Are you staring at a fence?
Or are you looking at the wide open pastures around you? I know what you’re probably thinking…what kind of question is that?
Let me give you a little background. A couple of weeks ago my husband, Kory, and I went camping outside the happening town of Salida, Colorado. I love camping and being immersed in the natural beauty of the outside world; not only for the simple joy you can find, but also for the many insightful analogies that can be interpreted as wisdom in our daily lives. On our way back home I noticed two horses in a pasture just standing still staring at a fence. This struck me as odd since there was probably several acres of open land behind them to frolic in.
My mind immediately related this scene to my own life and how I’ve lived it. I asked myself: am I living in a way that I am staring at the fence of my limitations and excuses while a pasture of opportunity and possibility is open right in front of me?
What are the limitations that I focus on? A list started to come to mind- how I feel like I am not a good writer (I hate to admit this while I am here, writing) and how I studied something very specific in college and have no interest in it, how it’s hard to make money doing what I like to do, a
nd how I’m not sure I have something worth writing about, etc. Immediately the voice of truth and hope within me shouted: these are not the things that define me! These are the things that could define me, but that would allow fear and defeat to take over. I have too much courage and passion in my life to let this happen!
Thinking over this, another question came to mind: what are the opportunities and possibilities that spread out before me? Another list began to form in my mind - how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many good people who love and care for me, how I know that I am a person of integrity and courage, how I hunger for justice for suffering people around the world, how I have a great education and am a lifelong learner, and how I love to encourage people to be the best they can be. These things promise an abundance of opportunity for growth all around me. These are the things that I wish to define my life.
By writing this post, I am consciously overcoming the lie that I have nothing worth writing about. I know that I have something worth writing about and that my thoughts and experiences are unique and valuable. By stepping out and overcoming the fear of writing, I am allowing that part of me to be heard with the hope that it will help someone, somewhere. For me, this is one small practical step to living courageously and living the life I want to lead.
If I insist on staring at the fence of my limitations those are things that will, in the end, define my thoughts and actions. However, I have too much courage and hope to be a person that will let this happen. With all that I have, I will focus on the pasture of opportunity and possibility because I know that I have much to offer this world.
Now it’s your turn.
Ask yourself, what are the limitations that you find yourself focusing on?
Surprisingly, listing these things can help you realize the hidden limitations you have assigned yourself. It gives you the freedom to stop these things from defining you. Although it can be uncomfortable admitting these thing is freeing on so many levels.
Now, ask yourself another question: what are the opportunities and possibilities that spread out before you? List these and open your heart to allow these things to define who you are and how you want to live.
You have much to offer this world.
Stephanie Zeller is the Community Director for The Authenticity Project, you can contact Steph at TheAuthenticityProject@gmail.com