I am SO excited to introduce you to today’s guest blogger. I met Nicole through a mutual friend a few years back. She has recently launched a new blog to share her gifts and story with the world. I always admire women who are putting themselves out there and seeking to encourage others and Nicole is doing just that with her new space on the internet.
Today’s post is one that resonates deeply with me…especially as I welcome another “limitation” into my world with the birth of another baby. I take comfort from her words and hope you will too….
A guest post by Nicole Zasowski…
I’ve suffered from debilitating migraine headaches my entire life.
I’ve learned various ways of managing them over the years, but having tried everything from an elimination diet to acupuncture, I haven’t been able to avoid them completely. I hate migraines. I hate the pain that makes it hard to imagine ever feeling well again.
But more than the pain itself, I hate the way they limit me.
They can wipe a workday clean. They can force a to-do list to go without even one task checked off. And they can render my body incapable of so much as picking up a book.
Migraines are my body’s rude way of telling me to slow down. They are one of my limitations that remind me that I am human and I can’t do it all.
This is the heart of the pain for me: I don’t like my limitations because I don’t like the way they make me feel about myself.
After years of pushing through pain and forcing myself to keep moving when every ounce of my physical being was begging me not to, I had to ask myself, “why do I struggle so much when my body is asking me to stop?” The answer was easy to find and difficult to swallow: My value is often found in what I do and not in who I am.
In a culture driven by performance, striving, and perfectionism, it can be difficult when we confront our limitations. While limits are an inherent part of our humanity, they can also cause us to feel inadequate, powerless, and inferior. Whether we face our limits in the form of an injury, bed rest, illness or something else, we are wise to reflect on the beliefs we carry about ourselves that make it difficult to rest when our body is asking us to do so.
What are the beliefs we carry that keep us from listening to our bodies?
How do we feel about our value in seasons when our capacity is less than we would like?
What do we really believe about our worth and where it comes from?
Answering these questions can help us uncover the lies we carry and point us toward grace.
My limitations still frustrate me, but I am also learning to appreciate the ways in which they are teaching me and shaping my heart.
When our limitations feel like they are getting in the way of our plans, what might they be inviting us to do instead?
For me, I’ve learned that facing my limitations always comes with an invitation to rest in the truth that I am valuable because of who I am and not what I do and to live with confidence that I am loved outside of performance. Owning the truth that I am loved and worthy in the midst of being unable to perform, allows me the freedom to take proper care of myself and heal, giving myself grace in the process.
Whatever our limitations may be in life, we must ask ourselves how our struggles may be asking us to grow, learning to see the invitation in the most trying of circumstances.
What might we gain when we give up the need to do it all?
Nicole Zasowski is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is an old soul who wears her heart on her sleeve as she writes vulnerably about life’s joy and pain on her blog, nicolezasowski.com. You can also connect with Nicole on Twitter and Instagram.