Within the spiritual community, there is a belief for many of us that we need to work extremely hard in order to break through our limits in order to reach the goal of awakening. We need to push beyond our present selves and beliefs, and become someone...different, more, better. If only I was more compassionate, served more, got rid of all my triggers, was a better person, understood love, heard and saw my spirit guides, became enlightened, and saved the whales!!!
Folks, this is a lot of pressure.
When we pursue spirituality with the drive of a sports coach, it quickly becomes painful and overwhelming.
It also has the potential to set up spirituality as a kind of self-competitive sport, giving serious (and precious) air time to our inner critic.
It's one thing to become mindful in situations where we may be unnecessarily holding ourselves back due to old habits and fears. It's quite another to push ourselves in a way that can become self-flagellating, literally harming our selves with our loving intention to heal.
The truth is, we already are limitless. Each and every one of us. We all have the seed of infinite possibility within us, waiting to be nurtured (even a tiny bit) to let blossom. The key word here is nurture--to provide sustenance in the physical (good, clean food/water, enough rest), the emotional (supportive relationships in our lives, space), mental (space, mindfulness) and spiritual (meditation, a spiritual practice, connection with our inner Self).
When we drive ourselves to be "better" in a spiritual sense, we actually limit our infinite potential and true divine nature.
When we breathe into our lives--the joys, the pain, the confusion (especially the confusion), we give space to our thoughts and emotions. The weight of the yoke of "being good enough" lessens and eventually falls away completely.
We come to this conclusion quite naturally, though. We feel we must conquer something within us that seems to "take over" at the least opportune moments. Our fears, anxieties, triggers all can easily overwhelm; so why wouldn't we want to conquer them? Wouldn't that mean finally finding peace? We want peace! So we are going to go and get some PEACE! (whip cracking in the background)
Except the more we attack these aspects of our selves, the more they embed within us. The more they are fed, the more we give them affirmation that yes, they are definitely needed. Until we learn to train our minds (mindfulness) and hear the truth in our hearts, they will continue to do what they believe their job is: protecting us.
How can we truly become limitless?
When we connect with our limitlessness through kindness, right action, and love. Especially with our selves. When we approach our pain, suffering and arduous striving with openness, allowing for there to be space (to be mindful, to come back to center, to objectively think things through). That space then allows for love, compassion, patience, and forgiveness to enter our hearts.
The more we push the hurt within, the more it will push back. The practice, then, is to not push back so much as observe. Observing then leads to openness which leads to kindness. Kindness leads to healing which leads to compassion and love. We live limitlessly through our choices in thought, action and speech. We are the creators of our limits--with the same power to release them. It's truly up to us.