As a child I had many animal companions. My most memorable pet was an orange tabby named Krimpy. My brother named her, if I remember correctly, because her colorings reminded him of a Tastycake Krimpet, the Philadelphia based, butterscotch dessert, or maybe because her legs were crimped. I am not quite sure. It doesn’t matter. Krimpy taught me that a flaw could make you develop strengths you never knew you had.

She was such a sweet cat, smaller than most, the runt of the litter. She had slanted eyes, which displayed a sad appearance. People were attracted to her partly because of her sweetness and because they were astonished by her flaw.

Her front legs were crimped as if she had elbows that were folded towards each other. I had never seen a deformity like this before. Both front legs worked in unison, making one step at a time, and her back legs were higher than the front. She was such an oddity that you couldn’t help but stare, trying in your mind to figure out how she maneuvered so well. Her hind legs were very powerful in order to compensate for the weakness in her front legs. When she sat up on her rear legs, she looked like a kangaroo.

Living on a farm, her official duty was a mouser. It was amazing how she was able to catch mice, between the 2 twisted paws, capturing them in a trap. The poor mice didn’t know what hit them. Maybe the power in her hind legs gave her an advantage that other cats didn’t have.

I was always overprotective of her because she was so small and couldn’t defend herself against larger animals. Her crimped front legs were useless to scratch a larger predator, but she learned to maneuver her paws to catch mice. In this, she was fearless!

I felt a special bond with her, maybe since I saw myself as flawed and defenseless. As a child, my life might have been easier if I had seen the strengths in my weaknesses. At least I wouldn’t have focused on all the characteristics that I perceived as my flaws.

I was shy and withdrawn, never really knowing how to make friends. At least that is how I saw myself. Being a farm girl in the center of encroaching suburban developments, I felt out of step with the more “sophisticated” kids that moved from nearby Philadelphia that attended my school. I never admitted my flaw to my classmates, preferring to hide my shame within the recesses of my mind.

I now recognize what I couldn’t see then, that this flaw of being shy and withdrawn helped me develop a keen sense of observation and compassion, making it possible to empathize and be present when people reveal what they consider their flaws. Like Krimpy, I developed a strength that might not have flourished unless I had this flaw of shyness. Maybe all our real strengths have grown from our flaws. We might just need to allow ourselves some space to honor our flaws as an express lane to personal growth.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Eppolite is a intuitive energy therapist and spiritual counselor. She helps clients transform drama, trauma and chaos into emotional health through drug free energy techniques. She shows clients how to use the power of their chakras and energy field to support them in times of stress. She inspires them to connect to their Wisdom Within to answer questions to the challenges in their lives.

She is the author of a forthcoming book titled From Chaos to Calm: 7 Steps to Finding Your Way Out of Overwhelm and Into Your Life Again.