My husband and I are opposites in almost every conceivable way. Beyond the obvious male and female distinction, he is impulsive and I am cautious; he likes diagrams and drawings, while I require words. The differences go on and on. As is the case with all humans, we each possess individual strengths and weaknesses. Since moving in together, we have begun to recognize which of the two of us is better at x, while determining when one of us needs help in area y. In a conversation early on, the origins of which neither of us remember, we recalled the following nursery rhyme concerning Jack Sprat and his wife.
Jack Sprat could eat no fat
and his wife could eat no lean
so between the two of them
they licked the platter clean.
Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes
Although this paints Mrs. Sprat in a (very) weird light, Danny and I know that we are in a similar relationship. We recognize that this rhyme highlights the importance of compromise and flowing with what is needed in order to achieve common goals and making the best of shared situations. We have found that we can "lick the platter clean" when we focus on the strengths we each possess. When either of us needs the other's talents, we simply end our statement or request with "Jack Sprat" and it is made clear.
Image Source: Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes.
McLoughlin Brothers: New York. Ca 1900.
Whether at home, on the job, or out, there are times when we all need someone else's expertise. You are not capable of dominating everything you face alone--and that's not an entirely unfortunate reality. Even if you might want to do everything yourself, your talents will be maximized if you can recognize the areas in which you lack and allow yourself to be helped (while allowing others to flourish in their own strengths).
In my opinion, Mr. and Mrs. Sprat's overall message is clear: use what you've got. Identify your best features/ talents/ skills and use them. (It wouldn't hurt to remind yourself of how wonderful you are in the process.) If you determine you need someone's help, don't be ashamed to ask.
Being mindful of your limitations is not only a practice of self-awareness, but also a strength in and of itself. It takes courage to admit you need help--like When Chipotle Knows Your Order. When you are able to identify your talent and work within your limits, only then can you focus on doing your absolute best.
Today's MARCH MINDFULNESS Challenge: Take time to identify your best features, talents, and skills. (And give yourself some love for them!)
In order to see all "March Mindfulness" posts, click on the "March Mindfulness" label at the conclusion of this post.
Labels: March Mindfulness, Mind & Body