Drawing your line in the sand

How often have you heard that phrase before?

Me? I've heard it a bunch and ever more so lately from people who are making decisions about where they are taking their business, where they are taking their career, how much to put up with at work, etc. And for a long time, I would hear the expression and nod my head in agreement and think "Yeah, that's right! Draw your line and don't cross it! Or better yet, don't let others cross it, either!"

But today, I began to think differently about that quote and what it actually means...

In our side yard, my boys were out playing the other day and they drew a line in the snow to separate something - and I say "something" because as they get older they still like to create invisible boundaries - which I don't understand at all. Something about "air space" and "that's my snow" both of which I think are silly because I'm an only child and as my husband explains it, "you fight for every bit of air and snow space you can get." Those of you with brothers and sisters are most likely nodding your heads in agreement while my only child brothers and sisters are with me saying "Huh?!"

But I digress...

They drew a line in the snow the other day but yesterday, it was gone. We have had a warm spell so the snow and ice is melting. Therefore, their line disappeared literally overnight. They were upset because they took time and energy to figure out where the line should go, what they would use to draw it, how big it should be, etc. And now, after all of that, it was gone and they came inside asking "now what?"

And just like drawing a line in the snow, you can draw a line in the sand but sooner or later (usually sooner) the ocean will wash it away. Or rain will come or the wind will blow the sand...and your line disappears. As if it was never there in the first place.

Or, maybe the line doesn't disappear but it becomes smudged or blurry. And if your line gets blurry or lost, it's easier to give up or give in.

If you can't see the line how can you follow it? How can you use it?

Now, I think you should and need to give yourself boundaries. You do need to metaphorically "draw your line in the sand" just with something else.

You are too important, too special, too unique to use something as fragile and delicate as sand to draw your lines. And whatever you choose, pick something that is strong yet flexible, sturdy yet malleable, beautiful yet full of grace and kindness.

So, spend some time and energy on thinking about your line...
  • Where it should go
  • How big it should be
  • What you will use to make it

And then go draw it...just not in the sand.