In a recent post (Natural Talent) I expressed how each of us have certain natural abilities, and mentioned how those abilities carry certain inherent weaknesses, giving the example, “while rocks are strong, they are not flexible.” At the time of writing I was not able to speak about the “dark side” of my personal talents. However now, in the spirit of being unmasked and unfiltered, I am ready to articulate this snapshot of my life.
Before I continue, I must say, the connection of how our strengths make us susceptible to the various shortfalls we succumb to is by no means an excuse to continue in poor behavior. Quite the opposite is true. Once one is aware of the intricacies of the interconnectedness of their inner-being, then, and only then, can proactive measures be taken to diminish the risk of the further propagation of the poor behaviors and attitudes we execute all too well. That being said, on to the nitty gritties. : )
ENCOURAGEMENT: I am good at speaking words of encouragement, appreciation, and life into people who are in need of such timely words. This requires the ability to communicate in clear concise ways. While clear communication is a good thing, I tend to pervert it with direct, terse communication which can be given and received as cold, heartless, piercing, and attacking. Knowing that, whenever I identify an issue of importance which I desire to passionately speak into, I always run my conversation points across trusted friends who have the gift of smoothing out and making palatable my position. Teamwork makes the dream work. : )
COMPASSION: I have a strong ability to love people, especially the outcasts and downtrodden. A part of my ability to do this is my ability to see/focus on the best of an individual. From the wells of compassion, a heart of passion and lust can easily be drawn. While I would say compassion is my greatest virtue, lust is my greatest vice. Knowing that, I seek to be patient, I seek ways to be alone well, and regularly participate in the practice of self-denial known as fasting.
SYNTHESIS: I have a hunger to learn processes (natural, emotional, relational, systemic, etc.) and the ability to digest and comprehend them in rational, logical, systematic ways that eliminates the fluff and focuses on the heart of the issue. The perversion of synthesis is consumption. This is seen when processes begin to dominate my life, and when I strive to make connections that are unnecessary, becoming absorbed and missing the ever so important “BIG picture.” Consumption also manifest itself through the irritations I experience when people disrupt my planned timeline. Knowing that, I try to be aware of when I am spending too much time or energy on any given issue or topic. After all, “perfect is the enemy of good.” I am also trying to find peace in allowing myself to be interrupted, for it has been said, “The many interruptions we face are not preventing us from living our life, they are our life.”
Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I have said. While the above mentioned is by no means an exhaustive list, it is an honest representation of my dark side. What is the dark side of your talents? How do your short comings compliment your areas of strength? How does the knowledge of this affect your life? This is a good topic to solicit follow up conversations because it is far too deep of one to fully do justice with a mere post. To conclude, if you are struggling to identify what your talents and strengths are, maybe a way of discovering them can be found in analyzing the things you are terrible at, and exploring their opposites.
Unmasked & Unfiltered