It is easy to mistake limitations as being the cause of all of our problems. Both our mainstream and spiritual cultures feed us a constant influence of propaganda that would have us believe we must ever conquer our limitations and ruthlessly drive out past all experiences of restriction. This is an extremely naive, indeed toxic, view of limitations, one that forgets that all we are are complex sets of limitations layered upon one another.
Learning to recognize both the use and the sacred value of limitations opens us to deeper maturity and co-creative collaboration with reality. Limitations are revealed to not only not be the enemy but in fact, one of the most beneficial allies in our journey of unfolding. To see this, to wield this, we must dive deeply into our unfolding experience and learn to commit to something beyond the facile.
A lot of great creativity comes from restrictions.
When a bird is to be born, it spends its gestation inside the shell of an egg. This shell, this boundary, is essential to the success of a growing bird. Within the limitations of the shell, the conditions for growth can be nurtured specifically to the needs, the very designs of the being coming to be. Such limitations provide the necessary protective layers within which creation can be cultivated. Without this limitation in place, the efforts for growth are futile.
Similarly, the painter must place limitations upon their work if anything worthwhile is going to result. Suppose the painter decides that they must paint all of reality. In that case, they will never start, succumbing to the inherent overwhelm of the notion, or they will burn themselves out trying, spinning in the madness inherent in the undertaking. Yet if they choose to work within the boundaries of space on a limited canvas, they will find such focus of attention gives them the freedom to cultivate creativity and growth.
The Value of Restrictions
This twin infusion of protection and the focus of attention is what gives creative containers their power. For instance, in the pairing of two humans within the boundaries of a committed relationship, they both agree to a set of limitations they vow to uphold in themselves and support in the other. While it is true that they have limited their freedoms in some ways, they have also liberated their energies from the entropy of diffusion, giving themselves an altar upon which to make sacred their attention and cultivation of depth.
In one’s life, we must also choose who to let in and who to let go of. This is the humble, yet ruthless sacrifice of the gardener, having to decide what one is cultivating and thereby limit oneself to building an environment within which that can happen. It is not only about getting the right elements gathered. The seeds, the water, the sun, the weather, the timing and the partnering of intelligences must all play a vital role, of course. We must also define the space and the rules of the space within which we will bring life into being. Though beautiful in another context, if they are not conducive to our intentions, the weeds must go.
Breaking Through the Boundaries
With the power of boundaries in mind, we must also consider the fact that many limitations are not healthy. Most of us have had bad experiences that cause us to put up walls that protect against further negativity. These walls initially serve a helpful purpose, giving us space to focus on healing and strengthening. Yet if we truly heal and strengthen, we will reach a point at which the boundaries once placed are no longer needed, and keeping them in place holds us back from truly embodying who we have worked so hard to become.
Other limitations are simply there to be either removed or broken through. Yet even in these cases where we might be inclined to think of them as adversarial, they are here to help. A limitation that compels us to grow enough to go beyond is a limitation that has called us forth to manifest our power. A boundary that forces us to break through has nurtured our unfolding.
Suggested Divination Meanings
What boundaries can I nurture in order to become more empowered?
What boundaries can I empower in order to nurture myself?
What boundaries would it be nurturing to remove or go beyond?
What aspect of my life is a limitation that is giving me the space to grow?
What is a limitation in my life right now that is it showing me how to focus my creative attention?
What old boundaries do I still have in place that no longer serve me?
What perceived limitations in my life are actually serving to help me cultivate my creative power?
In what ways can I limit myself in order to liberate myself?
How can I scale my intentions in order to make them more approachable in the moment?
In what ways do my limitations liberate me?