Monday, October 1, 2012

Putting It All Out There Today - Please Be Kind

“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses”
 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't want to write this post. I really don't want to air my weaknesses for public viewing. But after the post about figuring out who we are and the one where I proudly proclaimed my strengths, I've kind of boxed myself in. I can't really preach self-awareness and refuse to face my weaknesses. I've been putting off this post, but it's time.

My mouth gets me in trouble - My comfort level with myself and others means that I often speak without thinking. I have embarrassed myself and those I care about. I have offended those I'm speaking to and sometime those I'm speaking about. Being comfortable often short-circuits my filter. I can't tell you how many times I wish I could take back something I've said. I could just write this issue off. I could just say that it's how God made me. I say what I'm thinking - deal with it. But I firmly believe that I must be held responsible for what I say. I've written about how my words matter before. I truly believe that. My personality and my confidence are no excuse for saying something hurtful, thoughtless, or just plain rude. And yet, I do it way too often.

I can't tolerate a lengthy decision process - I can't tell you how many time a quick decision has gotten me in trouble. The time-savings that comes from deciding quickly can be totally offset by a bad decision. In my haste to keep moving, I miss options, alternatives and consequences. I hate backtracking and fixing my mistakes, but my quick decision making sometimes forces me to do just that. And sometimes the wrong decisions are very costly!

I get so focused on a task that I get tunnel-vision - the problem with focus is that it runs right over people. I see the task to be done and not the people involved. I end up bossing everybody around. I put relationships at risk and lose sight of what's really important - people.

So far, the list of my weaknesses has been made up of the dark side of some of my strengths. But this next one does not have any redeeming virtues.

I'm pretty full of myself. Dang, I don't want to admit that to you. I want you to like me. I want you to think I'm a fun girl you want to have a cup of coffee with. This weakness could put your idea of me at risk. But I'm trying to be very real with you. So, yes, I'm pretty wrapped up in me. I like who I am and how I do things. I'm almost always convinced I'm right (if I didn't think I was right, why would I do it that way?). And if you disagree with me, you must be wrong (if I'm sure I'm right, and you disagree, doesn't that have to mean you are wrong?). Wow. I'm really putting it all out there. My pride also makes it really tough for me to be told what to do. And I don't do well with unsolicited opinions either. There is a whole post on that coming. It's a big deal for me.

Whew! I'm feeling a little exposed right now. That was rough. I looked in the mirror and showed you all the things I didn't like.

Why in the world am I doing this? Because I want to inspire you! I want you to look in the mirror and really take inventory. Don't be afraid of your weaknesses. We all have them. Having weaknesses doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't make you any less of a person than anyone else. Everyone, even those who seem to have it all together, has weaknesses.

I would love for you to be able to admit yours to yourself (Does not have to be a public admission - just because I'm willing to air it all for public viewing doesn't mean you have to.) and then realize that they don't define you. You are not only weaknesses. We listed our strengths last week. I want us to have a balanced view of ourselves - good and bad. Then we can move on to being the person God made us to be!

I've got to go eat some Ben and Jerry's. I need to feel better about myself.

Linking up with Covered in Grace


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