Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Limitations

Want to share this with someone?

Soulmate? Or Best friend forever? Or in the words of Jerry Maguire, "You complete me!" Language like this runs deep in the water of how we speak about relationships especially when it comes to popular culture and movies. But in reality, life is much more complicated, isn't it?

Friendships end. Partnerships we thought would last forever break up. Even family members that we thought would always be around, are not.

Enter into this conversation this week's word: limitation.

Limitation is defined as the act or instance of being bound or confined.

If you are anything like me, you don't like to talk about the limitations in your life because it immediately takes you to loss. (And who wants to think about that?)

But I think accepting the limitations of others is what helps us live lives that are centered and open.

A great teacher on the topic of limitations is the Catholic priest and writer, Henri Nouwen. He writes about his journey accepting the limitations of others in his book, Inner Voice of Love (which I highly recommend):

"You keep listening to those who seem to reject you. But they never speak about you. They speak about their own limitations. They do not say that you are bad, ugly, or despicable. They say only that you are asking for something they cannot give . . . The sadness is that you perceive their necessary withdrawal as a rejection of you instead of a call to return home and discover there: your true belovedness.”

Because here's the thing we know for sure, not every relationship is forever.

No one person or persons can be all things for you all the time even if they are alive.

Not every friend can handle every story in your heart that needs to come out. Your biological family might not even be where you find true belonging.

Dear, wonderful folks in our lives have limitations. They need rest. They need to say no. They need time to deal privately with their own emotional and spiritual questions.

Joy comes as we lean into the wisdom of these limitations-- not asking anyone in our lives to be more than they want or are able to be for us.

So here's your mantra for this week: Let go of what needs to go. And as you do, trust that what you need will come. I believe it will! God knows the desires of your heart.



P.S. If you want to go deeper into today's word, I'd love to share this post with you about How to Manage Messy Relationships that I wrote this week in response to another book of Henri Nouwen's, Love, Henri.