Being me

Recently someone told me, “She has great personal integrity – you can trust her to mean what she says” I was glad to hear it, and it got me thinking. I hope that I could be described the same way, that my friends would say that about me. There was a time when I would have been sure about it, but these days it’s more work than I’d like to admit.

Growing up I learned to be “brutally honest,” until I realized that sometimes that meant being mean (thanks for good old family training). And then I swung in the other direction and kept things as close as possible to protect the other person. I went back and forth between the two over the years and gradually shortened the arc until I felt like I was reasonably healthy. I still tended to be more open and straight forward than some people expected, but I understood when it might be better to just stay quiet.

Somewhere over the course of the last 8 years, though, things changed. I changed. I did everything I could to make it easier on the ex (not blaming, no one ever asked me to do so outright) whenever I could. Of course this meant more things that looked like outbursts out of nowhere to the ex, because eventually some little thing I was hiding, holding, would pop out.

And while I’m not blaming anyone, I will go ahead and not blame MN, either. However, I have to say that I have been told to hold my tongue in one way or another in pretty much every job I’ve ever held here, and seen looks of surprise on people’s faces over and over again over some thing that I said that seemed minor to me.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what other people are thinking, and how what I am saying might affect them. Which kind of almost sounds like a healthy thing, except that I don’t really believe that. I mean, if a client said to me, “Well, I’d like to say this, what if they say that?” it’s extremely unlikely that I would encourage them to keep silent. I don’t believe that we get closer to people by keeping our mouths shut, I really don’t. And I don’t believe that people need to or are even able to read other people’s minds (you know, apart from, like, magic) and that there is no reason to expect others to do so.

I believe that being fully yourself is actually your best bet – which includes having great personal integrity. And I seem to have strayed from that path somehow.

This is me, setting my intention to be as fully myself as I can manage, gently and respectfully.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by pj on June 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    one great thing about you is your ability to communicate You think things through and you do set intention and that is really an important thing for all of us to do. Without it we are flailing around out there.


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