Befriend Your Flaws!

Work in Progress WM small

 

I don’t know about you, but I had plenty of opportunities to experience my flaws over the last few weeks. I won’t share all of them, but here’s my most public one…

We usually send about 100 Christmas cards every other year. I didn’t get to them last year with all my health upheavals, so this was the year to send them out. I designed our card online and included family updates, news about my health, and joy about the release of my book in July. There was a lot to share, so I decided to order a little bit larger card. After a lot of work and rearranging I got all the text and pictures entered…and pressed SEND!

I usually send one to myself to see how it came out, but I forgot this time. About a week later I started getting a few texts and e-mails from a few old friends…”Greatest Christmas Card Ever…Loved your Big Card…What a Giant Card”. After the third comment I asked a friend of mine I was going to have lunch with to please bring the card with her.

Kim Card 1 smallShe did…and it was HUGE! I didn’t realize how huge it was…4 times the size of a normal card! I was totally embarrassed…and all these thoughts went through my mind.

People are going to think…

~ I’m a total Narcissist

~ I’m trying to get lots of attention

~ What was she thinking?

~ Kim took ‘Go Big or Go Home’ to an extreme!

I know this isn’t a huge deal on the scope of things…but it took me a while to shake my embarrassment at such a silly mistake. After a few days I was able to let it go, and make peace with one of my many flaws.

Kim card 2 small

It did get me to think about how important it is to befriend our flaws. We all have them in varying degrees…it’s impossible to not have them! So what works, and what doesn’t?

What doesn’t work…

~ Being judgmental toward yourself about your mistakes

~ Refusing to see or acknowledge mistakes because it hurts so much

~ Not forgiving yourself for being human

~ Getting lost in the shame and regret

 

What works…

~ Accept that you are human and it takes time to change, even when you are working hard

~ Begin to look on your flaws with compassion and understanding. Use these flaws to get to know yourself better and notice when you are the most vulnerable to making mistakes

~ Realize there are probably contributing factors for the mistake you made, something you missed, or information you didn’t know

~ Treat yourself with the kindness and compassion you would have for another with flaws

~ If this flaw is an ongoing problem, take steps to get help with it

~ If warranted, apologize and try to make things right

~ Turn toward God and accept his grace and mercy

It makes a huge difference when we can balance our response internally after we either make a mistake or regret something we’ve done or not done. Give this a try: Think about a flaw or mistake you made recently. Pause to acknowledge the mistake (truth) and also say something encouraging to yourself (grace), such as:

Yes, I wish I’d acted differently. I’m also using this experience for good in order to grow and learn. I can grant myself grace while still doing what is necessary to right this situation. I’m not perfect, and I don’t need to be. I am lovable and acceptable even when I make mistakes.

Think what a difference it would make in your life if you responded to your flaws this way. We have strengths as well as weaknesses. We succeed as well as fail. This is part of being human. We don’t have to turn on ourselves when we see our flaws. We can value ourselves while at the same time commit to doing what is necessary to either repair any damage we caused or move toward growth in a specific area.

Internal peace does not come from seeing ourselves as strong, without faults, or above making mistakes. Peace of mind comes from accepting our flaws and mistakes, and continuing to mature and grow.

God knows us in all our positives and negatives and loves us completely. He wants to help us, wherever we are. He does not have a bad attitude toward you. He is not surprised by your mistakes and sins. He loves you and wants you to come to him because he wants to be a part of your life every step of the way . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly. He has compassion toward you, and his heart breaks as you suffer and struggle through the difficult parts of life.

So what do you think? How about befriending your flaws this year? Notice what your heart responded to in this post. What words spoke to you? What are some specific ways you can befriend your flaws…and yourself?

I’d love to hear your comments below. Please share with others who might benefit!

Related Post: Use Your Mistakes for Growth!

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