A little secret about me.  That is not too secret.  I talk.  A lot.  I'm a real little chatterbox.

I always have been, ever since I was a child.  One favorite family story:  it's open house day, and my parents come in to my first grade class room.  All the desks are grouped together in islands of 4 or 5 desks.  And then, off to the side, is one solitary desk.  I bring my parents over to that desk, and proudly exclaim, "This is my desk!  I have a visiting problem!".

And so it has always been.

It was something that caused me a great deal of shame as I grew up.  You see, I just couldn't help but talk a lot.  I knew that I talked too much, but I just couldn't stop it.  The words just flowed out of me.  So much so, that in fourth grade, when we had to give ourselves Indian names, the name I came up with was "Babbling Brook".  The teacher agreed.

But still, it was something that I was extremely ashamed of.  I carried a lot of guilt about it, and if people mentioned how much I talked, I was mortified.  Because I knew it was BAD.  It was bad that I should talk so much, obviously I was  social scoundrel.  I was disrespectful to others time and attention.  I was deeply flawed.

As I grew, I learned how to manage it better.  I learned how to tune in to the person I was talking with, and pick up cues that their attention was fading out.  I learned how to bring the conversation back to the other person, to include them, to relate what I was talking about to them.  I learned how to use humor, so that if I talked too much, I could at least be funny or interesting.  And I learned how to acknowledge my excess verbosity, so that others knew that I was fully aware of my inability to shut up.

Then one day the thought struck me:  I have an excess of verbal energy.  And that is they way I like to think of it, for it really is the truth.  In my throat, there is just so much energy, that I just feel compelled to release it through my voice.

And gradually, as I grew up, my feeling of being ashamed lessened.  I knew that my excess talking was just who I was, and  I could only try to make the best of it.  That I could simply focus on being as aware as I could on when I was crossing the boundary of social etiquette.

Now I realize a deeper truth about my excess of verbal energy.  It is part of my purpose.  It is a gift to help me do what I am here to do.  Part of my role here, I have learned, is to be a communicator of knowledge.  And to do that, I need to talk.  A lot.  So there you go.  That excess verbal energy will help me to do all the talking that I need to do. 

My big flaw, my big weakness, is actually a strength that I've been given to help me carry out my purpose.  

Now.  I encourage you to think about YOUR weaknesses, and see how they could actually be your gifts.

Perhaps your self-absorption helps you to deeply learn and reflect on your experiences.  So that you can really examine what your life experience is, to help you grow, or perhaps teach others about the wisdom you've collected.

Perhaps your shyness helps you assess the situation before you jump in.  Or helps you take care of your energy.  Or helps you really learn about others as you focus on them, and keep yourself on mute.

Perhaps your going from thing to thing to thing, not able to stick with anything in the long term, is actually a trait that you need so that you can absorb lots of different experiences that will help you learn and grow.  Perhaps sticking with one thing would actually be a detriment to what you really want to accomplish - because it would limit your learning experience.

So.  Think about that.  For every negative side, there is a positive side.

Find it.