February 19, 2020 by Rick

From Strengths – Weaknesses to Gifts + Gaps

The Tesla Model 3 is an amazing electric vehicle, the best-selling electric car in the world. And it sucks as a heavy duty farm tractor. 

It also is a terrible boat. It does not cut wood as well as a chain saw or even a furry beaver. And it can’t make ice cream!!! Jeesh!

The most advanced electric car in the world, that can even (mostly) drive itself on the highway, has a nearly infinite list of weaknesses that overwhelm its strengths in number and magnitude.

You, too?

You may think I’m being silly here. And it’s true! Being silly for a good reason is, after all, one of my strengths.

But my weaknesses? Oh my. I’m a legend!

You see all I have to do is COMPARE MYSELF, and pretty soon I am in the crapper drowning in my perceived weaknesses.

Ugh.

We’ve talked about status before, and the analysis of strengths and weaknesses plays right to that part of our primitive brain. The challenge is that while humans – as a species – can do SO MANY THINGS WELL… no single human can do it all.

What do we call it when one of us can’t do what some other human can? 

We call it a WEAKNESS.

It’s also considered a defect, a flaw, a deficiency, a fault, and an imperfection. Or it’s a failing, shortcoming, inadequacy, lack, weak spot, limitation, blemish, disadvantage, and even a failure.

Wow, we humans can be harsh and judgmental about what we’re not “good at.”

If we’re going to all feel more Emotionally Free, my sense is that changing our viewpoint could help… a lot. Instead of nodding to a few strengths and then taking away self-esteem for all our perceived weaknesses…

What if… we cultivated our Gifts and accepted our Gaps? 

For example… my Mom has a green thumb. She gets along with plants and does amazingly well with them. Mom passed none of this on to me. She has a gift. I have a gap.

If Life required that every single one of us be able to tend plants like my Mom can, then my gap in aptitude and competence would, indeed, be a weakness, threatening my survival.

But this life does NOT require that skill of all of us.

I tend hearts, not turnips and tulips.

I’m even really good at it. It’s a gift. It’s even useful.

I love to tell stories. I can’t memorize (a gap). I can improvise (a gift). So, if you want a unique made-up-in-the-moment story about a duck, a cow, and a pig… or a monster vacuum cleaner… you could tap into my gift for improv. Just don’t ask me to tell the same exact story tomorrow. Gaaaaappppp.

Do you beat yourself up over your gaps? 

Aren’t we taught to? Aren’t we graded in school (and life) based on whether our gifts map against the “standards”?

Where there is emotional suffering, we can know there is not emotional freedom. People suffer from comparisons and putting themselves down. If we could honestly and safely share our gifts and gaps, it would allow for… some amazing Co-Creation! And tolerance! And inclusion!

I have a friend for whom eye contact scatters their brain in a way that makes it hard for them to continue the conversation. This person is kind and loving and caring and smart in a deeply inquisitive way. Their gap is that eye contact doesn’t work for their nervous system while trying to converse.

Yes, there are those that would call this a defect, or even call it rude. They might even demand, “Look me in the eye while I talk to you!”

Perhaps until we’ve loved someone (or are someone) who simply “cannot” do something a “normal person” can do that we get the wake-up that expecting “normal” can be cruel and exclusive.

Here’s my theory…

  • We all have gaps. No one can do everything humanly “possible.”
  • We all have gifts. Some gifts support survival. Others make life more beautiful, rich, and loving.
  • Each of us is a unique combination of gifts and gaps. These gifts and gaps come together in rising and falling, flow and stillness, expression and allowing… in ways unlike anyone else in creation. THAT is worth celebrating! And definitely worthy of respecting and accepting.

We are all part of this Uni-verse = The One Song. It is easy to see the soloist singing and praise her voice. Yet, The One Song would not exist the same way without those in the choir, the beings who wrote the music, the ones who build the cathedral, the ones who tune the piano, and the ones who brought the heart-crafted food.

