Embarking on a journey of reading a 700 page book on this lazy morning, with coffee, music, and sunshine, and Tara’s room to give me comfort. I was a bit bruised yesterday. I don’t mind bruises. But this one was more intravenous than evanescent. It’s something I’ve felt for a long time. But never acknowledged. And I am so so so fortunate that I finally did get this direct feedback. Because everyone just beats around the bush. It’s this – I can appear to be too intense to my peers and teams. I know that I am intense. I have a relationship with this intensity that I have come to accept in my life. But if this intensity can overwhelm then it needs to worked upon. It’s my strength because it translates to passion. But it can become a weakness if I don’t balance it.
There is no point in hiding from this feedback. And I am not one of those people who will just say – accept me as I am. Because this is not about me. This is about others. Others that I care about. My actions and emotional/behavioral blind spots can make others feel lesser. And that’s not what I want.
I am still parsing this acceptance. There is nothing more precious than feedback that helps you become better. And that too delivered with such warmth and affection for you and your environment. I know this feedback was given to me before, not in the same way and not by the same person. And at a point when I was likely not ready for it. I am now. And I commit to working on it. How? I am not sure yet. But I like a tough challenge. And this is as tough as it gets. I know if I direct this intensity towards fixing this. I will get the results.
But I was bruised because I know why I am this way, and I cannot change that course of my past. I can’t change why I became this way. My intensity is a result of fear of loss, grit, and loneliness that I started to internalize two decades ago. Ever since I came to this country and started to realize how intensely individualistic this country is. And also how it matches my spirit to a large extent. I realized that I don’t have parents, family, friends, godfathers who will guide me. I knew I have no one to lean on. And so I started to build this self reliance and resilience. And that was force multiplied after I lost my father. My one and only guide!
My intensity is my armor. It’s my shield. I don’t let anything pierce through it. It’s what shows up in my can do spirit. My ability to move mountains when they need to. To challenge norms. All of that is sourced from this intensity. So there is a lot of good that this world gets from my intensity. I just need to be aware of not projecting it on others.
Sigh! Confronting truth is hard. But unlike before I am not hurt. Just a bit bruised. I did not disappoint anyone. I am just seeing the mirror. I relate to this feedback. It’s not a blind spot in entirety but the repercussions of it can be a blind spot and I am being warned.
Humans are so unique. We can hear the same thing from two different people and have such different reactions. All the context and baggage of expectations that we carry in our head and use it to interpret and inform our reactions.