The Gift of Our Faults
Updated: Nov 1, 2021
by Sue Skavlem
"Meg, I give you your faults." – A Wrinkle in Time
An Unexpected Gift
Traditionally in stories, heroes are given gifts, wishes, or companions before setting out on an adventure or quest.
But in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle - the heroine's guide gives her an unexpected gift as she sets off to rescue her father. She is not given a magic sword, or courage… no.
She's gifted with her own faults.
What Are Faults/Failings?
There comes a point or a time in our lives (usually as a kid/early adult) that someone says "You're too XYZ!" (noisy, bossy, shy, headstrong, much).
And so, we learn to label those pieces of ourselves as BAD.
Hear me out. There are some parts of us that can hurt other people, or cause destruction in relationships. And if you're a person who cares about others, most likely, you've taken those pieces of you that have been labeled as BAD and tried to minimize, quiet, or erase them.
But what if you needed all those pieces to survive?
What if they were able to help you grow into who you're supposed to be in your life and in your career?
What if your faults were just a matter of context?
The Context Theory
The Context Theory is that every part of us is given to us for a reason. Even the parts of our personality that people say are too much or problematic.
There’s a time and a place that those pieces of ourselves are needed:
Angry = Passionate
High Energy = Engaging
Distractable = Starter
Stubborn = Tenacious
Loud = Messenger
Bossy = Instigator/change maker
Calculating = Strategic
Cautious = Good at contingencies
Flaky = Adaptable
Pushover = Easy going
Impatient = Good at efficiencies
Each of our failings can be seen as a gift - if we learn how to use it instead of fear it.
What are some of the faults you had as a kid/early adult, that turned out to be an asset as you grow into your career/life?
Unveiling the Gift of Our Faults
At what point in your life did you decide you like yourself? Like even your wrinkles and imperfect body. And doubting soul? And distractable intensity that confuses most people?
I think for me, it took a year of intentionally getting to know myself (by introspection, travel, and friendships). Here were my 5 practices for Getting to Know myself:
Get To Know Yourself (Including Your Faults)
I journaled every day.
I made peace with my monsters.
I learned not to be afraid of being lonely.
I chose friendships that supported not competed. I celebrated their wins and felt their hardships.
I invested in interesting things instead of comfort things. Filling a passport and my mind with new experiences – seeing how I fit in the world.
Find New Jobs For Your Faults
I found that some high-energy parts of me that were inappropriate in a bank boardroom – were just what I needed to cross cultures.
And I found that my anger that was deemed too much for my gender, or stoic community – was just waiting to fuel passion projects if I saved it up for the right timing.
And I found that my inner critic was waiting to be put to use on something other than my faults – I've since hired her for project planning, and design critiques – as long as she leaves me alone while I'm in the middle of making, dreaming, or becoming.
Fire Isn't Bad or Good
You see, fire isn't always bad or good. It depends on context.
If it's in a hearth, it's warming. If it's a campfire, it brings people together. It can be used to create or destroy.
I firmly believe that every part of us is a gift. Every flaw can be loved, because it may be an undiscovered fire.
But how will you know unless you make a safe place in your life and heart to discover its use?
Meet The Author
Sue from Skavlem Designs
When I make a design, I think – What can this do?
These designs don’t just exist. These designs DO. They work hard alongside you and your business. These designs are levers. They are sales. They are engaged customers. They are brand recognition that gets you that meeting.
Top 3 things I love to do: Read. Paint. Snowboard.