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.

5 comments: said...


terry said...

This is SO TRUE!
My old boss told me I was "tenacious to a fault", but my other boss loved it. Something I learned from that: Strengths and weaknesses (like beauty) are also in the eye of the beholder!

patricia said...

Wow. This post caused an epiphany for me. Thank you. I will take this and run with it in my head for days. Our weaknesses are our strengths overused.

kario said...

Holy cow this spoke to me this morning! Thank you so much!

PS - I want to have lunch with you and your cousin. Please? It sounds like the most healing, grounding, wonderful way to spend part of a day.

3oe4ka said...

We just talked about it yesterday with my daughter! She made a list of her weaknesses and turned them ALL into her strengths. Boy, she was way happy afterwards!