I was talking to a friend recently about family dynamics. She was frustrated because she felt like their communication lacked the depth and awareness she was learning to develop through therapy + personal work

At one point, I mentioned ‘You’re trying to have a glass of water with someone who can only really manage a couple of drops’

Their disconnect was, at least in part, a matter of capacity

And everyone’s capacity is different

Capacity is our nervous system’s ability to hold charge without getting overwhelmed or shutting down

Charge can be both positive + negative. Positive examples are things like a blossoming relationship, more aligned opportunities or money. The negative end might be dealing with confrontation or going against the status quo. It is the systems natural response to novelty, to what is new or different than what we are used to experiencing

The question is, where are we confusing lack of capacity for lack of willingness or choice, in ourselves and in others?

It might be resistance, but it also might be a very real limit in what is physiologically possible for us or others to hold

Understanding the capacity of our nervous system helps us be more compassionate + honest with what is happening, what is possible, and where our growing edge is

Like a muscle, we build stronger capacity by respecting and gently challenging our limits, not by blowing right past them

A stronger nervous system can hold more. More of you, more of others, and more of life