My Yogi tea bag tells me that I should "share my strengths, not my weaknesses."
I'm not sure I agree with this.
For one thing, I'm a lot more comfortable sharing my weaknesses than my strengths. I have a pathological tendency to share my weaknesses with the world. I can find the negative in any situation, and given half a chance, I'll blurt it out to anyone who will listen. Ask me how I'm doing? "tired" "busy". You'll not get a generic "fine" from me. And when it comes to talking about my own strengths, I somehow find a way to turn even the very best things about me into something negative. It's not that I actually believe these negative things that come out of my mouth, I recognize my strengths and am thankful for them. It's just that something else other than common sense takes over my brain during these encounters, and I have no control over what I say. I'm telling you, its very strange.
So, in terms of general everyday occurances: Yes, I would agree that it's best (and more socially acceptable) to focus on your strengths. Otherwise, you'll just come across as a pessimistic weirdo and people will avoid you.
BUT. In matters of the heart, I fully disagree with the tea bag wisdom. I think that hiding our weaknesses from the people in our lives is a terrible shame. I believe that it's through revealing our weaknesses to one another that we are able to truly connect.
Think back to a time when someone in your life opened up to you and revealed their weakness and vulnerability. Think about how that made you feel... both about that person and about yourself. Did you feel judgemental of that person for not being perfect and strong, or did your heart open just a little bit wider for them? Did you feel closer to them, and honored that they trusted you enough to reveal their true self? That's how I usually feel when someone opens up to me: honored and full of love. I think most of us feel the same.
So why are we so reluctant to share our own vulnerabilities and weaknesses? Why are we so afraid of not being perfect? Why do we deny others that same honor of being helpful and supportive and loving towards us?
We all have strengths and weaknesses. No one can do it all. We need each other. Not only do we need to be aware of our weaknesses and be open and honest about them, we also need to seek out others who are strong where we are weak and vice versa.
So that's what I challenge you to do today: share your weaknesses! Find some unsuspecting soul, and bare your heart to them. Allow someone to be there for you, let them be strong where you are weak.
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2015
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