Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

The sign met me as a giant on my path.  It stood - in my mind - 9 feet tall with a massive girth, blocking my way.  This formidable foe stood on the trail, taunting my will, smirking in defiance of my feet.  Its declaration was that this was the end and this time, Goliath would not be slain. 

This sign held a message for've come to the edge.  This trail you used to walk is now closed to you (for the next 10 months, by the way!!)  You have reached your limit.

Limit...LIMIT...not sure I like that word!  "Limit" is a locked door, an unpenetrable fortress...a cement wall.  It bars the way, shuts down and even more than that...all limits bring a sense of loss.  For a girl who likes possibility and hope, limit is a bitter lunch!  (To let you know how much I believe in possibility....there was a time when I was 8 months pregnant...and probably slightly delirious!!...that I began to wonder "No, is this baby coming out of me??"  And I actually thought I could figure out some other (less painful) way!!)

This sign made me think about other limits in my life.  Marriage is a limit - I choose to be faithful to one person, therefore omitting all others.  Motherhood is a limit - as children entered my life, I could no longer do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.  Work is a limit -  there are activities I must say no to because of the job I hold and there is a limit to how much work I can actually do.  Finances have limits - need I say more??   Our bodies come with limits - the older I get, the more I am understanding this!!  Even people come with limits - we all have a limit to our love, our time, our communication, and the friendships we choose (or not choose) to make.  And to be honest....there is a sense of loss and sadness that comes with each one of those.

The reason this sign is gargantuan is because it delivers deep sadness to me.  All limits do.  This sign tells me that the walks I love to take and the path I love to follow are closed to me now, and something in life must change.  Instead of fighting the limit - or trying to go around it - I must embrace it, feel its gift of loss deeply, and wait for something new. 

Too often in our culture we see losses and limits as "alien invasions that interrupt our normal lives" and we try to find shortcuts around them.  But limits, I think are the ground we walk on and tightly woven into the fabric of life AND bring a gift of their own.  They teach us to pay attention to our hearts and feel what we are feeling....and so they teach us to become more fully human.  They remind us that we are not always in control and can't always have what we want...and so they teach us humility.  They teach us to wait...and so perhaps they teach us to pray.  They remind us that all things must come to an end...and so they teach us flexibility.  

I am still not sure I like the word "limit", but instead of seeing this sign as destroying a part of life, I think I will let its message sink in.  I will go only as far as it will let me and I will find new paths to explore.  As I do that, it is no longer a Goliath, but a kind mediator teaching me a lesson from God...let the limit come, feel the loss, wait in it, and watch for a new way to walk!

Breathe, smile and go slowly!

1 comment:

Bethany said...

Oh, Tara! I so needed to hear this. Lately I have been totally feeling the LIMIT of motherhood and kind of hating it. Thank you for inviting me to(and giving me freedom to) enter into that limit, feel it's loss fully and start looking for new paths to walk ;) love you, friend!