Treating With Limitations

I was clearing out my documents folder and came across this little nugget. It’s a note I made while Sri Vasudeva was speaking in a discussion group at the ashram. He asked, “Can I see my limitation? Does it bother me? Does it really bother me (like it did me, Vasudeva)? And am I really serious about coming out of it? Do I want to open my awareness? Do I want to see my world differently? Do I want to rise above ignorance? Do I really want to? So when we really ask the question of the Universe…How can I, an embodied soul, become free? When we really begin to ask that question, our true journey to freedom begins.” He went on to say, “ limitations and how we treat with limitations also tell who we are.”

I found this a thought provoking piece as I reflect on my response to limitations. I’ve been encouraging myself to come out of blindness to limitations by noticing when I feel uneasy, cramped, uncomfortable in any way, and to celebrate this awareness as a first step in overcoming a limitation.

I can get caught up in intellectualizing how to get out of the limitation. I can find myself rationalizing the existence of the limitation if I’m not careful. For example today I’m thinking there’s so much to do that I don’t have time to do all of it. I want to spend time in the garden, I need to catch up on emails, I have a lot of cleaning to do, I have tons of research and writing that I haven’t started…and the list goes on. I feel overwhelmed. What can I do?

I remind myself about my spiritual goals, that I will strive to see life as it is without judgment, to be a Source of love and light wherever I am, to seek to experience the fullness of Being. Hmmm! OK that brings a whole new perspective.

I stopped writing and spent fifteen minutes in the garden enjoying the sunshine, pulling the weeds, allowing myself to be reminded of the value of the mantra and the need to manage the mind and emotions just like I need to manage the weeds in the garden. As I did that I became calmer, more centered inside. I decided to give ten to fifteen minutes to each of the tasks that I consider important. I made up a schedule. Funnily enough there was time to make a start on every thing I want to do.  I’m reminded of why these activities are all important to me. I resolved that every small step is important and will be done in enjoyment and with the fullness of my Being.

I began to feel more in charge of myself once more, to feel a sense of direction, to feel great. What a transformation! Writing this post has made me aware of an important process for myself. When I notice the need to make a change then if I take a small step in the direction I want to go, that will create momentum and energy to take even more steps.

Thank you for sharing this time with me and allowing me to explore this idea. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you become aware of limitations and how you overcome them and how you think the way we treat with our limitations tell who we are.


4 Responses to Treating With Limitations

  1. Marlene says:

    After reading your blog, Madhavi, I could quite quickly write down a number of my own limitations, so I know I am aware of some of them and can identify them at least sometimes. I started thinking about how I become aware of them. Here are a few of the ways:

    I observe myself. Do I feel unease or discomfort physically, mentally, emotionally? I usual feel unease or stress when I feel blocked in dealing with someone, or in taking the next step to doing something I need to do? Do I find the same situation keeps coming up again and again? Those things indicate to me that I have a limitation that I haven’t yet been able to move beyond.

    I think the way we deal with our limitations can tell us something about who we are and how we approach situations, for example:

    Am I kind and patient, or harsh and impatient, with myself when I recognize a limitation within myself?
    Do I accept responsibility for my limitations, or do justify, explain, rationalize and make excuses?
    Am I able to see the effects of my intentions, thoughts, words and actions on myself and on those around me?
    Am I able to welcome the limitation as an opportunity to learn and grow from?
    Do I have the courage to step into uncertainty, fear, etc., in order to make the next step when I recognize the limitation?
    Am I able to recognize the support that is coming to me to help me make the next step both internally (Inner Guide) and externally?
    Do I continually focus on my weaknesses without appreciating and celebrating my strengths as well?
    How much time and effort do I put into overcoming my limitations? If I don’t give much attention then am I really serious about wanting to overcome them?

    It was very helpful for me to read your post, Victoria, where you said:
    “It is never about the end result or the situation itself. The real point is my process of learning and the transformation of the way in which I see, approach and understand what is before me.”

    I realize that I often keep focusing on the end result I want, or the change I want to see in myself, and not on my learning process or the way I view or approach it. So thank you very much for that!

    Madhavi, I could really identify your comment about how we can get caught up in trying to intellectualize our way out of a limitation. I would really like to hear more about how you avoid that and what other approaches we can take instead.

    I agree with you that we get a very different feeling when we focus on our spiritual goals with the view that every small step “will be done with enjoyment and with the fullness of my being”. I will have to work on that one!!

    • Victoria says:

      Hi Marlene. As I read your post, and in particular, your question about ways to avoid the trap of intellectualising, I thought I would share one thing that I try, once I recognise that I am trying to intellectualise my way out and getting no where! Instead of focusing on the issue, possible solutions, justifications, defenses, avoidance techniques, who is responsible and all the rest, I try to shift the focus to myself, with the question, “what is the lesson here for me?” Once I do that, I find it helps. Perhaps not immediately, but then I know that the question is out there, and the answers are being drawn to me as a result of asking the question. It helps me to begin to see the underlying point of the situation as the underlying point is always about me in terms of some limitation or pattern etc.
      With love
      Victoria xx

      • Marlene says:

        Victoria, I agree that it would be a good approach to look for the lesson in it for me and therefore not get distracted by all the peripherals, and it would likely take me to the heart of the matter sooner. It can also empower me to see the choices I have to deal with it if I really want some change or transformation.

        I also appreciated the reminder that once I ask the question about ‘what is the lesson in it for me?’ the answers are being drawn to me as a result of asking.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts and offering these comments, Victoria.

  2. Victoria says:

    Namaskar Madhavi, yet again, thank you for this post. It resonates very strongly, not least as I feel like my limitations are lining up and slapping me in the face of late. One thing that comes up as I read your post is that of awareness. One of the many things I aspire to is greater awareness, not least to be able to catch the discomfort and dis-ease earlier than I do. I suspect this would reduce the need for the face slapping phase.

    I had a situation come to a major head yesterday and I spent much of the day in a state of stress and distress. Later on, I saw the story line, which involves a deep and very resilient pattern, within which there are a number of habits and tendencies. The way this all unfolded was quite something and I felt a sense of awe at being able to connect the dots (hopefully in the right order) and yet again at the way the Universe works.

    In trying to intellectualise the situation, I got no where. What then came up was the thought that it is never about the end result or the situation itself. The real point is my process of learning and the transformation of the way in which I see, approach and understand what is before me. With that, I felt an almost instant lifting of the weight of the situation.

    This all tells me much about what and how I see things in general, and about myself in particular. I see very clearly my tendency to focus on the negative that I see, to the extent that I am at times unable to see anything else. So there is a lot of feeling overwhelmed and not nearly enough celebration.

    I could go on still more but will leave it there.

    With much love and thanks

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