I don’t know about you, but recently life has seemed busy. We’re talking there is consistently not enough time in the day. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I am in graduate school, reporting to two supervisors, counseling people, and working a second job? But I know my busy schedule isn’t unique. We all know the feeling of too much to do with too little time. For me this busyness leaves me trying to do it all but failing time and time again. This turns into a sense that life is passing me by and my demands are holding me back. It’s sad but recently, I’ve accepted it.
Until one morning when I woke early to take a walk with a friend (it was a “kill two birds with one stone” kind of situation. Exercise and catch up, perfect!). She asked how I was doing. I was honest, “just okay, busy” was my answer. After explaining everything I’m attempting to juggle she rocked my world with one simple question,
“Have you considered the freedom in your limitation?”
I was taken aback. Freedom in not being able to do all that I want to do? She told me about this artist, Scott Erickson. He designed images in collaboration with author Justin McRoberts for a contemplative book of prayer. One of the pages she had recently come across read, “may I find freedom in limitation – to fully give myself to what I can do rather than worry about what I cannot” (Prayer: 40 Days of Practice).
She challenged me even further by giving me the image of a wall that was 10 feet wide but only 2 feet deep. “What about recognizing your limitations as a freedom and attempting to go deep in the things placed before you during this season?”
In counseling we call this a reframe. My busy schedule may not change in the next few weeks (or months) but this new perspective is an opportunity to see my life differently. I can’t do it all and that’s okay! We all have limitations. It was an invitation to let go of some things in order to focus on the other things in front of me. I needed this reframe! I no longer feel stuck but hopeful.
If your life feels busy, on the go, full to the brim perhaps this reframe is an invitation for you too. Where is freedom in your life’s current limitations?
You can check out this book and more of Scott Erickson’s work with these links: