When I was 5 years old my father instructed me to do some training that I wasn't particularly fond of. The details aren't important but you could say that it was an emphasis on my weakness and how to "train it out". I trained every day for at least two hours, but it seemed that I never had enough time for my weakness. Truth be told it wasn't a matter of time, it was a matter of pain. The weaker areas of the body begin screaming in agony after only a few seconds of exercising them. In fact it's so discouraging that the training eventually becomes completely overlooked.
This happens easily because everything else that I continued to practice was always getting better. I spent the next 25 years enjoying and mastering my strengths. It wasn't until about 7 years ago that the master told me all of my strengths were being affected by my weakness. He told me that the only way that I would be able to improve, was by doing the exercises my father told me to do when I was 5 years old!
How does this happen? How do we become so consumed within ourselves that we miss the very thing that is holding us back? Is it because of the pain? Daily we are confronted with things that are far more painful than dealing with our own weakness. No it isn't only because of the unpleasantness of dealing with your flaws. The real problem is that your flaws have a funny way of making you believe they are part of your person. We end up not only accepting our weakness, but defending it as we would a close relative.
Sometimes our weakness hides among our culture, education or even our church. It hides between the tiny false separations that we create for ourselves and our way of life.
The other day I was talking to an older woman who was continually nervous and anxious about everything. Her position at work requires her to get a lot of things done within a timely fashion so it sends her into a continual frenzy. I watched as the nervous energy is misread as rudeness and frustration by all the people she encounters. Her nervous habits make her more forceful when she speaks which tends to make people want to work against her rather than help her. She is too busy to remember to smile and too worried to enjoy the little blessings of her daily life.
"You know that the more that you have to do in a day, the more important it is to relax. It's the same as kung fu. A complex motion must be more relaxed in order to do it correctly." I said to her as she finished cursing out the window at a passing car.
"Foreigners don't understand Chinese culture." She said to me as an attempt to blow me off.
There were a thousand things I could have said to defend my statement, but I felt today wouldn't be a productive attack. I watched her get in fights with 5 different Chinese people in the same day. Her nervous energy was not only attacking her social interaction, but also her body and mind as well. There is no emotion that is not somehow reflected in the body. When you are sad you lower your head putting pressure on your neck, when you are nervous you tense up misplacing the alignment of your joints, when you are scared your heart races and when you are angry it pounds.
All of these actions will slowly affect your internal system causing you to get sick, have body pain, vertebrae misalignment and eventually death. Every negative emotion that we hold on to is not only bad for our day, it is literally killing you. If you stop worrying about getting sick, you will spend a lot less money on medicine.
But instead of dealing with this weakness, she chose to do what I did in my training for so many years and just ignore it. The truth is if you never acknowledge your weakness you have no chance of ever conquering it. There are many places where the weakness will hide itself.
"You just don't understand my sense of humor"
"This is the way Americans talk"
"You don't understand my meaning"
"You're missing the point"
"It's just business"
The phrases that your weakness could hide behind are actually infinite. So before you are able to locate it you must ask yourself a serious question, "Do I want to become better?"
If you are not willing to answer this question, then there is no need in trying to locate your weakness. It will just hide behind some other situation and you will end up blaming those who are trying to help you. But if you truly do wish to overcome this ongoing problem then the best thing to do is close your eyes and ask Jesus to be the strength in your weakness.
Are you too proud to ask for help? Then you have already located your weakness. It's funny how it's so difficult to close your eyes and ask for help when no one is around. Such an easy thing to do, but we can ignore it for our entire lives. That is the funny thing about weaknesses. If you never deal with them, they will always control you. You won't grow out of it!
I eventually started doing the training that my father asked me to do almost 30 years ago. It's funny how I had been ignoring it my whole life and it only took my about 3 weeks to overcome it. Now everything is better and I have gone after my other weaknesses as well. For so long they pretended to be a part of my person and my technique. After one month of effort I feel younger than I ever have. In fact many pains that I thought were growing pains were due to the over balance in my muscles in my body brought on by ignoring this weakness.