The super power behind your weakness
Every weakness has a strength, says Suma Varughese, which flashes out when you accept the weakness
In an interview with Satish Gujral carried in Society magazine many years ago, he said something so profound that it has actually seared itself into my memory. He talked about an encounter with the blind writer, Ved Mehta, the only Indian who made it as a writer for the prestigious magazine, The New Yorker. Ved Mehta’s pieces never bore any indication that he was blind, for they were filled with copious visual pictures of the people or places he wrote about.
However, at their meeting, Gujral posed a penetrating question to him. Telling him that the two of them were like convicts in a Spanish prison built like wells, where the sunlight never hit the ground but bounced around, and all sense of space, direction, and time were lost. He says, “Both you and I are the two who escaped and lived to tell it. I am soundless. You are sightless. All we have is this, our outside world. So why are you trying to tell of an outside life which millions of others can do?”
What a phenomenal question! If, instead of trying to write like a sighted man, Ved Mehta had accepted his blindness and given his readers a glimpse of how a blind man perceived and received people and places, he may have elevated himself from a good writer to a great writer. What he had perceived as a weakness was actually a super power, had he used it.
I often share this incident with participants of my writer’s workshop and ask them to examine one of their own weaknesses and find its hidden strength. Yesterday, one of them shared that she had a tendency to overthink and catastrophise even the most innocuous situation. We eventually agreed that the strength of that disposition was an active imagination and the capacity to feel. Another shared that he had an anger issue. On examination, we concluded that anger was the vitality of the life force. Because that anger was being resisted, the vitality did not have the capacity to nourish him.
Most weaknesses have a hidden strength which we are unaware of because we are so busy battling the weakness or compensating for it. Were we to accept the weakness, the strength would flash out.
I always used to think of myself as a poor journalist because journalism’s number one priority is getting one’s facts right. Alas, in my vague, distrait world, facts, numbers, and names floated around mistily and would elude my grasp, no matter how hard I tried.
It was not until my spiritual awakening and my subsequent transition to spiritual journalism in Life Positive that I discovered the secret power behind this fatal flaw. There were not too many facts in spiritual journalism for me to get wrong. And I found myself completely at home in the world of insights, perspectives, and analysis. I soon realised that on the other side of the detail-orientedness, lurked the big-picture mind which saw the whole and which was capable of looking into the distant future and mapping out mankind’s future progress.
I was a big-picture person and a visionary. Pretty soon, I recognised that my job was to lead the world in the direction of the forthcoming Spiritual Age, by helping people live holistically.
Does this mean I have to ignore facts altogether? Not at all. One has to work steadily towards overcoming one’s weakness but that can happen only when we have accepted it. Indeed, I find that facts and figures are appearing more easily at my command. So, do look within and find the hidden strength behind your weakness.
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