I should make a disclaimer: my character defeats are so common that I'd say everyone has them; but hardly anyone is willing to dig them out and realize them fully.
Then, an unusual thing happened after I accepted my TWO unhealable defeats; which have led to countless experiences of self loathing. I said to myself, "What is the gold I've found in all this muck. What gifts do I have because of the defeats."
Voila: SEVENTEEN gold nuggets, character strengths, mental and emotional resources.
Surprising to me, God was in the defeat column. My human characteristics are in the gold column.
Here is my gold:
- Survival, I adapt as I need to.
- Admitting fear.
- Feeling pain.
- Seeking help.
- Taking responsibility.
- Doing the next chore, taking care of business.
- Leadership, willing to go first.
What astounds me is that some of my qualities which I think are my gold, are what other people think I should quit doing. The extreme importance to me of what others think of me is a by-product of one of the two defeats. So, no wonder I have psychological pain. But now, I have identified my gold and know that I want my gold. Maybe I won't need to feel ashamed of my gold. Further, now that I've admitted that my two defeats are not going away, I can quit trying to fix them and put my energy into mining gold.
This doesn't mean I won't ever be a depressed basket case again. It just means I'll have to keep mining gold from certain future defeat experiences. I don't have to be stuck in self loathing.
This is a different perspective. It should help me to quit following other people's rules in more and more areas of my life; while being more and more sensitive to others as my defenses will relax. I have gold. I know what it is. I know that half my gold is disapproved of. I know that disapproval triggers one of my defeats. OK...so get over it or through it. Wash the mud off and pan it. (I am from California after all, gold rush and all that.)