My parents have a big garden. When volunteer plants sprout up (the extras that sprout randomly, when not even planted) my parents move them to places where they have more room to grow, more access to sun and water, space so they don't get so entangled into another plant that both become stifled.
Without boundaries, lines blur and the capacity for friction as described above in the plate tectonic example above can manifest in all kinds of unhealthy ways, ways described in this blogpost more eloquently than I could convey them.
I am a firm believer in the importance of maintaining healthy boundaries, perhaps in part because I did not always have them. Today though, I am comfortable saying no. The lines one has to maintain by professional mandate can get blurry in a small town but these guidelines have to be respected to protect all parties. In the context of personal lives, the importance of boundaries is probably pretty obvious. This goes back to my favorite example of not just social worker self care, but self care and personal boundaries in general:
I cannot seem to shut up about this but it's so true that's why I can't stop. I don't want to forget. I have to put the oxygen mask on myself before I can put it on anyone else. I can't help anyone else if I don't have enough oxygen to breathe myself. This is a metaphor for everything else. Other smart people tell me I can't transmit what I do not have. Having healthy boundaries is a self-care practice and by practicing this method, I am more likely to be able to be of service to all the people in the life I am so grateful to be living.