Do we really have character flaws? I don’t think so. I prefer to coin them as behavioral flaws. Specifically, learned behaviors. Generally speaking, some of our behaviors are developed by mirroring
what we witness in our youth, and others we develop when faced with various circumstances throughout life in an attempt to self-protect.
As defined by Wikipedia, a character flaw is, “the creation and criticism of fictional works, a character flaw is a limitation, imperfection, problem, phobia, or deficiency present in a character who may be otherwise very functional. The flaw can be a problem that directly affects the character’s actions and abilities, such as a violent temper.
Alternatively, it can be a simple foible or personality defect, which affects the character’s motives and social interactions, but little else.”
On the other end of the spectrum, a behavioral flaw (abnormality) is defined as, ” in the vivid sense of something deviating from the normal or differing from the typical (such as an aberration), is a subjectively
defined behavioral characteristic, assigned to those with rare or dysfunctional conditions.” I don’t know about you, but my life is plagued with bouts of dysfunction and trauma.
The controversial word for me is “fictional.” Life is not fictional. I am not fictional. I am real. I am alive. I am living, and I am struggling. Not every day mind you, but life is a struggle. I believe the ultimate goal would be to find ourselves full of peace and contentment as evening’s slumberous escape approaches. No, if I were fictional, that which I could create, the story of my life would read very differently. I guess it would be the “white picket fence” version. But that’s not reality, is it?
White picket fence lives are anything but normal. I would gander to say you could spend a lifetime searching for a bona fide example of such only to find your efforts were merely in vain. If white picket fence
lives were reality, there would be no Hollywood. Seriously, how exciting would a movie be if it were sappy sweet and had no conflict? No romantic ending or tragedy to triumph? Unfortunately, that would be a rather boring cinematic experience. Yet when we find ourselves in the midst of real-life tragedy, triumph is the least of our immediate focus. I would consider survival to be at the forefront of our thoughts, and it is amid the survival mode that our behavioral flaws generally cement themselves to the very core of our being.
In March of 2010, I came to realize that I’m up to my neck in concrete, aka behavioral flaws. Shall I continue to sink, or will I identify a giant sledge hammer and begin to break down this solid wall of cement that has fictitiously protected me for so long?
In the coming weeks, months, years….whatever it takes, I’ve decided to filet myself to you, the reader, as my emotional journey toward identifying, admitting, and addressing my behavioral flaws unfold.
Several of my very personal, life issues will be gut-wrenching to revisit, but I realize there is no way to truly move forward in becoming the woman God intends for me to be unless I am willing to do the work.
If you are a woman who has been a victim of parental abandonment and struggle with abandonment issues and/or self-worth, survived molestation by a family member or church leader, domestic violence,
rape, divorce, undergone an abortion, continually find yourself emotionally detached and afraid of being hurt, been promiscuous, lived a life full of lies and deceit in an attempt to garner love, been
involved with a married man, suffered addiction to mask your feelings, denied yourself the right to feel by stuffing with food, cigarettes, or alcohol, or you find yourself in a constant state of trying to control
nearly every essence of your out-of-control life, then we have something in common. Yes, I’ve survived every one of these tragedies, lifestyles, and deplorable choices and am now faced with the daunting task of dealing with the behavioral flaws that have followed in my effort to self-protect.
What a mess, huh? But the way I look at it, I can choose to dive in and do the work by dealing with the subconscious, negative behaviors that adversely effect my life, or I can continue to swim in a cesspool of fear and disconnect that prevent me from living the abundant life God has given me. With great trepidation and a slice of optimistic anticipation, I am choosing to dive in. I’m not sure I’m ready to swing a sledge hammer just yet, but the pointed end of a pick ax is a start. I invite you to share in my journey, and maybe you, too, will begin to identify then chip away at some of your self-protective,
yet fictitious walls.
The Good News is, You’re Not Alone