Cherishing Our Character Defects

When I stepped on this path I was encouraged to write down what I thought were my character defects. Defects? That seemed harsh. I mean, clearly, there were some things that weren’t working in my life, after all, I had gotten myself to a place where I could no longer find a way out on my own, but defects, let me digest that for a moment. When I looked up the definition it said that a character defect was a fault, failing, weakness, I didn’t like that one, flaw, shortcoming and inadequacy, it implies moral and psychological failings, yikes! It took me a while to wrap my head around, what I considered, harsh language, and yet, on the flip side, the words I would have used to describe myself at that moment in my life would have been far harsher than those. Outside of just my ego not wanting to admit I had character defects that there preventing me from having the life I would like, it was realizing that many of them, I may have grown fond of, and, may not be willing to let them go.

We all have behaviors, things we do, that we may realize are probably not the best, but we’ve been using them for so long that they feel comfortable to us, or, we practice them out of habit, not even realizing we’re using them. So the first step for me to making a list of things I use or did that ultimately harmed me, or stood in my way of freedom, was to recognize them for what they were. I started out with pen in hand and began writing down what I thought were bad qualities, still thinking of myself as a horrible person, that pen starting flying across the page as I feverishly started to purge what I thought were the worst of my worst defects. And as I wrote, my ego tried to take some of them back as helpful or tools I needed to protect myself, or keep others in line, that’s where I had to get honest. See, I found myself in a place of complete darkness and despair because my ego and negative thinking had been running the show, I had used those defects to get me right where I was, which was total emptiness, so I had to let go of anything that was not going to contribute to my greater good, every one of them had to go. It helped that I was told to write the positive attribute next to each defect I had written down, that way when I caught myself falling back on old behavior I had a quick reference to the opposite behavior to combat the negative. And I wish I could say that just that alone wiped them all out, it didn’t, I still struggle with some today, 14 years later, but, the point is to be willing to let them go, or change, and focus on practicing contrary action, finding a positive attribute to replace the one that is not working for me, and retraining myself to not romanticize the negative into something I need or want.

We all have things we may know hold us back, keep us from moving forward or build a wall between us or others. We may feel these things are our friends and keep us safe and out of harm’s way, but really they themselves are harming us by not allowing us to engage with others and be our best selves. Look at your behaviors and patterns for what they are, not what you want them to be, and be willing to let the ones go that are holding you back from where you are meant to be. SLAY on!

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you recognize behaviors or patterns in your life that would be labeled as a character defect? What are they? Do you hold on to them knowing you should let them go? Why? What stops you from letting them go? Do you romanticize them? How does this hurt you? How have they prevented you from receiving what you would like in your life? What can you do to change that? Write down the character defects or flaws you see in yourself, not to beat yourself up, to use a tool to change, and next to each one write the positive attribute to the negative, then you have a path to removing the negative and focusing on the positive. It takes work and a willingness to change, but it’s worth it when you begin to make better choices that reflect the light within you.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

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