I bumped into one of my favourite colleagues at work yesterday. She’s a thoughtful, sensitive and generous person but takes no rubbish when it comes to respecting her boundaries and not taking on other people’s baggage. She’s also very insightful and I really value the opinions she offers up.
We talked about a get-together we were going to have next week and she said to me “you know Amy, you need to share what’s going on with you – not talk for 5 minutes and then stay quiet for the rest of the time. You need to speak up.”
I told her how difficult I find it to share what’s going on with me, how I feel a type of guilt for having a life that’s happy compared to the difficulties other people have, that I find it hard to share what’s going on for me because it doesn’t seem important.
She said some really interesting things – how the happy news can be a yin to the yang of someone else’s chaotic life, how we all have a place to step forward and be seen, whatever is going on.
And then she made a comment that I was not expecting:
“It’s interesting to me that you’re aware of what’s going on, but that you’re not doing anything about it.”
I felt busted.
She had heard me, seen me and discovered the tender part of me that avoids being seen. In a kind and gentle way she had called me on my bullshit.
There’s no way around what she said – it’s true. I avoid being seen. I wriggle out of the discomfort of stepping forward by being the question asker, the concerned listener, the problem solver.
And since she made this comment, two questions have stayed with me:
- Do I really want to change?
- What would it take to show up and be seen?
These are questions that I’m going to mull over for a while. Because I can’t help but think that life might be full of more possibilities, more opportunities, if I stepped forward and allowed myself to be seen.