I’m going to start this blog with a question…
What is your greatest strength?
Sit with your answer for a minute.
Now think about this…
What is the downside to that strength? Does that strength ever turn against you?
Sit with that a minute too.
For me, my greatest strength is my openness. I’m open with everyone I meet, open to the workings of nature, to the workings of life! I fall in love easily. To me life is luscious. I approach it with open arms I mean, holy crap this life thing is fun!
Openness is a pretty good trait to have, but ask my husband and he might tell you otherwise.
According to him I take on too many projects, let people in closer than I should, reveal too much about myself, plus I need lots of refuel time. Being open all the time is exhausting. I’m sitting here writing this from my cozy, dark bedroom, with my toes tucked deep beneath the blankets, because being “out there” in the craziness was too much for me. I’ve spent all day taking in life and I’m so, very exhausted. I know we all go through this, but I have to say if I don’t refuel, my anxiety becomes unmanageable.
I think this is why the people around me call me bipolar. I open up to the world with intense passion, then exhausted and spent I recoil and hide, recharge, then do it all again. For my poor, blessed husband this must be exhausting to watch (Although I secretly think it’s why he likes me!).
My mom has this story she tells about me when I was just about two. I was in the kitchen and had just figured out how to climb a chair all by myself. When I final made it up to the top, I stood, but only for a moment; off balance I feel to the floor. I cried like it was the end of the world, then climbed that chair again and yes, proceeded to fall again. I apparently did this over and over.
My climbing and falling routine is no different than what I do every day of my life. Although it looks fruitless, it’s not. I do it because the joy of climbing and the joy of standing up high are more powerful than the feeling of falling. To this day I choose to keep climbing higher and higher, knowing full well I will occasionally take a plunge. The only difference between then and now is now when I’m down I know it’s not the end of the world. I will eventually get up again, open my arms and swallow the world whole with the same passion and joy I did before, because to me this is the only thing I know. This is who I am!
We are our positives and our negatives. My husband loves boundaries and limits and he is amazing at them. He can watch the world at work from the sidelines and not be swayed by the chaos (can you see what brought us together?) He is a thinker, and controller. He’s got a great head for business and a keen understand for patterns and numbers, but who do you think gets us out of the house? Yep. Me. His greatest strength causes him to protect himself, if you ask me, a little too much.
Now, returning to your greatest strength. Is it also your greatest weakness? Do you have such great control over your life that you find it hard to open up to people? Or do you care so much for others that you forget to care for yourself? Are you such a good “fixer” in your life that you forget that sometimes things are okay left alone. Or are you like me? Does your openness leave you so raw and exposed that you make yourself vulnerable?
Whatever way you live, I think ultimately we’re all just two-year-olds climbing chairs. We’re striving to be better people, demonstrating for the world our amazing skills, but sometimes all that performing gets the better of us and we land on the floor.
Floor-landing is okay. It’s part of the game. We all do it. Never be afraid to love your strengths, but equally so, never be afraid to love your weaknesses. They’re part of what makes you amazing!
Find out about my upcoming book at www.opensoulsbook.com