of purpose, with no separation, no partitions, and no dissonance?

(Okay, so that’s two questions. Sue me.)

That’s when I realized that my ultimate goal in life is to live from that place of total, authentic action. Using no limits as a way of limitation.

I want there to be no discernible difference between when I am working and when I am playing. No division between my purpose and my life path.

When everything is completely integrated, when your heart, mind, and body are acting as one vehicle, your life starts to become something very beautiful. Your expression is natural, unique, and right. Your creativity flows. Your heart is opened.

And you no longer seek anything outside of yourself. You are internally validated.

Life becomes effortless when you are not trying to become anything. Your existence becomes one of expressing and expanding the awesomeness of what already is.

Your desires, your dreams, your purpose, and your contribution to the world becomes one and the same. This is what it means to live with the extinction of boundaries. This is what it means to be completely and radically congruent.

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photo courtesy of photocapy

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72 Comments on "De-Compartmentalizing Your Life and the Extinction of Boundaries"

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Scott Webb
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I get up excited each day for doing what I do. I’ve had such a tough year too. Making hardly anything, not buying anything new, doing what I can to change my life. It’s tough and it’s probably why many people never do it.

Thanks for this post and the inspiration.

JulieMeibaum
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I’m not sure I understand. Our authentic self is not a construct; it is our spirit/soul. There are no boundaries on it, it is naturally free, the person we were born as. All these constructs were taught to us by our parents, culture, and advertisements. It is not us. TO be authentic, to be our real selves, is the utmost meaning of religion, because it means to be rid of all the dirt. It takes a whole lot of courage and may I say it, faith, to follow one’s heart. Following your heart and being true to yourself is taught… Read more »
JulieMeibaum
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To be authentic does not mean to seem to act the same in one situation as in the other, at home the same as at work. What it means is to come from the place of the spirit, the heart, the true self, always. What it means is to live. And this necessarily means breaking the rules you used to live by, and having courage. I think this necessarily brings up the eastern Buddhist tradition. DO you leave work and family to follow God, or do you put family and work first, then when you retire and your kids are… Read more »
Athena
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Amen! This is really where it’s at and my wish for every human being on this planet. We need more truth in humanity and the world. Rules-following and making the choices others expect of us does absolutely nothing for anyone around us. Our truth, given freely and lived by us is our greatest gift to ourselves, those we love and the world. Stand up, be authentic and live out loud!

EbiyeJeremy
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Ever think that acting as the type of person that compartmentalizes is part of who some people are? Early on I recognized I compartmentalized, but I didn’t take it as a reason to stop, but recognized that the multiple facets of who I am are integral to who I am. I feel as if I get to work on different facets of who I am in different situations, and I have learned to remove situations in which I feel as if I cannot deal with genuinely. I talk to my teachers differently than I talk to my sports teammates, my… Read more »
Andromache
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Ran across this posting today and was floored. I was thinking about how disturbing it is that i always feel pressured to compartmentalize my life. Loved your writing, you’ve put thoughts I share but couldn’t express into words. I look forward to reading ore of your blog.

Andromache
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Ran across this posting today and was floored. I was thinking about how disturbing it is that I always feel pressured to compartmentalize my life. Loved your writing, you’ve put thoughts I share but couldn’t express into words. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

tool4u
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Jung said that wholeness is not achieved by cutting off one’s portion of being, but instead wholeness is achieved by the integration of the contraries.

NicoleGallup
Guest
This is very interesting. As a social worker, I came to a place of total boredom with what I was doing. I realized that it actualized parts of myself to be in that role, but did not acknowledge other parts of spirit that I was not willing to let go of quite yet. I went to massage therapy school and now that I am certified and licensed to practice in two fields, find myself trying to be more of my authentic self in relation to negotiating and integrating the boundary between the two professions. As I move forward I am… Read more »
JulieMeibaum
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There are certain niceties that are expected as a sign of a show of respect or of interest at work. I am personally not one who likes smiling and chatting because I am an introvert. I prefer conversations to be on a deep level, or not have them at all. But because I don’t want to be disrespectful, I make myself do it. To me, it is all mostly fake. I have a ‘fakeness’ radar. Being at work simply doesn’t allow me to be who I am. Unless I could surround myself with my friends, there’s no way I can… Read more »
JulieMeibaum
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People obviously cannot be who they are when they are surrounded by antagonizing people. And there always is one in the bunch. Unless you can have your own business and hire your own friends, there is no way to go to work and ‘be your self’.

Sharon Muiruri
Guest

Thank you .It sounds so easy .
Sharon

tiff98neo
Guest

I have to work on that too. It’s not easy at all. And you described the feeling of putting on facades so well.

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[…] to living an authentic life, something Big State, Big Life promotes. Jonathan Mead wrote an excellent post on his blog about living a life in which all aspects of our lives are aligned and in congruence. I […]

Daniel
Guest

This is a great post and something I’m sure we are all guilty of every now and then.
It’s definitely not healthy in the long term!

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[…] to further my own development. I know I've had a tendency to "put up walls" and to compartmentalize myself, which is something I've been trying to break out of. I'm not Buddhist myself, but my sister is. A […]

Ken
Guest
My goodness– so well said– and so resonant with my most important learning over the past few years. To walk in my shoes for the majority of my 56 years has looked like this: gay, in a long-term marriage, 2 children, 6 children, working in a job (lucrative) that I hated, member of a conservative fundamentalist religion– now also shall I put it– Billy Graham, Anderson Cooper, John Dewey, and the father on “Father Knows Best” all wrapped into one. As you can only imagine, I was one conflicted man. Though I may not have verbalized it as I would… Read more »
John
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Hey,
I am regular reader of your post. I also subscribed few tips through your subscription packages. Really you are the best inspirational speaker, your contents make to dream more and execute it. I am getting positive energy after reading your post. Thanks!

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[…] really was drunk on life, I think. It's like that thing I posted once upon a time about Compartmentalization. But that isn't a call for Anything Goes. I hope that when/if I work in a hospital I'll have a […]

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[…] Related: De-compartmentalizing your life and the extinction of boundaries […]

Tanya
Guest

I have only recently found out that I am highly compartmentalised naturally and I want to decompartmentalise a bit. Your explanation of your old self is exactly how I am now. How do you decompartmentalise? I cannot find any information by myself and do not know how to go about it.

Randall Pritchett
Guest
i decided to be me with everyone. i was shamed, discredited, denounced as crazy and insensitive and mostly by family. it took a while to realize that all the b.s. they had foisted on me since birth using religious battering and gang up on randy interventions etc was the root ov my compartmentalizations into false persons causing major stress and dysfunctions in every aspect ov my life. why did i value people who devalued the real me? i am me and i will be me or this is not my life. they do not accept my calls nor communicate in… Read more »

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