strengths are not the opposite of weaknesses, and you can’t turn weaknesses into strengths*
When you live a life of obligation, it steals from you your strength. Wisdom allows you to harness your strength.**
For a long time, we’ve been on a journey into our strengths.
We’ve had to negotiate temptations to compromise, demands to go with the flow of what others or the culture demand.
Strengths are more than talents, a weaving together of our abilities and passions and most enriching experiences, laying where we find ourselves in the vitality of the present moment, forgetful of self, at home in our wildness:^
The poet wrote the poem no doubt, but he forgot himself while he wrote it, and we forget him while we read.^^
One of the sad things today is that so many are frightened by the wonder of their own presence. … This identity may be totally at variance with the wild energies that are rising inside their should. Many of us get very afraid and we eventually compromise. We settle for something safe, rather than engaging the danger and the wildness that is in our own hearts.*^
*From Mary Reckmeyer’s Strengths Based Parenting;
**From Erwin McManus’ The Way of the Warrior;
^This doesn’t mean that we cannot learn new things, nor learn from others who have completely different strengths to ours: indeed, these are signs that we are pursuing our strengths rather than our weaknesses;
^^E. M. Forster, quoted in Lewis Hyde’s A Primer for Forgetting;
*^John O’Donohue, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: A Gentle Corrective for the Epidemic of Identity Politics Turning Us on Each Other and on Ourselves.