You’re Never Given More Than You Can Handle
The bar in Beverly Hills was dimly lit. My friend, Steve, sat across from me on the plush burgundy cushions, as I dove deep into sharing about the eating disorder program I was currently in. Steve listened, carefully. Then, he shared a refrain I would continue to use for the next 10 years.
“God never gives more than you can handle.”
At the time, he was one of the first people I met with an incredibly strong faith in God, and I was just getting to know my own sense of spirituality by diving into the waters of Mother Nature. The word “God” was still extremely charged for me, as I felt I had been abandoned for most of my life to adults who were anything but unconditionally loving. Less than a year before I met Steve, I had been living abroad as an editor for an expatriate magazine in Shanghai, China. While on the surface, my life looked resplendent with press events, invitations to high-end restaurants, a growing social network, and a popular blog, I was at the lowest point of my life.
My bulimia had become the worst it had ever been, and though I knew it was time to get professional help, I wasn’t convinced my life was worth saving. It took three friends coming out to visit me to make it feel like I could transition back into the reality I had fought so hard to run away from — so hard in fact that I literally made it all the way to the other side of the world from where I began in Los Angeles, and then finally realized, “Crap. I’m still me.”
I had met Steve at my new copywriting job, around the corner from the intensive outpatient eating disorder program I had also signed up for. He became one of my first new friends with whom I openly shared the unfurling of years of emotional trauma from a deeply traditional Chinese upbringing filled with rules and constant admonishment. I used Steve’s words to hold me up when I felt like I was falling apart.
God never gives you more than you can handle, I would whisper to myself when I was curled up on the couch of my studio apartment in Santa Monica, praying to myself that I would not go to the bathroom to throw up everything I had just eaten.
God never gives you more than you can handle, I said to myself, when my relationship with new partners fell apart.
God never gives you more than you can handle, I would repeat when I felt so alone in my life and lost in the direction I no longer knew I was meant to take that I almost could not breathe.
But only now, another decade later, I see how the phrasing of those words has a completely different meaning for me.
What was once the root of faith I needed to get through my days has become an invitation into greatness. As I practiced breathing and being, I allowed myself to step fully into adulthood and to stop looking behind me to continue to carry those past impressions into my fresh reality. I learned how to trust my Intuition after so many years of making promises to myself about no longer bingeing and purging that I could not keep.
The more I stepped into my truly wild and authentic self, the more I could define what core values were actually meaningful to ME, rather than what I was taught to believe.
I became a yoga teacher.
I became a Reiki practitioner.
I created a new foundation for my life filled with alignment and flow, by repeatedly asking and answering these questions:
“Do I like this?”
“What do I want in this moment?”
“What is my Soul calling for?”
The more comfort I could find in stillness, the more I also found the courage to boldly go after everything I had ever wanted:
- I moved to Kauai in Hawaii, my dream of all dreams, and six months later, met my future husband.
- Within two weeks of knowing one another, I consciously chose to say “yes” to motherhood and 38 weeks later, we welcomed our daughter into the world on a tiny isle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
- I launched my own business, rooted in all the things I have ever been passionate about: writing, storytelling, mysticism, empowering women to find their voices and be wildly themselves.
Growth and Wild Freedom
Now, when I reflect upon the words, “God never gives you more than you can handle”, I see expansiveness in its meaning. It’s no longer about fortitude as much as it is about stepping into my full potential. Because the more I grow, the more I can handle. As I increase my willingness to be seen for all of me, the more I become a beacon of Light to illuminate the path for others to explore their own sense of being wildly free. And the freer we all are, the more we create our brand of happy to help heal the world. Remember, God never gives you more than you can handle.
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