I’ve known for a long time that some of my greatest strengths also pose as my largest weaknesses.
A big heart can result in loving in such a free and giving way as to forgive anything and everything.
A strong voice can end up causing offense or being overly firm and resolute.
The ability to empathize and understand people can result in self-abandonment if one is unable to draw clear boundaries.
This is the way I’ve perceived many of my strengths, as ones that have the ability or chance to trip me up.
A hazard to be aware of and navigated with care.
Though it makes more sense to flip the script, not because our strengths don’t have a dark side, but because our dark side also contains light.
How about we dance with the darkness, work through the weakness in order to fully embrace and live out our strengths?
I say this for the collective we, but I’m really just talking to myself.
Self-abandonment has been my weakness.
It’s been more comfortable for me to abandon myself, my needs, and my desires if those needs and desires cause another discomfort.
I’ve found more comfort in that discomfort, because of my ability to empathize and understand why people do the things that they do.
So, when someone speaks badly about me, doesn’t show up when they say that they will, lies to me, or mistreats me in some other way I can often have empathy for their why.
I know that the person who spoke badly about me just lost someone close to them and their words are a reflection of their inner space and not really about me.
The person who didn’t show up, I know that they take everything on their shoulders and have a hard time saying no for fear of disappointing others.
That person that lied to me found it too difficult to tell the truth because they thought the truth would hurt me.
When you know and understand a person’s why it is hard to fault them for the bad behavior.
This is my light.
In this is also my darkness.
I’ve neglected drawing boundaries because I’ve so clearly understood someone’s why.
The idea of calling someone out on poor behavior when I know where it comes from can feel wrong.
Instead of viewing this only as a negative, I’ve been striving to find my strength within it.
To demonstrate through my drawing of boundaries and stating of expectations my worth and self-respect.
I can have both empathy and self-respect…
understand someone’s why and not tolerate the behavior.
So, what’s the difference in seeing strength in weakness, versus the oppositive?
For me, it’s the ability to look at my faults, flaws, and areas in which I require and want to grow and actively look for ways in which to improve.
To see the lack of self-respect and boundaries and look for how I’d prefer to respond and react and work to grow that ability, to engage that muscle.
When someone treats me in a manner that is unfair I can say, “I see you, friend, and this is how that action hurt me and I will not tolerate it.”
I deserve the same kind of care, tenderness, and understanding that I extend to others.
This is where I what I will grow out of my darkness.
Your Trusted Friend ❤︎