What Was That Quote? Shall I Misquote?

It’s NFL football season, and the opener is tomorrow night. I have been waiting anxiously for this day since the last game of the year–last year. The game my team was victorious. The NFL Championship!

Anyway, this time of year, I will check in with Facebook more often to trash talk with my compadres in the Seattle area, to share our joy, and vowing that we will come back when we lose one.

This morning, I came across this quote, among the barrage of others…

Your weirdness will make you stronger

Your dark side will keep you whole

Your vulnerability will connect you to the rest of our suffering world

Your creativity will set you free

There’s nothing wrong with you

-Andrea Balt

Obviously, most of us remember quotes which strike a chord with us. I have a few that I actually remember, and some I will write down for later memorization, or for my sticky notes—because they were wonderfully inspiring words to me.

I have a new favorite…

Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. -Alfred A. Montapert

I have many more, but that one is a goodie.

The posted quote in my news feed, left me scratching my head, and here’s why.

My weirdness has made me stronger. I don’t follow a crowd, I have my own drummer.

I believe my creativity sets me free. It certainly keeps me semi-sane.

There is nothing wrong with me. That’s right, I’m unique.

However….

How does my dark side keep me whole? It’s that side of me I’m working so hard to shine the light on, to make that side disappear. My dark side destroys and creates unrecognizable fragments of me. I’m not the best person I’m capable of being, if I allow the dark side to dictate my actions and make me whole. I’ve been there, and don’t want to return to find out if I missed something. This line in the quote seems preposterous to me. I would rather not have a dark side.

And…wouldn’t it be compassion which connects us with the rest of our suffering world? How does vulnerability play into the equation here? To me, vulnerability creates a hole into my weaknesses. A destroyer of all forward movement. A paralyzing factor, which excludes any thinking beyond my own vulnerabilities. I understand that being vulnerable is part of being human, it kind of goes with anxiety in my mind. Being vulnerable and anxious keeps us from harm unless we allow it to prevent us from being all we can be.

How am I supposed to empathize with other sufferers if I don’t have compassion? Is it the vulnerability which creates the empathy?

Did this Andrea Balt mix the words, was misquoted, or am I too simple minded to understand the meaning?

What am I missing here?

Did you interpret the words differently?

Do I need another cup of coffee?

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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28 Responses to What Was That Quote? Shall I Misquote?

  1. Elouise says:

    Thought-provoking questions! A friend once said to me. ‘People will respect you for your strength. They’ll love you for your vulnerability.’ I think she was inviting me to let my guard down. When I do that, and actually experience my own suffering/neediness it creates a way for other people to connect with me and vice versa. From another angle, sometimes I’m in a power up/power down situation and aware that I’m ‘vulnerable’ to being taken advantage of. No fun, either. But it does help me empathize with what others might be experiencing in their relationship with me or with someone else. My two cents worth!
    Elouise

    • April says:

      I love your two cents, and I understand what you’re saying. We have to be human, which is full of vulnerabilities, in order to understand and have compassion for others who may be suffering. Thanks for making me think beyond my small interpretation. 🙂

  2. aviets says:

    Well, I don’t understand the bit about your dark side keeping you whole. That just sounds like words she stuck in to make herself sound deep. But I agree with the idea that our vulnerabilities help us connect to the rest of the suffering world. I think of some of the truly awful crap I’ve had to deal with in my life, and I know that those experiences make me more empathetic and have more concern for others in a bad situation.

    • April says:

      Your commented prompted me to seek out the coffee. Then I made sure I knew all interpretations of vulnerability. In my mixed up brain, being vulnerable isn’t an option. It makes me afraid….vewry afraid. It’s that hard shell I use to protect myself by avoiding anything uncomfortable. Hmmm….a change may be in order.

  3. reocochran says:

    I think it is so good to include that we have other sides of ourselves. Maybe it is not really ‘dark’ but our thoughts may not always be positive and sunny all the time, right? I guess the quote was a good one for me, who is not particularly in a good mood after leaving my house at 6:30 am and leaving work at 5:30, still at library at 7:30….I think you have covered this quotation in a very vulnerable way, showing us where you feel you would like to have light shone into your darker areas of thoughts, I can see that this doesn’t connect you with the rest of the ‘suffering world,’ but I can see how it makes you easier to understand and helps us to know you better, sort of connecting with our own insecurities… Smiles to you, April! I hope this makes a little sense and appreciate how you opened this up for conversation!

    • April says:

      From all the responses, and reading the quote again, I realize that outwardly, I continue to present myself contained within a ‘bubble’ of protection. I have been knocking it down, but I suppose we never finish growing and learning–thankfully.

  4. suzjones says:

    I would interpret her saying that your dark side makes you whole much like the yin/yang symbol that is half white and half dark. I guess what she may be trying to say is that we all have our dark side and that is part of what makes our whole. Does that makes sense?
    Probably not but I tried. lol

    • April says:

      That does make sense, and I suppose I have a dark side. Like when someone does something stupid, and they get rewarded for their stupidity, I like to secretly laugh at them. 😀 But I do understand, but it was a little deep for me. I still don’t want a dark side to make me whole.

    • Glynis Jolly says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Suzanne. Yin and Yang. You can’t just have a bright side to your existence. I don’t believe it’s possible. There must be a dark side to complete you.

      • April says:

        Ladies, ladies, ladies. How can I be a Pollyanna if I have a dark side? I would rather mine stays in the dark–if you know what I mean. 😀

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Yes, have some coffee. Preferably dark coffee with whole milk. Dark coffee and dark chocolate are the only dark sides of life that I want.

  6. Maddie Stokowski says:

    I would think shared vulnerability can lead to empathy, which can lead to compassion. But you’re right in that this isn’t always what happens when someone is vulnerable.

    • April says:

      Being vulnerable make me want to protect myself. But the more I think about it, I can see where it can lead to compassion of others.

  7. Just a thought as I rush through this morning (sorry for the rushing!)…. The dark side sure makes for a lot of contemplation and consideration. I don’t suffer from depression, but when I have been depressed or in dark places my brain sure does kick in with thoughts and compassions and understanding of others. I think vulnerability does the same thing. We are vulnerable for many reasons, one of the reasons being we are compassionate. We are emotional. This is really something to contemplate. Great questions and ponderings April.

    • April says:

      I agree. That dark place has helped me understand more about others, but I don’t want it there. I want to be happy and – well happy all the time with a shiny personality and no darkness. I’m also understanding the vulnerability part as well. Merriam-Webster was of great help. 😀

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