~ Day 11 ~ WEAKNESSES-OR GIFTS? ~ Chapter 9 ~
After sharing a few stories, Cecil writes, " Think about your different strengths and weaknesses. Let's start with the premise that the two terms are opposite sides of the same issue. Your power is also your drawback. "
Cecil goes on to say, "Here's how it works with me. One of my strengths is clarity. When people read my writing, I don't want them to ask, What does that mean? (I didn't say I was perfect at this, but it is something for which I strive.)"
After sharing some further stories about himself, Cecil writes, " I'm extremely transparent--and that's on purpose. Here's a saying I wrote years ago and repeat it regularly: I would rather be disliked for who I am than to be admired for who I'm not."
I think this is another quote to post on the fridge! In my view this quote is the epidemy of not only writing with authenticity, but living authentically as well.
Cecil says, "I write with heart, I've heard that term from editors since the early days of my writing career. And it is a gift."
He goes on to say, "I often tell students, I can teach techniques, but I can't teach heart. I can encourage you to open up, but you must be willing to show your true self on the page."
After sharing some very personal details of his life, Cecil makes this statement. "In everything I've written so far in this book, I've tried to be as open as I know how. Part of that purpose is to urge you to do the same." Cecil asks these questions:
What specific lack or inadequacies do you feel?
What can you do to make those needs your strengths?
What gifts do you have? (All of us have talents.)
What are the weak sides of those gifts?
What weaknesses do you have that you can turn around and
accept as your special abilities?
He goes further to say, "As I examine my talents as a writer, I'm convinced they come out of my weaknesses."
Cecil continues on by writing, "For the past decade, I've learned to value my uniqueness and to lovingly accept the parts of myself that I once ignored or disliked. That's part of my journey toward wholeness."
Truly words of wisdom to live by and truthfully in my opinion, only time can bring about this kind of wisdom. It reminds me of a statement I once heard a well know TV evangelist say, "There is no drive through break through".
In my view, I believe it takes time to mature and learn to embrace our weakness and strengths. I guess we are like aged cheese or fine wine, it just gets better with time!
Cecil shares a heart breaking story of loosing his home to a fire, and the death of a son-in-law in the same tragedy and how people came to help in his time of need. He says of the lesson he learned,
"It helped me convert my need into my strength: If I give to others what I wish to receive from them, I am blessed or edified (or choose your own adjective) by my actions. Something mystical and powerful transpires over a period of time."
He finishes this chapter by saying, "I used my weakness as strength, and in the end, I received the love and affirmation I needed."
" I'll say it stronger. In the Bible you can read the Golden Rule. Jesus said, " Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." That's how your weaknesses become your strengths. What ever you want or need, give it to others."
Sounds to me like the old saying, "have a need, sow a seed." When we give of our time or resources to help others we soon find ourselves being blessed in the process, whether its naturally or supernaturally. I believe it's like a spiritual law, one of grace and mercy.
The Aphorism for this chapter is: "I use my gifts to help others. I also give to others what I want to receive."
Aphorism # 9: " I use my gifts to help others.
I also give to others what I want to receive."