Monday, July 21, 2008

Is that all there is?

Since breaking my right arm I’ve lost a lot of range of motion. Particularly striking is the movement of bending the hand forward or backward at the wrist. My left hand bends about 90 degrees forward and back. My right hand only bends about 10 degrees forward, and backward I can’t bend it at all.

Bending the right hand feels exactly as comfortable as bending the left. It feels as though the limitation were perfectly natural and normal. If I didn’t have my left hand to compare it to I wouldn’t know my hand was supposed to bend any more than it does. But in fact the only thing preventing the hand from bending are some muscles and tendons that have grown weak and stiff from un-use.

The experience makes me wonder about other limitations we feel in life: limitations that feel completely normal and natural but are actually false. Limitations where we tell ourselves, “of course I can’t do that,” or “I’m already doing as much as it’s possible to do.” Without a fully functioning model to compare ourselves to we may be short-changing our lives unnecessarily.

There are some places in our lives where we know we’re limited and we’re already at work stretching. But it’s also healthy to explore those areas of our lives where we think we’re living as fully as we possible. Perhaps we’ll discover we’ve created false limitations that are nothing more than a failure to imagine the greatness we’re really capable of.

No comments: