that effing d-word – limitations

One of the many things I learned during this awful year 2016 was this: I am really really allergic to limitations. I believe that people generally are. We don’t like being pressured and limited. Actually, just when I decided to write about this, I saw that the Compassioner – Human Trust’s own E-zine – had published an article on how pressured people react in an work environment. So I think it is rather a psychological reality than something that I suffer from more than others.

However, I am very sensitive. Highly sensitive, actually. Especially with regards to myself. Some years in my past I thought I had to go against that. I have since learned that it is a huge gift. Being highly sensitive originates in a time in early childhood where life depended on the skill of foretelling other people’s reactions in regard to oneself. For example you had a father with a problem, like alcoholism. Alcoholics often are unpredictable. Some can become violent (on various levels) from one second to the next. When they are triggered. We never know when we trigger others and it’s also not our responsibility how others react to what we say and do. As adults. But as a child you’re dependent. So you learn to read the earliest signs in order to prevent certain events from happening. Your brain gets perfectly trained to perceiving moods, understanding triggers and to assuage as early as possible. A child’s life can depend on that as we know from horrible headlines about child abuse, child murder. But that’s just the top of it. Before it comes so far there are many different ways a child can experience violence. Like the simple ‚I am not speaking to you‘ which to a child is pure horror.

So high sensitivity in fact is a strategy to survive. Like with all survival strategies of children (and we all have them, they just come in many many different forms) they can be gift and curse at the same time. They are a curse when they still dominate your life. Many crowd pleasers might realize that from time to time. Pleasing everybody every time comes with a huge straining effort that often ends in burnouts and depression. But the gift lies in a very intense perception. Highly sensitive people feel more than others and realize more about how things work together and how results come to be. They are trained to see the bigger picture, not just the tiny detail. They are looking for cures, not just fixes, so to speak.

And funnily enough they are not understood and often thought of as a little crazy, silly, naive. Or even accused with being arrogant. I still am not used to the fact that most people simply don’t manage to see the bigger picture. That is not a reproach! I know that we compliment each other and that it’s always good to have different perspectives on a matter. Which is also part of seeing the bigger picture. You never get far if you assemble people with basically the same opinions and views. The disney strategy is based on that simple fact.

But it’s not something that is lived by a majority. I guess it’s because most people don’t think about why they react the way they do to others. So what happens is this: If I don’t limit myself and allow myself to be pressed into the form that they (meaning bosses for example) accept (which usually is nothing but something very similar to theirs – again, no blame! Psychologically speaking it’s natural because we’re actually more attracted to what is similar to us than to what is not. But awareness can help overcome this.), I get limited and oppressed. It so happened that after successfull studies at university and quite enough experience, I got limited to the silliest little jobs – showing me my place, making me (I blame myself for that) believe that I couldn’t do any better and that I wasn’t of any worth to the company (I was actually told that, in the nicest possible way). Making me beg for something to do during my working hours. Which sometimes didn’t happen for days on end. When I got alloted a job it was So in a classic work environment, the kind that still seems to be the majority, especially in rural parts of the country, I have two choices to make it. Either I allow myself to be pressed into that form and become, as I have, a shadow of myself. Or I realize that I cannot do that to myself and admit that I am not cut out for the classic work environment.

I cannot stand being limited. All this time at home has helped me realize that I do have a vision for my life and that the deepest yearning of my soul is clearly NOT to cut back to one or two of my talents. I want to live them all. And I am fed up with acting as the projection surface of others who project their own limitations onto me and blame me for them. To some it might seem like utopia, but if actually anything is possible and if it is true that paths come into existence by walking, I am not ready to limit myself any more. Because in the end, no matter what happend in the past, I let it happen. I chose that way because I didn’t believe there was anything else possible for me. I limited myself. My environment only reflected my inner limitations back to me. I don’t entirely know how, yet, but that’s gotta stop.

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