I am beginning to realize that my greatest superpower is that I am WEAK. The things that challenge me most in this world are the things that offer me the greatest opportunities to grow, be real, connect with others, and make a difference in this world. For example, I think I could be considered a “highly sensitive” individual. I have an overactive sense of empathy, I feel things very deeply, and my “spirit of offense” can be a temptation that I need to keep tabs on. When I was a young child, I moved homes and schools nine times between the ages of 6 and 14. This gave me the gifts of keen observation, acute listening, and the ability to seek approval from the outside in, since I often found myself sitting on the sidelines, as the “new girl”.
Gradually, I realized that actually everyone is looking from the inside out, from our own unique angles and perspectives of the world, and I developed the muscles to overcome insecurities, move on from lost friendships, and adaptability to new homes, schools and communities. As I have become a “more mature” woman (in my fifties, ha-ha - who says just because you are fifty that makes you mature??), I have begun to realize, through a lot of self-examination (and mistakes, losses, trial and error) and through observing and following (in real life and through the internet via awesome blogs, Instagram accounts, women’s conferences and podcasts) that there is great POWER in simply knowing WHO YOU ARE.
I am many things - a woman, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a writer, a reader, an artist. I am empathetic, sensitive, creative and patient. Yet, at times, I can be judgmental, temperamental, reserved and intolerant. As Sharon shared in her most recent blog post, I am NORMAL. I believe strongly, though, that God made me on purpose, for a purpose. And He knows my most unpleasant weaknesses and temptations and tendencies, and still wants to use the strengths and power that He placed within me to do great things!
Leeana Tankersley, in her book, “Begin Again” talked about how you would assume that a twelve-step program is to help someone overcome a weakness. But in order to succeed in conquering weaknesses, participants are asked to let go to a “higher power”. She said, “Very quickly into these meetings I learned the upside-down wisdom of taking back our strength by acknowledging our powerlessness. It’s absolutely too easy to hide our weakness, compensate for it, even act like it doesn’t exist, and try to show the world the slickest version of ourselves. Many of the tribes we belong to celebrate those of us who can consistently keep ourselves in life’s general Gifted and Talented program, and we can quickly and easily begin to believe that our slickness - our giftedness and talents - is what makes us interesting and worthy.”
So in encouraging you, dear friend, to recognize that you are EMPOWERED (affirmed, validated, authorized, qualified, enabled, warranted) to do great things, I want you to first take a look at where you are weak. There are great clues there, to where you can really have impact and power in this world. You have the power to look at yourself and yes, acknowledge your weaknesses. But you also have a responsibility to learn about the power within you, that was planted by the God of the Universe who knows it ALL, whether in the form of traits, talents, experiences, environment, education, or character. All of it matters, all of it is significant. And when hard things come your way, you are EMPOWERED to take a good look at those challenges as awesome opportunities to learn, grow, dig deep and have even greater impact in this world through how you handle those situations. Victor Frankel, in the book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, says, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing. The last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Your empowerment is found in being aware of Who made you, trusting that He is good, and knows ALL of the big picture, far beyond anything you can see from your tiny vantage point, and in trusting that if you just acknowledge what makes you unique, whether it be considered a “weakness” or a “strength”, you are demonstrating trust in something greater than you. To choose your attitude, your perspective, your action steps, based on faith that every single part of you is significant and impactful, is to be free to choose your way toward empowerment. You are QUALIFIED to do amazing things!! Let’s go, ladies, rock on!!