In Ability

Have you ever wondered how you’d get along if you were missing a limb? I have. How would I would manage without a leg or an arm? Should that happen – as it may well have happened with some of my readers – the remedy of a prosthesis is not always a solution. If I were in that circumstance, there would be some things I simply could not do.

Like thousands of others, I would learn to cope. But coping doesn’t replace a lost limb. A part of learning to cope demands an acceptance of a circumstance that cannot be changed. It’s an acceptance of “never,” of “no” and of “not.”

But this kind of acceptance is not without its benefits. I am blessed to have all of my flesh and bone appendages, so how could I possibly know what it’s like to be missing a limb? Well I do. And I am. And so are you.

Over the years I have read books and taken courses, hoping to improve …

…my poor accounting skills: I once took a continuing education course on the subject. It was beyond me, and I eventually dropped the class.

…my proclivity for procrastination: No resource has ever helped me kick the bad habit of putting things off. (Does it say anything that I’m writing this article at the 59th minute of 11th hour of my deadline? It’s like a disability!)

…my inability to organize. My desk is such a mess, I even sort my papers according to how yellowed they have become over time. Nowadays, my staff won’t give me anything in printed form because they know they’ll never see it again.

My list of dis-abilities goes on. I may never overcome them. You see, I am missing some parts… and so are you.

Each of us has a list of things that seem beyond our capabilities. For years I fought to gain competency in the particularly weak areas of my life, but without success. These “inabilities” were maddening until I accepted the fact that I am simply missing those limbs. “Hey!” I said to myself, “That leg you keep wishing you had, Jeffrey? It isn’t there. It isn’t gonna be there, so give it up and move on.”

On the day I accepted my weaknesses as a part of who I am, the sun rose on my new life. This acceptance of figurative “missing limbs” isn’t just a coping mechanism: It’s truth, and I had finally embraced it.

So here’s my thought for you: Don’t just sit there in your handicapped parking space, lamenting a figurative inability. Let it go. It may still be a “never,” a “no,” or a “not,” but that’s just how it is. Give it up and spend your emotional energies strengthening the limbs of your real and unique abilities.


This entry was posted in 1. The Power of Who You Are, 3. The Power of Capacity, 5. The Power of Spirituality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In Ability

  1. Ellen Ruddock says:

    I love it. Love yourself and you can love others. Forgive yourself and you can forgive others. You always have a good message, Jeff. I do enjoy your blogs. My disability is that I wish I were more active, but I still get to exercise class twice a week, and that’s all it’s going to be. Thankfully I can still go to class at 71.


    • Jeffrey Tobin says:

      Ellen, I enjoy thinking about how many lives you’ve touched in those 71 years. You’ve certainly discovered your gifts and utilize them in such a way that any inabilities you may have are fairly invisible to the naked eye. You are such a joy, and you’ve been doing THAT for years and years. The way you use your gifts is infatuating. Hoorah for you…and for us!

  2. Tammy says:

    I absolutely agree, there is always someone out there that is the ying to my yang. I have strengths that other don’t as do they. It’s what makes us unique and marketable. It too took me many trial and errors to realize spending my heartfelt time on what I don’t or can’t do is simply wasted energy and down right depressing. My best partner (in life or work) shines in all the abilities that I don’t. Thanks for the article, perfect time of year to count our blessings.

    • Jeffrey Tobin says:

      Thank you, Tammy, for your insights. We are so attracted to the light where others shine, we can easily miss the brightness in ourselves. It’s a form of jealousy, but personally destructive. I’m so glad you figured this out on your own some time ago. Those are the best lessons!

Leave a Reply to Jeffrey Tobin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2018 Jeffrey Tobin. All Rights Reserved. Website by Geist Creative.