If there is no solution, then it’s not a problem. It’s a regrettable situation. It’s a boundary condition. It’s something you’ll need to live with. Seth Godin
Live with it? For how long? It feels empty when I have debunked a problem as a boundary condition.
Mine is a love-hate relationship with boundaries. My boundaries are sacrosanct and everybody else’s, not so much. That’s the history of humanity, battles about boundaries, most of which were never problems but regrettable situations.
I have a framed poster of the Little Big Horn Battlefield hanging in the entryway of my apartment. It’s hard to miss. Those who have noticed might wonder why but no one says anything.
It’s a view of a lone, white granite, military marker shadowed in golden grasses. Distant mountains purple under the haze of an azure sky. A Montana native, many times I walked the ground where a yellow-haired white man made a stand.
In my years as a middle manager for the state of Florida, I preferred the grasses of the Little Big Horn poster to the parking lot view from my corner office window. It is hard to see the horizon in Tallahassee, land of longleaf pine and live oak but it took me years to see the forest.
I believed everything was “figure-out-able.” What was not working would–no matter what–a solution was available, if I just looked long enough. And search I did but not always with distinction, regrettably. Years later, boundary conditions are not so hard to recognize.
It’s always a choice, live mindfully or stir the pot. One is so much easier on the heart–and head–the choice is ever obvious if not easy. Equanimity helps. No, seriously, it does.
Staying curious opens me to the world as it is, such as it is, knowing I won’t figure it out, and that’s okay. Nothing stays forever, boundary conditions or the real problems of the world, for which there are too few solutions. It’s just easier to get pulled into boundary conditions, the minutia of existence. That is figure-out-able.
I really need just one boundary condition: compassion, delivered firm and kind. I cannot think of one situation existing outside that boundary. It is a response for all occasions and sometimes, silence is the best wall of all.
My life is less the Little Big Horn battle than it was 30 years ago, and I have a Virginia Woolf poster that would fit its frame nicely. She, the woman of the transcendent sentence in a room of her own.
I can live with that.