The Spirit Of Therapy Blog
Limitation is defined as; a bound, a restriction. In our present day culture, we are faced with limitations all the time. In both our personal and professional worlds, we live in a maze of due dates, physical restrictions, rules, laws and unspoken boundaries. These limitations are sometimes imposed by us, but more often than not, they are imposed upon us by culture, history, religion, society, family and other institutions. Whether or not we agree with certain restrictions, there are sometimes grave consequences for trespassing or ignoring them. Limitations can serve to make us feel safe and ordered, but they can also make us feel suffocated, controlled and stressed.
Many times, we approach these limitations from opposite ends. Either we sit comfortably and complacently behind these restrictions, too afraid or too apathetic to question them, or else we blow through them with defiance and anger, usually reaping personal consequences and conflict.
The purpose of restrictions is to keep things ordered and effective for a determined outcome. Even our physical limitations make it possible for us to move with strength and speed. But is it possible that our limitations, self-imposed or not, can have a higher purpose of teaching us something? Of setting our spirits free?
Buddhists traditionally practice a form of self-discipline using established rules or precepts. Gaining mastery over oneself and one’s desires is seen as a step along the road to enlightenment, to freeing the self. Similarly, other religions such as Christianity and Islam have teachings centered around self-discipline. These restrictions are a means to perfecting the soul and becoming closer to Divinity.
In our daily lives, limitations and restrictions can cause us to feel insecure when we don’t meet them, suffocated when we feel pinned down by them and angry or helpless when we feel they are unjust or ineffective. They bring up raw emotions within us; material for self-awareness. Our relationship to restrictions is an indication as to what we are called to work on in our personal development.
In yoga, physical limitations often bring up emotional restrictions. Insecurity, frustration, anger, disappointment, shame. This is the material to be worked on in a yoga practice. Carefully, intentionally and kindly noticing these restrictions, exploring our “edges,” becoming curious and self aware of our own experience. Yoga teaches us to respect these edges, yet to explore them and possible move them slowly over time. It is only with complete awareness, patience and acceptance of our restrictions that we can learn to expand them.
This week ask yourself what restrictions you may be fighting in your life right now. What limitations are you being asked to explore and accept in order to do the higher work of moving your spirit?
The Spirit of Therapy
Where psychotherapy interacts with our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and relational wellbeing.