Some years ago, I was venting to my friend Denika about an upside-down relationship. In these moments of extreme frustration and confusion, it really does help when your friends are life coaches by profession. Halfway during my rant, she stopped me.
“Lisa,” she exclaimed in her Bahamian accent, “If you ask somebody for a dollar and they don’t have a dollar to give you, why you keep asking them for a dollar? And then why you mad because they don’t have a dollar to give you?
That ladies and gentlemen was my very first lesson in capacity.
It would take a few more trips on the upside-down relationship rollercoaster before I truly understood that people have different emotional capacities.
We all come to this life with certain strengths and weaknesses. We all have different needs and desires; goals and aspirations. And when we find ourselves connected to people who don’t match our capacity for life, and for love, then things tend to get frustrating. And very quickly.
Peace comes when you realize that you’ve been expecting a teacup to match your gallon-sized pitcher approach to life. It just won’t work. Trust me! I’ve tried! You’ll only grow more frustrated by the tea cup’s lack of ability to engage you. You’re demanding that the person who has no dollar give you a dollar.
Now people’s capacity can increase but that’s a conscious decision and requires a whole lot of healing and what Iyanla Vanzant calls “doing the work.”
Until a person comes to a place where they want to grow, you’ll keep making yourself mad by demanding something of someone who does not have the capacity to fulfill your request.
You’ll have to take a giant step back and see the teacup for what it is—a teacup. It can only hold and give out so much. There’s no reason to be angry with the teacup. You can appreciate it for what it had to offer and give thanks for the role it played in your life. You outgrew the teacup and that’s okay.
You just simply need to connect with other gallon-sized pitchers, or better yet wine barrels!
I encourage you to lovingly release the teacup from trying to fulfill your gallon-sized requests. There are other gallon-sized pitchers waiting to interact with you.
And that ladies and gentlemen is today’s lesson on ca·pac·i·ty.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.