Far too often, I’ve found that far too many people are both anxious and willing to try to limit you. Thing is, I don’t believe most do it out of meanness. I think they do it because somewhere along the line they’ve defined, oftentimes rigidly, what their boundaries are when it comes to what is and isn’t acceptable in their version or reality.
Many times, I think they do so because it makes them feel safe. They think if they can construct a rather solid perimeter of what they want in, it will rather automatically keep everything else out, perhaps particularly those things and people they don’t understand. Consequently, I believe it’s very often fear of the unknown that causes a person to cast aside someone that doesn’t fit into their system of usual and acceptable based solely on outward appearances and differences in basic beliefs.
Too though, even I’ve been involved with people who try to limit people they care for simply because they’re afraid if the other person learns too much, or grows too much, or perhaps even succeeds too much, they’ll leave them. So fear of someone outgrowing them is another motivator behind their limiting behavior.
Still regardless of their motives, I’m pretty sure that most of the time when someone tries to limit you, it’s for their benefit, not yours. I guess the only exception to that is when someone is actually trying to prevent you from failing, hurting, losing, standing out, or from any of the other multitudes of possible negative outcomes their mind sees as possible outcomes.
Still in my mind, limits are limits, and I don’t like them one bit. It seems I rather automatically rile-up whenever someone tries to place one on me too. But, I’m far too aware that I’ve always been crazy rebellious, perhaps due to a rather strict upbringing, or perhaps due to the fact that I have the planet of rebellion, Uranus, sitting smack on top of my planet that loves everything yummy, Venus, in the sign of Leo who is always the leader, in the eight house of revolution and revolt, all of which causes me to buck the minute I hear the words “you can’t”.
In my mind, even when something I do, say, or play out something that turns out to be to my detriment, I’m okay with that. I realize that I’ve gotten myself into this mess, so I’ll accept the consequences. The problem is, I can’t just accept someone else’s conception of reality as my ultimate truth. And truth be told, usually I accomplish my goals, or at least something closely resembling them. Yet as I said, even when I fail miserably, I find that a little risk is better than being bored and safe any day.
So no, I really can’t seem to help myself. I don’t like limits or someone telling me what to do. More than anything, I want to live my life as loudly and as ferociously as possible. I want to be free to explore the areas I love, as well as the areas I fear sometimes, if only just to see what lies on the other side. And I most certainly don’t mind making some noise in the process. The bottom line is, I want to feel my life.
I want to experience the power of those moments when you achieve things previously thought impossible. I also want to pick myself up and brush myself off when I stumble. Put simply, I want to leave this life rugged, worn-out, and just all torn-up.
And since the only real limits that can exist within the framework of our lives are the ones we allow to exist, I’ve become quite the gate-crasher. Now granted, there are laws. I believe most to be quite reasonable if we are to have any chance of a functional society. So while I’m no Jesse James, largely because I have far too large of a moral compass to hurt, steal, rob or lie to anyone, I still live my life on my terms within the confines of said laws.
I guess then that the bigger question is, why do we allow ourselves to be limited by others? One answer might be that we too need to feel safe. Often, a few boundaries make that happen. In other words, we don’t want to be a pool of water without borders, just flowing in all directions without any intention, form, or purpose. I get that. I also get that often we feel safer knowing that things can go this far, but no farther.
It seems we need some amount of predictability and stability in our daily lives in order to eat, breath, sleep, and get through the next day. I also know though that sometimes every one of us convinces ourselves that if we limit what can go on within our lives, we feel we can also somehow limit all the things we’re most uncomfortable with. It doesn’t work, but we like to give ourselves some solace by believing the idea that it might.
What usually happens is that eventually our limits get exposed. Who knows, perhaps they’re meant to be. That could be what fate, destiny, the bigger picture, and higher knowledge is all about. Because let’s face it, something always ends up happening that blows our Paper Mache boundaries to smithereens, then what?
I know for me the worst thing that could have happened, happened. My child died. I won’t go into that here as I’ve written an entire book about it. But, when something like that happens you realize how flimsy and out-of-control your life, and all life for that matter, really is.
For you, your fall from any sense of control might come as a result of you losing your job, your house, your lover, your dog, or your whatever. And, as a result of it, you’ll be forced to go beyond your usual limit and dig deep inside of yourself in order to find a reason to go on; a reason to believe again; to have faith again; to have hope; and maybe even to trust yourself again.
Thing is, these catastrophes are the very things that make us grow and become more than we originally thought we could become. Sometimes in the process we even begin to question some long-held beliefs, as we examine what we’re actually capable of. This in turn allows us to poke holes in some of our previously most cherished ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, reasonable and unreasonable.
