Does anyone know what kind of flower this is? I saw it while I was in California this spring for a Gallup CliftonStrengths coaching course. I hadn’t seen one of these before, and it caught my attention as being peculiar and out-of-the-ordinary.
This flower makes me think about how we each have our own unique beauty – and quirkiness, too! Accepting other people, quirkiness and all, allows us to show unconditional love.
One of my friends with Harmony in her Top 5 Strengths Themes has commented more than once how we all have quirks, and says it in such an encouraging and patient way. It makes me feel relieved, as I’m aware of my own quirkiness at times!
This flower inspired me to think about how we can respond well to each other’s differences and oddities:
- Learn about the other person so you can understand them. What is their past or family of origin? What are their CliftonStrengths Themes? Our themes affect how we see the world, feel, think, and behave. They may help explain quirks!
- Accept differences. This is a way of thinking we can all grow in. Most differences have nothing to do with what is right or wrong. It’s an opportunity to grow in patience and see the beauty in variety.
- Remember that we have quirks too. We tend to think more highly of ourselves, and more readily identify the negative in other people. An accurate view of ourselves helps us be humble and grow our love for others.
- All loving relationships require an acceptance of imperfection. Part of being in relationship is an acceptance of the other person’s quirks and weaknesses (while there are times to help each other grow, too). Without this, we would have no healthy relationships with others! This way of thinking spurs us on to welcome the various people God has put in our lives.
- When we feel conflict, it may be that the other person’s quirks simply don’t happen to mesh well with ours. This gives perspective that the irritation isn’t only about the other person; we are part of the relational equation as well. This way of thinking encourages grace for the other person, and is an opportunity for humility and self-control.
With these ways of thinking, we can experience greater understanding, acceptance, humility, welcome, and grace toward the people in our lives. They help us put on love!
Then we can add action to our way of thinking, and live out love in our relationships. This passage helps us consider how to walk as Jesus walked, living a life of love:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ~Colossians 3:12-14
In what relationship have you been aware of another person’s quirks? Which of these ways of thinking would be most helpful?