Alright, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. I think I’ll start with the bad news because it’s nothing you don’t already know.
As much as we’d like to think we are all great and perfect and all… even the kindest of souls has some flaw that needs addressing, yes? If you can’t find your flaw, come over for coffee and I’ll be sure to point it out. It’ll be on the house.
I think I’ve worked on ‘gentleness’ for all of 11 years and I’ve pretty much gotten nowhere with it. It’s frustrating. I genuinely desire to be a more gentle person.
I’ve done all I know to fix and change this problem. I pray and memorize scripture. I seek mentors, I talk it out with the idea that accountability will put me in my place. I read books and listen to podcasts. You name it. And sure, over the years, I’ve matured in areas and am able to demonstrate gentleness, of course. But it’s certainly not natural to me. So I continue to slave away, believing the idea that one day, I may just wake up and be that gentle, southern lady I so admire.
But the truth is that I kinda like love the spitfire in my bones. It doesn’t take but a quick skim of this blog history to see that I’m a “tell it like it is” kind of gal, prophetic problem solver that sees the bigger picture. There is something in there that is a true gift. God gave me a mouth….. soooo…. I guess I’ll use it??
That being said, here is the good news: maybe we don’t need to focus on “fixing” things. What if we had enough self-awareness to simply channel our flaws and respond appropriately when they are our downfall?
To be clear, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t always strive to better ourselves. Absolutely, grow grow grow… learn, educate, refine and be a better version of yourself each new day.
Unfortunately, our flaws can create conflict within relationships so as I’m talking about this, I’m bearing in mind that maybe there is a characteristic that is driving a wedge between you and your fiancé. Perhaps it’s putting a damper on the engagement and wedding planning. Be encouraged, though! A healthy engagement is totally possible.
Just because we can’t change how we are wired doesn’t mean we can’t have healthy relationships. Being aware of our weaknesses can actually be our biggest strength.
I have gone from trying to fit into a mold that isn’t “me”, to owning my snarky- independent self and learning to apply a filter, even when I don’t always get it right. If wanting to claim the same freedom for your life, I would encourage the following:
- Be considerate of others and how they feel when <insert flaw> causes them pain.
- In consideration of others, learn the art of apologizing.
- In further consideration of others, ask those around you what they feel when you demonstrate said flaw and ask them for feedback on alternate responses.
- Give yourself grace. When making a mistake, recognize it and learn from it. You may never “change” but you can always get better. You don’t have to repeat the exact same mistake over and over again.
- Love others when they impose their flaw on you. Give them grace to be humans by acknowledging that we all have bad days.
- Try to recognize when the flaw is active and take a moment to think through the next words and actions. Perhaps a pause can lessen the damage.
- Don’t accept that “it is what it is” but rather, show genuine effort to improve.
Basically, be a person that cares in life. When we make the effort to show empathy, concern and love towards others in our day to day actions, we are less likely to ‘eff’ over the world on the one day we totally crumble and cause problems for everything we touch. I’m not saying that your flaws are okay. I’m just saying that maybe you can offset them with your strengths and in the meantime, do make effort to avoid the same old same old, repeat and offends.