And yes, it’s exasperating how life finds a way to tear down our limits whenever it takes a mind to. Proving to us that while fate and destiny play some pretty important roles in our lives, we have thousands of pathways we can explore in order to reach our final destination.
Some pathways appear safe, so many try to take them. Normally they consist of the “normal” everyday go to work, raise your family, and go to sleep kind of pathways. Now while these pathways are blissfully easy for a while, and we feel safe as we fit in, have friends, good families, and nice jobs that are each a part of our “normal” way of living, eventually it seems we’re all destined to run into a boulder or two in order to uproot our happy little life.
When this happens, we’re made to study that boulder/problem, experience the boulder, and explore all the different options of how to overcome the boulder. Thing is, we’re no longer allowed to proceed onward until we do so. Thus, we have little other choice but to contemplate our options, as we try to make sense of why that particular boulder was placed in our path to begin with. Could have been just to show us what we’re really made of, who knows?
I only know that if we’re smart, we’ll try to understand what there is to gain from encountering this problem. Personally I can say that if nothing else happens, we definitely got our blinders ripped off about the fallacy of believing we were ever in control. Also the naivety of thinking that if we lived a good and clean life no bad would come to us. Life just doesn’t work that way.
Too, these hurdles cause us to dig deep and find resources we didn’t even realize we had. As a result we grow wiser, stronger, less judgmental, less harsh and stringent about all the other things we used to care so much about. We just release our prejudices as we become more accepting, mainly because we were forced to drastically re-prioritize nearly every category we’ve ever put in place inside of us. Consequently, within the mind we just stretched beyond what even we thought were our limits, we grow. Apparently, that’s a big part of why the boulder was put there in the first place.
Then, once all falseness falls away and we regain our footing, we often alter even our own pathway, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You see now we know that when the worse happens to us and we’re still breathing, what else is there to be afraid of? Answer is… nothing!
This is when we venture out into the “wilderness” where there are no boundaries, no guarantees, and perhaps even no other beings for a while. We know that we now require more than our “usual” experience if we are to find something that matters more than the loss we just encountered.
I guess the benefit here is that in venturing off the well-trodden path, we often find that we get to see and experience things most people who are locked into their routines never do.
Who knows, we might even discover that there really are no monsters out there. Now sure, there are bound to be more boulders, but now we’re strong and greatly experienced in boulders, aren’t we? As such, we’re far more aware that we have the strength to venture outside of pretty much any line someone else draws for us. Even lines we used to draw for us.
We may even find that we don’t want to ever go back to that “normal” pathway. Our latest wrangling has proved to us that what appeared safer was actually far more limiting and far less colorful than the path less traveled.
In the end, my point is simply that you must enjoy your ventures off of the proverbial well-beaten pathway once you find yourself placed there. You don’t have to enjoy the boulders, but realize the strength you’ve gained as a result of them.
Also remember that what you gained in this lifetime carries over into the next, and the next, and the next. It is cumulative. It’s not just about growing as a person… it’s about growing as a soul.
Therefore, when someone tells you that you can’t do this or you have to look like that, don’t listen. They don’t know anymore than anyone else. Instead, always do what your soul calls you to do. Who knows, you might even end up somewhere you really like as a result of taking at least part of your trek alone. The only certainty is that you’ll never know unless you reject all of the naysayers and bravely push on with whatever it is you’re capable of doing.
Plus, you’ll never be happy trying to “fit in”. That’s all acting and pretending to be like everyone else. And none of us are like anyone else. That’s a certainty. So be a pioneer in your own life… build your own reality. Then you have something valuable to offer the rest of us, because you’ve been where we haven’t been and seen things we’ve yet laid eyes on.
I realize that sometimes I push a little farther than many people are comfortable with. I also realize I don’t always succeed or find what I’m looking for. Still, some of my biggest accomplishments and definitely most satisfying and miraculous experiences have been because of my daring to venture into situations that others condemn or fear. When that happens, whatever failures I’ve had as a result of bucking the status quo pale in comparison to the remarkable things I’ve drank in.
Nothing is more real than the power of you. Trust that. Do what no one else dares to do, not because you can, but because you want to… perhaps because it’s time you figure out what it is that makes your soul smile. Also what it is deep down inside of your most dimly lit places that causes you to feel sated, full, appreciative, and thankful to be here.
So dare to be different… we are all anyway.
It’s just some people hide it better than the rest of us.