• The Hopefulist

When your flaws serve you

As we continue to focus on mindset, this week we will talk about faith. Having faith will carry you far in this life. But first, you need to figure out a way to love yourself if you haven't been able to do that yet. We are all flawed. There is no such thing as a perfect human. We have all done things that we aren't proud of. We all have something about ourselves that we wish were different. But guess what? Sometimes even those parts of our personality we really want to change can serve a great purpose. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to improve yourself or try to diminish the flaws you don't like. BUT once you realize that even the parts of you you don't like can do some good, you will be easier on yourself.

For example, I wouldn't be living this life I have displayed above in pictures if I wasn't a rash and reactive person. This is a fault that I have gotten better under control, as I should because it rarely serves someone well. But in my case it did and here is my story. My husband and I were living in a condo in Pennsylvania. When people tell you that condo boards are like little dictatorships, believe them. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want regardless of what the community as a whole wants. They can also raise their fees for any reason with nothing more than a notice sent to you in the mail. Even then, they don't have to follow your own rules and you are in for a real battle if you try to fight them. That is part of where my unraveling began.

I was already in a fight with the condo board over a parking spot that I used. I had requested a switch of spots due to the mud overflow that my assigned spot got every time it rained. I had to go through the proper channels with a written request that had to be approved and it was. Fast forward a couple of years and I'm being told I am using the wrong spot and I need to go back to my previous spot. Clearly I'm already on edge with this situation when I my first condo fee notice comes due and it is above the 8% increase I was told was being enacted. Yes, it was in fact 12%. When I told the board of the mistake, they said it wasn't a mistake that it would go up 12%, it was a mistake that the notice said 8%. So, apparently they can say whatever they want in official paperwork and then change it anyway. Was I frustrated? Yes! I was the type of owner I'm sure they wanted to attract to the community. I lived there instead of renting it out. I paid my condo fees on time every month. I kept my property looking nice and didn't cause (much) trouble. I thought the harassment I was going through was exactly why people didn't want to purchase property there.

Because of other actions the condo board took, that are way too long to get into, our property values had dropped at the time about 30-grand over night. We were basically upside down on our mortgage. I didn't think we could sell it without taking a loss. But I was so angry and so wanted to send a message to the condo board that they pushed me far enough to put my unit on the market. We listed it thinking we would never get the offer we needed to break even (and when I say break even, that doesn't account for the 20% down payment that was put down at purchase. That will be lost forever.) Luckily for me I keep a nice house and have a flair for decorating because we actually received an asking price offer on the condo within 5 days. We put the house up for sale to send a message and now we can actually get the heck out of there!

That was when we decided to move to the Jersey Shore full time. We would be renting so we both wanted to see if we could hack the commute back and forth to the Philadelphia area everyday. If it didn't work out then we could move forward with a plan to move closer to work. We both loved living here full time. Within a year we started looking to purchase our own piece of paradise. Another thing I didn't think we would be able to afford but it truly is amazing what you can pull off when you are motivated enough. We found our dream home and are living our happily ever after.

All of this because I was rash and reactive. If the condo board wouldn't have pissed me off to the point of putting our condo on the market, who knows where we would be living right now. Although, I don't recommend counting on your faults for good things to happen, they an actually serve a purpose at times. Like I mentioned earlier, I have gotten a lot better in that respect. But I'm not so hard on myself for some of the traits of my personality that I consider to be flaws. We are always striving to be better. And most of us do get better over time. That's part of the life process. In the words of Maya Angelou...."when we know better, we do better". Let yourself off the hook. You are doing the best you can.

Here is what I want you to do. I want you to take a flaw or fault that you wish you didn't have and look for a situation where that very trait brought something good into your life. And realize that even bad traits aren't always bad. It's Monday already! My favorite day of the week after Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A brand new week full of possibilities and opportunities. How will you use this week? Go do something great. Because I believe you can. I'm cheering you on! Now, go make today...your best day yet!

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