One of the most frustrating parts of recognizing rhythms is realizing that some of the limits on me are specifically about me. In order to live in the rhythm that your soul calls for, you have to know yourself.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Where do I feel energized? Is it when I am with people or alone? Is it while reading or playing a game? Where do I draw energy from?
- What commitments in my life are non-negotiable? Family and work are some to consider.
- Where do I experience joy? What do I love to do? What feels fun to me?
- Where do I feel challenged?What activities stretch my personality or comfort zone?
- What drains life from me? When I am done with this task or encounter, I want to take a nap.
These are only suggestions that can lead you to discover what is hard-wired in you. These things are part of the God-gifted limits that exist in your life. For me, I draw energy from being alone and am drained by being with large crowds. I experience great joy in being creative and feel challenged by the lures of perfectionism. Time with my family and being faithful to the calling God has given me are non-negotiable in my life. This knowledge allows me to see some of the boundaries that God has created around me. Continually ignoring these boundaries will lead to burn-out and exhaustion. However, being challenged on occasion in these areas is a healthy way to seek to become more well-rounded and mature.
I am learning to consider the limits of being me as gifts from God designed to protect me as an image-bearer. American culture encourages us to push and rage against limits as they are evil and oppressive. However, limits are not a burden to those who are continually surrendering their own will to the will of God. Instead, limits serve as banks on the river of our lives directing and containing us so that we are powerful and useful.