The gifts of limitations

This world and ourselves, and nothing we value, would exist without limitations. This universe comes into existence through limitations.

Boundaries and limitations is what creates matter and energy. It’s what allowed solar systems and planets to form. It’s what allowed this planet to come alive. It’s what allowed us to be here.

And the same in our own lives.

We exist and flourish within boundaries and limitations. Our body is limited, and wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t. Our bodies require a certain temperature, water, food, shelter, rest, and so on to be alive and function. We require some regularity of water, food, sleep, rest, and activity to be alive and function. We depend on the limits of gravity to be here and move around on the surface of this planet. We are in one place at a time, and in one time.

This also applies to our society and culture. Our society has written and unwritten rules that allows it to exist and function, and allows us to have relatively stable and predictable lives within our society.

It applies to our development as human beings. As we grow up, we depend on the limits set by the adults around us for staying safe and learning how to function as a human being in this society. We are dependent on some regularity of daily habits. We are required to learn certain tasks, from crawling, walking, and speaking, to social interactions and writing and math.

Our flourishing and maturing depends on boundaries and limitations. If we want to learn any skill, we need to have boundaries to help us focus and go beyond what we currently know. Our maturing often happens most obviously when life sets limits for us and we struggle with and within these limitations. If we cannot go broad, we are invited to go deep.

There are innumerable examples of how boundaries and limitations allows this life, as we know it, to exist. And how it brings us much of what we value the most in life.

In our society, some people seem to struggle with and against boundaries and limitations. Perhaps because they have experienced them being applied in less than kind and wise ways. And yet, in the bigger picture, boundaries and limitations is a gift existence gave to itself allowing it to become all of what we know. It’s what allows what we appreciate the most in our world, society, and our own life.

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