Sometimes there are parts of ourselves we don’t know how to accept – discomfort with a mood disorder or anxiety about taking longer to make a decision than we think is ‘normal’.
What may at first seem to be a weakness is often a unique trait that is part of our identity. The more we can tolerate that discomfort of acknowledging that weakness, the more we can learn about ourselves and, eventually, learn to accept those rejected parts of ourselves. This acceptance can lead us to value these so called defects and differences and see them as strengths. Sometimes what you once saw as a weaknesses can become your own personal superpower.
What does this look like? Sometimes we struggle with a lack of sleep and panic a bit when we feel a more manic mood coming on. What we do with this energy can transform it into a force of good – completing a lot of work very well, providing the best customer support I can with a little extra sparkle, or getting into the zone with a DIY project or latest craft. If we put our excess energy to good use, might this be considered practicing ‘right action’, as best we can?
If you contemplate your options before telling your partner about a decision, are you anxious or cautious? Has taking your time or even waiting a few days before disclosing your thoughts shown you, on occasion, a better option than you first saw? Are you anxious and worried? Or deepening your patience?
Taking time to think and reflect, to focus your energy on positive actions or even showing empathy and compassion, all of these traits can be devalued as unnecessary or find you labelled a ‘bleeding heart’. Turn the mirror gently and we can find new strengths.
What are you uncomfortable with? What secret superpowers do you possess and not yet know about?
Kate Lawton is a social worker providing psychotherapy in downtown Toronto. See the Contact page for availability, rates or to book a free initial session.