When we put conditions on things, we limit them.
The condition of age: “I am too old to play”
The condition of time: “I’ll love you forever”
The condition of knowledge (or lack thereof): “I don’t know enough about ____ to do _____”.
The condition of appearance: “Dancers must be thin, and beautiful, and have pointy feet.”
The condition of talent: “I am naturally talented and do not need to practice”.
The condition of worth: “I do not deserve the more expensive option”.
The condition of strength: “You have to be strong to do that”.
The purest way to experience anything is unconditionally.
Love is tricky. Unconditional love has no limits, but to many of us, unconditional love means it must last forever. But time is a condition. So to promise to love forever is to limit love.
We put limiting conditions on our passion, which, uninhibited from thinking we are too old, too inexperienced, or not smart enough, can manifest in exquisite innovation. But the flame of passion can be snuffed by our beliefs in needing to be educated, be the “right” age, or fitting a certain stereotypical mold.
A condition is not tangible, not found in nature. Does the grass ever say, “I am too ugly to accept the warmth of the sun or drink the rain!”? No, it simply does what it was programmed to do. It doesn’t question it, or judge itself unworthy. It takes what it needs to survive, unapologetically. Unashamedly. Without artificial condition.
Humans are blessed with irrational emotion from which we form conditions for how to live authentically. Our misperceptions of how one “ought” to live are acted out in obliviously conditional ways, or rather, omitted completely for fear of failure.
We take up a new sport, but limit our participation and embodiment by telling ourselves we’re not talented enough to ever be truly good. As if being “good” mattered! We limit our enjoyment with the condition of recognized talent.
How much do we miss out on by setting conditions? How aware are we of the conditions by which we limit ourselves?
“I am in pain, but I fail to acknowledge the obvious pattern of reacting that keeps me fragile”. This is to limit oneself with the condition of worth. Feeling unworthy of honest reflection. Attachment to self-pity, ignorance, and fantasy. Dishonesty. Failing to listen.
Remove the conditions. Remove the bumpers that keep false sense of safey. There will be failures, but after a failure there is nowhere to go but up. After a failure, you’ve got nothing left to lose. After a failure, the ball’s in your court and you have a disproportionately high chance of success.
“Think without banisters” ~Hannah Arendt
To live a life without banisters… It’s harder, but it’s better.
To love unconditionally. Play unconditionally. Pursue dreams unconditionally.
To dance without limits.
Let go of the banister, act purely, unlimitedly, and honestly.