Friday, October 12, 2007

Strengths That Are Really Weaknesses

When I was young, and knew everything, I was amazing. I had strengths --qualities that I believed were invaluable and important. I was confident and controlled; but the insecurity and desire to be liked still lurked beneath the surface.

Those insecurities have surfaced more as I've gotten older. And as I slowly learn that I know nothing, those strengths of mine are being stripped away to reveal the weakness behind them. Nothing is so painful as to see where one lacks. Especially when one thought it was strength.

For example: I talked a lot. I carried conversation. I had a great ability for speaking that allowed for the makings of new friendships. Now that I'm older, I can see the weakness. I talk for the need to speak about myself. I tend to explain more than necessary; I forget to listen. I am too blunt --almost tactless.
Another example: I had high expectations. For myself and for others. I expected others to rise to the occasion and I didn't settle for less for myself. Now I see that expecting others to conform to my idea of "ideal" is not only unrealistic, it can be unkind. Expecting the best things of myself is a good thing; but thrusting it upon others can be damaging.
Final example: I am vocal. I learn through communication and I do better with the auditory sense. I communicate through sound the best (no surprise, coming from this musician, eh?) and therefore verbally, I am understood. Now I see how my verbal reactions to my children, spouse, and others causes contention, hurt feelings, and even more misunderstandings. Speaking without thinking and reacting in any kind of anger makes our family dynamic weak and unresponsive. I see that this not only damages my heart, but my family's heart as well.

I do not write this to beg for pity. In fact, please don't pity me. I've just been making some realizations (with the help of others) of where I need to improve. Sadly, the list is long. But I know I'm not alone. I'm sure every one, including you, dear reader, have a nice long list of weaknesses. Of course, one should not dwell on weakness, but I find that a healthy dose of realism and reminder can go a long way. Well, in my case, I hope it can. I'll let you know when I know everything again. :)

**Thank you to Mr. Pumpkin Patch Man who found jumper cables for me this morning during the cold wind and freezing rain because my van's battery died while I let #3 watch a movie without the car running while we waited in boredom (because I forgot my book and my cell phone was out of range but luckily #4 slept through it all) for #2's Preschool Field Trip to end...

6 comments:

Rochelleht said...

I think it is good to have these healthy self introspections. As long as it doesn't sink into self-pity or depression. It's sign of maturity and we all go through it. Or at least we should, or we would never grow. Good for you!

brenbot said...

sometimes its hard for me to introspect because it can lead to an overwhelming feeling of failure and depression. i think it takes a lot of courage to be introspective. i am proud of you.

tamrobot said...

I still think the main things you listed are strengths. The positive remarks about your strengths are some of the things I like best about you! I guess like you listed that there could be some negative aspects that kind of go along with any good quality trait, but I definitely wouldn't label them as weaknesses per se, just maybe in need of some fine tuning. :)

Denae said...

I agree with Rochelle, it is good to make lists of ways to improve... that's what life is all about. But love yourself too! We are not perfect!

Amber said...

Some days all I see are strenghts. Others, weaknesses. I think that is why we have humility. :-)

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Wow, sometimes when I read your writing I could swear that you are writing my biography...Awesome job of self-introspection. :)