I subscribe to an inspirational blog that delivers a daily post into my email, first thing every morning. Every morning I read the title, perhaps the first paragraph or two, sometimes the entire post. After a year of following the blog, I know what to expect. It will want me to stretch. I’ll be encouraged to look ahead, to reach a little further, to push myself a little harder, to step out of my comfort zone.
I did that a lot last year, stepped out of my comfort zone. At times with resounding success, but often with spasms of discomfort followed by time wasted and self-recrimination. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last year of my life, trust your gut. What is my gut saying? Learn to love your limits.
Immediately that annoyingly energetic and mercilessly optimistic part of my brain weighs in with, What a load of shit! Don’t listen to her, she’d be happy if we stayed home every night, reading and writing and crap like that. That’s no kind of life! Tell me you aren’t taking this seriously!
That last bit echoes through me, and I smile. My gut tells me I’m on the right track.
In our world of constant connection, social media, picture feeds and instant messaging, it isn’t enough just to live. You must prove you live, and that you do so with the best of them. Instantly. Constantly. Exhaustively.
My gut knows, that isn’t me. I’m finally listening. Understanding my limits allows me more freedom to explore my curiosities. Nurturing my limits means less time spent chasing experiences that leave me unsatisfied and filled with that vague uneasiness that I am not enough. Loving my limits gives me the opportunity to lift my head at that whisper of movement that sends a frisson of excitement down my spine.
Listening to my gut means coming to terms with a few things. It means recognizing myself and allowing the grief and relief that come with the realization that I am not all things to everyone. Shedding the machined parts of myself that make me clumsy and heavy. Admitting I’m better one on one than in a group, not taking offense when people step away for need of connection, allowing myself to be happy with what I am and not wasting time wishing to be what I cannot.
When I let go of all that and look up, I realize it’s not a freak flag I’m flying, it’s just my flag, my banner, my colors. They’re beautiful, warm and earthy with just enough vibrancy to attract the like-minded. I imagine the moment a step pauses just outside my wall. I’d look up from my book as they take in my ensign. Feeling relaxed and safe inside my limits, I’m able to meet their gaze.
Does that little quirk at the corner of your mouth feel familiar?
Closing my book, I smile as the secret door opens.