Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thoughts on Privacy and Personal Boundaries


We are all connected but we also exist individually. We have individual lives and with that comes the need for individual boundaries. Personal boundaries are important for our personal growth. With personal boundaries, we can concentrate our efforts on a specific desire or state. It is the personal boundary that helps us focus and keeps our energy and intentions from scattering.

Privacy is an aspect of personal boundaries. No one has a right to demand that we admit our thoughts and feelings. When we want to keep information private for a reason, we usually do not feel the desire to express and share that information. This intention is not based on greed or hoarding, and it is not based on fear. What I am referring to is a genuine desire to keep information to yourself because it helps you grow and you are genuinely happy with that decision.

How can this be so?

Maybe someone has a disease or internal conflict. They might want to keep that disease or conflict private so that they can work on it themselves without the interruption of others' intentions. Sometimes it is easier to deal with inner conflict without a barrage of other people's opinions blowing things out of our sense of proportion. Sometimes it is easier to deal with internal conflict without a barrage of other people's judgement or praise or sympathy. It is easier to find the inner calmness and clarity needed to dissolve and move through inner conflict when we look deep within ourselves. Of course, if someone wants help, they shall ask. But if one genuinely does not care for the help of others, privacy is a right and a personal boundary that can be healthily maintained. Do not feel guilty if you want to preserve your privacy.

This also applies for personal achievements. Not to be confused with greed or hoarding, if someone is developing a project or technique, it is usually in their best interest to maintain a sense of privacy surrounding that project. This allows for the concentration of effort to develop something that will ultimately be shared. A successful chef keeps his recipes guarded but his food is available to all. An inventor wants his project to be accessible to the world but he keeps his blueprints to himself. Those foods and those inventions can be analyzed and recreated by careful observers who study those products, but ultimately, it was privacy that funneled the route to success.

Privacy also applies to personal life. Is there not a reason why private parts are considered private? Nudity is natural but is there not a sense of comfort and security gained from keeping your body private, and is there not a healthy sense of power over your life that comes with the power of choosing what aspects of yourself are clothes and what aspects of yourself are exposed? Privacy must be respected. One can not demand that another expose what they desire to keep private, unless that privacy impedes on another or that privacy is ultimately detrimental. Of course it is not healthy to keep a crime private or to keep a resource that can help others private, but in this world, that is where personal decision and judgment comes into play. That being said, I speak not of the extreme situations in this article.

Privacy really is about healthy boundaries. Privacy is an aspect of personal boundaries that promotes growth and promotes development. There is a beauty to inner journey and privacy protects that inner journey. We are one but we are also individuals in this realm. A healthy sense of privacy allows healthy growth.