My parents came to visit me this evening, keeping me company while my aunt and uncle went to a birthday party for one of their friends, and then staying for dinner once they had returned. The food was great…you might not expect vegan lasagna to be any good, but…well, you’d be wrong. Anyway, we all enjoyed the meal, and we also enjoyed each other’s company and enjoyed some stimulating conversation. I always find it fascinating how different my dad and my uncle (his brother) are, and yet how some things about them are very similar. My mom’s mind is very quick and conceptual and the way she connects things always amazes me. All that to say that we talked about a lot of interesting stuff.
After my parents left, I spent a little time cleaning up and then sat down to write this. What popped into my head was this: every system has a beginning and an end. A start date and an end date, open and close, birth and death, matriculation and graduation… you get the picture. But those beginnings and ends aren’t always a clearly delineated point. Sometimes we can’t see where one thing leaves off and another begins. In fact, when we are inside a system, sometimes it is hard to see that there is anything else outside.
What I am learning to recognize is that sometimes when I say, “here is the end of ‘A’ and here is the start of ‘B'” that “A” and “B” both are my own creations.
I believe that we construct artificial horizons for ourselves and for others that lock us into a certain pattern of thought or behavior. Our brains often want to tidy the events of our lives up and place them safely into familiar boxes. But real life defies that kind of classification and division. One experience or fact or person or moment may fit into a thousand categories or it may fit into none…sometimes both at once.
I know that for me, I place an artificial horizon in time about two months ahead of now. It is the end of my line of sight. Everything past it is empty, formless, unknowable. Why do I do this? I think it is simply because if anything past August is out of sight, then I don’t have any obligation to deal with or plan anything past that point. I place artificial horizons on people. I naturally assume that people are incapable of acting outside of their behavioral patterns, I limit them in my mind, and so the way I treat them limits what I can learn.
When I assume that just because a nurse is overweight and didn’t get to my room until an hour after she said she would, and because she wasn’t familiar with my medications that she is incompetent and therefore can’t help me when my symptoms get worse later that day… This is a no brainer, but obviously I am limiting myself when I limit her. She could probably do a lot for me if I just asked, but because I choose to assume she cant… it is a self fulfilling prophecy of the highest order.
I also place artificial limits on myself. I say “this is the way I am,” or “I am terrible at ____,” or “I don’t know how to ____”. When I do this I limit my own potential.
I think that because we are beings of pure energy, our potential is unlimited. I truly believe that the only thing that stands in the way of us achieving anything we set our minds to is limits we set on ourselves or limits we allow others to set on us.
So I am asking myself the question: “who would I be if I allowed myself to discard the false limitations placed on me and accepted that I was a being of infinite potential?”
The answer is that I don’t know (I can’t wait to figure it out!)
Ask yourself the same question, and see what you can come up with. Share your ideas if you feel comfortable.
Every day is a new day. Every dawn is a new dawn. The horizon shifts with every step we take.