The pain sizzled through my leg and up to my spine and neck. Bright, red rivulets of blood were sprouting from my knee and the whole first layer of my skin was gone. I squinted my face tight to resist the next wave of pain about to hit as my nerves sent the signal of this gruesome sight to my brain.
My mother walked over to me and said, “Honey are you okay? Are you hurt?” She could tell I was in a lot of pain and wanted to comfort me.
She’s told me this story a few times in my life. How I looked at her as she went to comfort me, moved her arm away and said, “I’m fine.” How she saw me suppress the pain on my face, brush off the gravel from my knee, and stand up and keep going.
“You’ve always done that since you were a little girl. When you’re hurt, you screw up your courage, toughen up your face, and pretend like you aren’t hurt. You shoulder the pain on your own,” she told me.
Something tells me you’ve done similar things in your life, too. Maybe in other ways.
You see, as a high achiever like you, I really don’t like discovering areas where I’m not good at something. I get embarrassed, like I did when I was seven, fell down, and skinned my knee in front of everyone.
I can usually pick something up pretty quickly, so when I can’t, or I struggle on the learning curve, I can be hard on myself because I expected to “get it” right away. I’ve worked hard over the years of expanding my emotional capacity to let myself not be a master at something new right away, WITHOUT beating myself up in the process (which only slows you down in the end).
But recently I did discover an area of life I don’t have the level of mastery I thought I had.
My ego feels a little bruised. And my ass is being handed to me on a plate. I feel emotionally walloped, caught off guard by my non-immediate-perfection in this situation.
I’ve had to do a lot of self-care during this time and ALL of my sh$t is coming to the surface as the ego fights to hold on to what it knows and yet the soul requests to venture forth. I even booked a long session with my therapist and had that kind of cry where your eyes are swollen for the rest of the day and you go to bed at 7pm from the exhaustion of the release.
When I work with my clients, I call this a threshold moment.
It’s when you have gained the awareness that you’ve outgrown an old part of you and you need to move on to the next version of you. But in that transition you have a moment where you are standing at the doorway into your new self, a new way of being, and your old self is terrified, and fighting tooth and nail to stay where it was. Yet you know you can’t go back either.
It’s okay to stand at the threshold for a little bit. That tension of the threshold is what brings forth all the “old outgrown things” that need to be processed and removed in order for you to be able to move into the new way of being clean and clear.
But don’t forget to ask for help. Don’t try to shoulder it all on your own and screw up your courage to tough it out alone. Which only causes you to stay at the threshold longer than you should.
And please, for the love of God, don’t stay at the threshold too long.
I talk all the time to womxn who have been standing at the threshold for months and even years. Still afraid to leap. Still always full of excuses of why now is not the time. And the year goes by and nothing really changes. They’re still struggling with the same capacity area, still trying to figure it out with “strategies”.
Now, I get this desire to stay at the threshold. In this new area that I just discovered I’m not “perfect” at, I can hear the parts of me that want to run away and hide from the growth I need to step forward into.
But I also know that your deepest longings, the greatest love, the biggest success, the deepest passion, the richest abundance and the most potent, fulfilling life possible are always on the other side of the threshold.
And we will pass through many, many thresholds as we grow.
What matters is that we build the capacity to keep moving through the thresholds. Even when the thresholds bring up all your fears. All your most tender parts. Even when your ego is convinced you will die.
Capacity is what gets you through the threshold and allows you to navigate the new world. And it’s what gets you through the many thresholds you will go through as you rise higher and higher into your purpose and mission.
Capacity keeps you from staying stuck at one level and settling.
It’s not easy work. I teach what I practice myself. And I know how challenged I feel right now. But capacity is what keeps me pushing forward. And it will do the same for you.
This is why strategies only get you so far in life and business. At a certain point the best strategy in the world won’t push you through the threshold.
Only capacity will.
In love and capacity,
P.S. Did this resonate? Let me know in the comments below.