It isn’t a superpower unless you can use it for evil ~ recently heard on a podcast…and made me laugh!!
This week we are diving and dwelling into the truth that we are not
always perfect. We stumble and fall flat
on our face with a splat. Rather than
deny or dismiss this, what if we embraced and celebrated this
grace-filled human-sized reality?
To be clear, I am channeling my inner Brene Brown who writes
extensively about vulnerability, to acknowledge our weaknesses (or I prefer the
word, “humanness”). One of the ways that
we can gently and gracefully do this ~ rather than rush to beat ourselves up or
harshly judge ourselves as not measuring up ~ is to start with a gift we
have. We start with an affirmation.
For example, I am someone who deeply desires to do things well. I recognize that nothing is ever perfect, but
I want to avoid possible pitfalls, especially if I fell in that pit the last
time I went down this path. This can
lead to pouring equal amounts of energy into all tasks. Therein is the shadow side of my recovering
perfectionistic ways. It is good to work
hard, but sometimes my hard work is fueled by some anxiety and busyness for the
sake of looking busy. It is a modern-day
addiction to hurrying, to seem so needed and necessary that our calendars don’t
have any blank space. Until our bodies
give out or we burn out or days go by in a blur.
Today, I invite you to take a piece of paper. On the left side list five traits of yourself
you see as strengths. This could be
gifts such as creativity or curiosity or love of learning or honesty or
enthusiasm or kindness or equity/justice or forgiveness. If you are unsure, look at Galatians 5:22-23
for the fruits of the spirit to see which one causes your soul to stir. Or go online to viacharacter.org for an
online test to discover a few of your strengths.
Then, celebrate those strengths ~ name a time recently when that
strength was a superpower for you.
Next, is there a time that strength was a liability? When maybe this strength wasn’t exactly
helpful? For example, being curious is
fantastic…but can sometimes cause us endlessly to search rather than have
moments of contentment or we keep coming up with more questions. Or we can fall into analysis paralysis, where
nothing seems quite right. The more specific
a situation you can describe and define, the better.
Remember, every light casts a shadow somewhere ~ that doesn’t
mean the light should be extinguished!
Knowing the shadow helps us recognize where we might not be as aware or
open or awake as we think we are. This
is okay, it means you are alive and still finding ways to grow. May this exercise today bless you and remind
you that nothing ~ not even our shadow sides ~ separate you from God. Amen.