Thursday, June 6, 2013
To a Fault
I had breakfast this morning with one of my favorite cousins. I am blessed to have MANY favorite cousins, but this is the one I go to for matters of the soul. We spoke of the Celtic Sacred Art of Living and Dying, of mindfulness practices, of touching with gentle awareness our own repetitive reactions to the same old %#@*, and how we've both come to embrace the concept that our weaknesses are our strengths overused.
All day as I tended to the repetitive, never-ending, mindless-yet-good-for-mindfulness activities AKA housework (think: company coming), I worked on that notion, until I finally had a lightbulb moment when I realized that's what the expression, "... to a fault" means. "He's nice to a fault." "She's generous to a fault." "He's humble to a fault." You get the idea. We are all "to a fault" something(s), and the "fault" part is what bites us in the you-know-what.
I told my cousin that one of my strengths was efficiency, but conversely, when overused, it was a definite weakness. Efficiency, "to a fault" doesn't allow for meandering, it doesn't allow for discovery, it doesn't allow for others with a different speed and approach to collaborate very easily, it doesn't allow for rest, it simply doesn't allow.
Another of my strengths/weaknesses is thoughtfulness. I think of others "to a fault."
I have plenty of other strengths and plenty of other over-used strengths/weaknesses/faults/shadow sides, whatever you want to call them. All we can really do is try to take a step back and watch ourselves, touch with gentle awareness our imperfect selves doing our imperfect best, and offer up for healing that which isn't in balance.