In this We-Space we share, our gifts rise as the notes of The One Song. Our gaps leave room for others to voice their gifts. And in the ultimate acknowledgement of all our gaps, we pause Together and feel the profound silence that infuses all creation with love and connection.

What are YOUR gifts?

Do you find it difficult to acknowledge them?

Do you jump right into diminishing your gifts by adding what you’re not good at (your gaps)?

Embracing our gifts can be HARD. 

Often times we have been picked on about them, ridiculed, or told not to be so “full of ourselves.” Yet our gifts are core to who we are! Some we were born into. Others we’ve had to work to cultivate.

Our Gaps — the things we’re not good at — are often much louder. 

Gaps tend to activate self-criticism, even self-hate! Yet, everyone has gaps!

And here’s a key:

Growing doesn’t always mean “overcoming our gaps.” 

It can mean simply embracing our gifts and looking for ease and flow… adaptations that work amazingly well for us… and opportunities for co-creation with people whose gifts mesh with our gaps.

Would you like to give your gifts and your gaps a hearty embrace? 

Cathy Vartuli and I recorded a 90-minute workshop with specific exercises and tapping. If Emotional Freedom is precious to you, we invite you to join with us and go through the process. It’s free as our gift.

Navigate to https://www.thrivingnow.com/gifts-and-gaps/

And when you’re done, we’d love for you to leave a comment and share one the of ah-ha’s and an aspect that feels affirming for your life to come. Thanks!

Until next time, I'm Rick at Thrivingnow. What is a gift you want to cultivate and a gap you want to accept… especially one that you’ve beaten yourself up about in the past?

Email me at Rick@EmotionalFreedom.Love. Or visit EmotionalFreedom.Love and leave a comment. Thanks for listening.

 
Share Comments Below
  • Yeah, for a long time I would get a compliment and follow with some “weakness” about myself. “Glad you liked the song. Too bad I can’t memorize it!”

    This work on honoring the gaps has made a difference both in how I respond to others AND my internal experience of my gifts + gaps, too.

    I’m really curious what you notice going forward…

    With love,
    Rick

    Reply

  • Avatar
    Angelsloveyou says:

    Oh wow! I spent so many years feeling guilty because I “failed” at working in an office where I sat checking numbers all day. Or when I typed letters from a boss. I was terrible at it and longed to be outside and free. But wasn’t that what I was supposed to do? After all I was “grown up” and needed to make money. I gave up and took care of my mother and her family. I felt too dumb to be curious about other ways I could succeed.

    I got married and had a baby instead but I felt less than, so much less than. I didn’t feel I could hold a job, I was a loser. I lived in my gap for a long time. During this time I played at writing and had some success but when I got rejections it felt like another “failure” instead of part of what it takes to be a writer. When I found something I was good at, I took classes, created a web page and a newsletter. That was a gift but I had a gap about marketing. So my gift didn’t give me what I’d hoped.

    I am practicing being kinder to myself, letting go of failure thoughts and celebrating my curiosity, sensitivity and sense of humor. I’m glad growing doesn’t mean overcoming my gaps but embracing my gifts. I’m am beginning to enjoy more ease and flow. I am curious about what gifts can come from this ease and flow.

    Great podcast Rick, thank you. I’m looking forward to the 90 minute workshop about this. What a generous gift from you and Cathy.

    Jean

    Reply

    • That’s so beautiful, and feels a lot like my own life!
      I am so appreciating this Sunday morning podcast from Rick each week.

      Reply

      • Thanks Pam! I like the Sunday morning release for the podcast, too, and I’m happy that’s resonating for you. And that we’re feeling the connection to our own life journey’s too.

        Reply

    • “I am practicing being kinder to myself, letting go of failure thoughts and celebrating my curiosity, sensitivity and sense of humor. I’m glad growing doesn’t mean overcoming my gaps but embracing my gifts. I’m am beginning to enjoy more ease and flow. I am curious about what gifts can come from this ease and flow.”

      YES! <3 ~Rick

      Reply

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