Our weaknesses are the opposite of our strengths, grown in the opposite direction of their inherent goodness.
Character defects and our “flaws” can be so strong, because their effects in us are something like the persistent stretching of a thick, thick rubber band, pulled more and more tightly and stretched more thinly inside us.
It’s an enormous amount of energy that gets trapped in that stretch and pull, until there is a snap. Something inside us seems to just give way,
Sometimes that snap is very destructive, but other times we can navigate that energy back
in the direction of its true nature – a strength that has been perverted into a flaw of our character and our basic nature.
It can bring us back to the truth of our strengths.
Author Pir V. I. Khan writes: “The same pain that can blemish our personality can act as a creative force, burnishing it into an object of delight.”
When I worked in the Federal prison system full of “bad guys,” and they would come to talk with me, I was most impressed with the number of them who had committed crimes influenced by alcohol and drugs.
Alcohol seemed to be worse in its effect than drugs, but there was an astounding association with crime. It is gasoline for the fire of self-hate.
Minus the substance abuse problems, I wondered if many of these men would even have been there.
However, the real point to be made is that as I talked with them, I could always find their inherent goodness. There were few psychotics. There were plenty, though, who were deeply angry, essentially at themselves.
The next time you see behavior that is very negative and offensive, ask yourself what strength of character is its opposite.
Then look at yourself and ask what you dislike most, what you beat up on yourself most about, and the negative that you most notice in other people.
Then ask yourself what strength you have in yourself that is most thwarted, blocked, or submerged, wanting to express itself as the opposite of your self-recrimination.
Using your strengths, coming from your strengths, thinking from your strengths, you simply ask these strengths of yours to tell you what is the good that IS you, what good can come from any situation.
© Dr. William K. Larkin