The Beauty (and Strength) in Our Flaws
A client shared that a warrior awakens within her when her spouse is threatened. She feels a fierceness rise like a sword being unsheathed, and adrenaline fires up each cell in her body.
She saw the warrior as a limitation that gets in the way of being present. Her warrior shuts her listening down, fires up her anger, and she can’t be present even with her spouse in these moments. In fact, she often turns the warrior on herself, and she’s left disempowered and helpless.
An inner warrior - what an amazing display of the genius of human beings! So many biological, intellectual, and psychological responses we have to people and situations - and they all serve to maintain our well-being. Whether it’s the warrior that awakens to fight or the adrenaline to hightail it to safety - we seek to minimize threats. Whether it’s the desire to mate or the desire to eat sugar - we like to satisfy our needs. We’ve inherited these automatic responses to keep us alive and help us thrive.
But my client wasn’t present to that wonder. Most of us aren’t present to the wonder of who we are, especially in those times where self-judgment, frustration, and shame darken our self-perception.
I was speaking with a different client recently, and he’s working to overcome his selfishness in his marriage and in his family. He was really down on himself - disappointed, frustrated, and desperate to break through. Like the warrior, he sees his selfishness as a flaw in his character, something he’s either got to overcome or continue succumbing to.
Every aspect of our being, even the crappy ones, serves some positive purpose. Fear, insecurity, trauma, anger, resentment, selfishness, hopelessness - whatever it is, there’s a good reason for it. What occur as weaknesses may not seem to serve us positively in the moment, but they exist because they serve us somehow. When we get in touch with the value of these emotions, we’re better able to transform them.
You see, as long as we persecute ourselves, we're in a vicious cycle of repeated self-blame and self-shame. That’s exhausting and doesn’t help. We’re then stuck either persecuting ourselves or feeling like we’re the victim of our circumstances, our upbringing, or the people around us. Either way, we’re stuck.
Staying caught in the vicious circle of self-judgment - persecutor and victim - leaves us no wiggle room to experience choice. Finding beauty, appreciation, love, warmth, or acknowledgment for these parts of us gives us that wiggle room to see new opportunities in old ways of being. When we foster appreciation and love for those parts of us that seem unlovable, we give ourselves enough inner quiet to hear the wise whispering from within.
It’s okay that our connection to our innate wholeness and well-being is sometimes obscured by our perceived demons. However, aim to see the beauty inherent in yourself, your mechanisms, and this fascinating and transcendent creature called “human” that we get the privilege to experience.
By the way, there's not just beauty in our weaknesses. There's also strength. I promise - seeing the positive side of our weaknesses is an access to transforming them.
And the better we’re able to give ourselves a little grace even in our worst moments, the better we're able to give others a little grace in theirs.
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️
P.S. If you’re interested in seeing what coaching with me would be like for you, schedule a call and let’s talk!