It can be hard to recognize and accept limitations. Especially those that come with
getting older. As our minds, bodies, and senses change, our functional capacities can
alter with time. It is the way of nature.
I myself have certain limitations with which I have had to contend over the years. Some
of them have been difficult to accept, but I also realize that not everyone can do
everything and each person has their own things they are good at doing. An example of
this that almost got me down once was I saw a young man running up the stairs in
Harvard station, taking them two at a time. I cannot do this, never could. It would be a
perfect recipe for a fall for me. At first, I felt sad. As I felt myself beginning the slide into
a glum self pity I looked down and saw a small gathering of sparrows in front of me. I
was offering no food, yet I had attracted all of these birds. Then I remembered that while
I may not be graceful or particularly agile, I can often draw animals like a magnet, that is
one of my gifts. This illustrates the technique I use for dealing with my limitations as a
way to avoid going down into the dumps..
It is important to recognize your limitations, particularly if it will involve you avoiding
injury to yourself or someone else, but it is harder though is to accept it without going
into a slump and feeling a bunch of self pity. As in my example above, I find the best
antidote for that is to remember all that you can do and whatever your special unique
talents are. For example, if your night vision is failing then you should not drive after
dark for safety reasons, but maybe you make the best chili in your family. Just an
example. But you get the idea.
Everyone has things they cannot do, or cannot do anymore, and things that they are
very good at doing. Accepting your limitations may be challenging, and it can be sad,
but remember, there are still plenty of things that still make you “you.” The challenge is
not getting down in the dumps about it and honoring our uniqueness and accepting the
changes we all go through on this journey of life.
By Julie Morse