“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for
everything on the earth.”
Have you ever considered what a boring life some wild animals have? They do the same old thing year in and year out; their boundaries are innately limited.
I know I am meant to be talking about our limitations, not the animals, but I want to make a point, a strong one, and that is that our limitations are totally and utterly unique. Unlike rabbits who burrow and keep their babies underground or a bird which has to build its nest in a certain way at the right time – there is no choice – that is their limit. How easy!
Our limitations, on the contrary, are much more complex. They can be as a result of genetics, of injury, of early childhood experiences, laws imposed upon us, our quality of education, the country we were born in, the family we were born into, our culture… the list goes on – in fact, the list is inexhaustible.
The list of contributors to our limitations could be daunting and depressing but the fact is that they provide us great opportunities for us to explore our unique self.
I can’t express enough how important it is to really know that each one of us is totally unique, especially in our limitations.
Truly knowing this helps our journey through life.
I believe there is a time to test our limitations – a right time. Solomon said, ‘There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on earth.” When we do test our limitations, we will find that some limitations will be permanent and that’s okay, some will be changeable and stretchable, and some found to not be one of ours. The key here, when we are testing our limitations, is that we balance both being kind to ourselves and understanding of our limitations but knowing the right season to push ourselves to see whether the limitation is true and one of ours. We must also remember that even when we stretch ourselves, we will sometimes fail, and this is okay as well. Failure will help us understand what is lacking so we can work on it differently for next time.
I remember as a little girl, an only child, on the beach, on holiday and my father pushing me to make friends with some strange children and feeling absolutely sick in my stomach about it. I never could manage to do it. It was a limitation for reasons I am still not totally sure. It is only now, 70 years later, that I know for certain that this is a limitation that I have overcome. I may still feel a little nervous about meeting new people, but it’s not a limitation anymore. I go where I want to go now and meet whoever I want to meet. My later life seemed the right time; most importantly because I was ready and willing to overcome this limitation.
The challenge in our society is that we often think that somebody else’s story or method of self-help will work for you, but this is not necessarily the case. It can provide inspiration and some wisdom to challenge our own limitations, but the test of our limitations will be unique. We cannot walk in someone else’s steps – we have to make our own way. Testing our limitations is not a formula, a 5-step process – you may leave out some steps, reorder them or add some of your own.
At the end of the day, judging your limitations harshly is not an option and judging other people’s limitations is absolutely forbidden.
We all have limitations and they come from our unique history and culture. It’s often hard enough knowing ourselves and why we have these limitations, let alone thinking we can judge another person’s.
Finally, unlike the bees in the garden who innately know exactly what to do every day, all day – we are unique and have a unique set of limitations.
- There is a right season to test our limitations.
- We cannot copy another person’s method of self-help to overcome our limitation.
- We must be kind to ourselves in our limitations.
- We must work hard to not impose our limitations onto another.
- We can never judge another person’s limitations – we do not know their story.