By June Hyjek
When I was growing up, my Dad always told me that I could do anything, be anything. You just had to work hard enough for it. Although that put a great deal of pressure on me to strive for excellence (and probably accounted for years of therapy), it also gave me great confidence. For me, there were absolutely no limits in life.
My Dad was right about a lot of things (as parents usually are), but in this, it’s quite possible he was wrong.
We all have limits in our lives — physically, emotionally, intellectually. That’s an unfortunate and simple reality. I could never be a ballerina or an Olympic gymnast, no matter how hard I worked at it. We are all born with certain strengths and talents. And we are all born withOUT certain strengths and talents. The issue is not whether or not we have limits. It is whether or not we live our lives constrained and defined by those limits, focusing on what we can’t do instead of what we can.
Pain and stress can create limits for us. This is also an unfortunate reality. My pain keeps me from doing many physical activities that I used to enjoy, and so yes, I have limits. But here, too, it’s not about whether or not the pain and its limits exist. It’s about living as though that pain does not constrain or define me. I can still live in the belief that many wonderful opportunities exist for me, and that belief gives me freedom from the pain. Freedom to experience every day fully, openly and unencumbered.
And so, maybe Dad was right after all, or at least partially right. It is the belief that we are not constrained that allows us to soar beyond our preconceived ideas about our limitations, opening us up an amazing world of vast opportunities. Allowing our pain, illness or stress to keep us mired in a limited life, letting ourselves be defined by our limits instead of our capabilities — this will only create a life of even more pain and stress.
Believe in what you can do, and you will enjoy a life without limits.