Cross my fingers and…
I put my beautiful (albeit, total whack-job) children to bed and we are warm and fed and I feel blessed. I don’t use that word often…(me and deities aren’t really close) and yet that is the word that best describes how I am feeling right now. I am about to step into a role at work where I will be connecting directly with people who are living in poverty and I know that if I don’t check my head now, I may (most likely) fuck up and behave like an ass…like a privileged ass.
How do you stop yourself from being an ass? I actually have this little trick to prevent myself from overstepping… when I feel like I may say something that is wrong, or inappropriate, or over the top…
I cross my fingers and (hope to die) remind myself to shut-up.
I think I know, and can almost pinpoint the moment when I started doing this…censoring myself…it was the height of my low. When I felt the least congruent with my Self. I recall vividly being told that I put people off, that when I spoke my mind, I upset people.
If this was the first time I had heard this then perhaps I may have sloughed it off, however my entire life, in one way or another, I have been told that I talk too much. So in that moment, as an adult, who felt more like a child than ever before, I developed a strategy to ensure I would stay in check and not overstep…fingers crossed.
Now that may sound a bit harsh…the reality is I do like to talk and at there was time in my life when all of my value was placed outside of myself and I could not exist until someone recognized how hard I worked to please everyone.
I did talk a lot and listened very little.
And the day came that I decided to no longer be the person who had to cross her fingers (and hope) that she didn’t say the wrong thing, the offensive thing, the end friendships forever (that totally happened) thing. Although the decision was fairly quick, the process was long and arduous. I had to first take responsibility for who I was, my behaviour and everything I ever said…fuck! I then had to work at caring less about what people thought about me and MORE about what I thought about myself…(umm toughest part ever…I did some introspective shit!!)
At the end (I say end, but really…it’s a journey, there is no real end) I found enough love for myself, so that in those insecure moments, I did not feel compelled to talk about myself, or make every person’s problem about me,
I could stop…stop…and truly listen.
Recently a friend and colleague said to me…
“You know how you always respond to people’s problems by never trying to solve it, and always end up just telling a story…You know how you share something about yourself that resonates with the person who has the problem and then they connect with what you said and figure out their own shit…that’s awesome…BUT…What do you do when they don’t want to hear about you?”
It was an interesting question and observation. As someone who has crossed her fingers (and hoped to die) thousands of times, I now find that I am very conscious of how and when I share myself.
The nature of my J.O.B., and to be closer to the truth the nature of my being, is to attract people who are going through shit and need a coach to listen, redirect and alter their perspective, so that they can solve their own problems.
The key is knowing the difference between people I attract, (who are like me), people looking for what I have and people who just happen to be within earshot.
What I said to her was this…
“Those that I resonate with, see where I am coming from, feel a connection with what I am saying and lean in. When that happens, I lean in too. Many people, who just happen to be in my office, are not looking for my brand of salvation and I know that when they don’t lean in.When that happens I back off and give them their paperwork, share the basic resources I have and send them on their way. It is not my job to fix or save anyone.”
She, as a helping professional, struggled with that, as many do.
“But, but, but I have the resources, the knowledge, the tools to help them…if they would just…”
“There is no fixing, no saving, no advice giving and no sorting people out…”
...totally check him out…he gives a new meaning to the word genius!
There is only being…be yourself, be your BEST self and you will attract others who wish to be their best selves too!
What I know to be true is that when a person is ready to heal, to solve their problem, to fix themselves their coach will appear…it may be me… maybe not. If it is, I will lean in, give all that I have and use every once of energy to hold space for them as they work through what has been holding them back.
I feel privileged…
cross my fingers I won’t make an ass out of myself!
Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. I share myself with you every week because I know that we are all in this together…I am so grateful for this community of amazing people. Living my REAL Life has been a dream I didn’t know I had my entire life, and you, yes you, helped make my dream come true. I hope I can do the same for you my friend.