“Anyone can become angry–that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way–that is not easy.”
~ ARISTOTLE, The Nicomachean Ethics
Background: I participated in a program about a year ago, The Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership. One of my takeaways was a place card which listed the particular techniques that would best suit my leadership skills in order for me to most effectively hone them. There were 5 of them. Here is the fourth.
Part 5 of 5: Enable Others to Act
I have a confession to make, and many of you beloved readers may or may not have already offered this up within the subtle silence of your murmurs and private prayers. Here it is: I just might be inadequate.
Yes, that’s exactly right. I don’t always think I’m a good writer or artist, let alone a legitimate entrepreneur (if there is such a thing, like I need some type of formal accreditation for that). I am also terrified completely of moving cross-country from my lamp-lit apartment in a cold Appalachia to a warm, vibrant southwestern landscape for the many business opportunities awaiting me. I further to add:
I don’t feel qualified.
I question the validity of my Bachelors degree in Fine Arts and Spanish.
I wonder why time and time again about nearly everything under the east coast sun.
I have encountered such difficult, uncomfortable notions about myself, including the assumption that I have to 110% “my best self” in order to be of any use to anyone…including you.
I know, I know. Because you are so brilliant and have such high standards, you see every way that you could be more qualified. You notice every part of your idea that is not perfected yet. While you are waiting to be ready, gathering more experience, sitting on your ideas, our friends referenced in Rule #5 are being anointed industry visionaries, getting raises, and seeing their ideas come to life in the world. They are no more ready than you, and perhaps less. Jump in the sandbox now, and start playing full out. Find out just how ready you are.
~ Tara Sophia Mohr, Rule #6: Question the Voice That Says, “I’m Not Ready Yet” (10 Rules for Brilliant Women)
(Mind you, the aforesaid statement is really a mantra I have taken on for me myself.)
Last week, I was having a conversation in which I brought up the definition of a wounded healer. I found myself describing what this was because, for one thing, I definitely fit the bill for that title. Thinking about what it means to be a wounded healer also fits in line perfectly with the concept of not feeling ready yet. You might have already seen one or two: those struggling to heal from the very things that others are seeking them out for in the first place, the spiritual guides in places of recognizable esteem or authority that have an overt problem that threatens to undermine their very ministry, the absent-minded counselors that neglect self-care which also means neglecting to care for their patients.
I have been looking for some fresh resources to not just aid me but also really facilitate my experience of stepping into a new, healthier skin. In that process, I have had setbacks to say the very least. I have met some people who were on similar journeys towards wholeness, people who I thought were just what the doctor had ordered. I had been eager to walk alongside them only to discover either suddenly, or gradually, that they were actually hindrances (I also say that in the very least). I soon realized that healing is a market–and yes I mean that in a commerce way–and the healing process itself is more or less a figurative networking conference we find ourselves frequently attending. There is where we meet all kinds of people with whom we exchange cards and learn some useful things, but without a doubt we are not destined to make the next big thing happen with everyone we meet there.
Your takeaway from that metaphor: both networking and healing are an investment.
I have had countless appointments with the specialists whose areas of expertise met my immediate needs. I have both leaped out and dragged myself out of bed in a motion to get myself to those resources, a golden, shimmering future keeping me steadfastly pressing on. I did this because somewhere along the way, I realized that it was going to take more than my crossed-fingered prayers and my showing up, but rather a true willpower to make it happen even when all was said and done, when all the “conference” chairs had been figuratively stacked back up and mostly everyone had filed out and finished networking.
It takes getting scarred another time upon another. I volunteer to be the first to vulnerably tell you part of the reason why I am terrified to travel is for the fear of having my wallet stolen again right as I approach the airport en route back to the U.S., or being abandoned in a dark room while laying face down on the floor while I’m blacking out by an unforeseen illness.
There’s nothing like feeling like I’m just starting to pick myself up again when someone’s muddy foot comes stepping down on me. Be it intentionally or not, it never changes the fact that I have to now get myself out of the mud. Yet out of all those experiences, realizations, and epiphanies, none was as strong as this:
I–and only I–must be the one to want my healing.
My fulfilled dreams.
Say this with me: ‘I want these things for me.’
Seriously, say this aloud.
So, you know, I may not be the very best that I could be per se. The fact of the matter, though, is that I am alive here and now. If no one else sees my purpose or is as passionate about my purpose (or even believes that I am worthy of having purpose to begin with!) then I will continue sitting down in the dim light of my modest apartment and continue writing to you until we both realize our ultimatum and truest purpose.
I’m at the “conference,” the healing experience, and I am simultaneously a wounded healer, gravitating towards the resources that I most sense will be the agents to getting me to where I want to be. Subsequently, this has made others gravitate towards me with questions that I cannot answer, questions I am asking myself. Nonetheless, I keep walking and I will continue to share what has worked for me. You want to know something else? Some have called me a leader or courageous for pursuing this. If what I am striving for in my own well-being–if that can enable others to act–then perhaps I am what I am after all; and I don’t think being a wounded healer is such a risky thing to be in that context.
I can only encourage you, too, to humbly yet courageously accept the honor of being who you are, “ready” or not as you may be.
P.S. In what way do you feel you “not ready yet?” Let’s cut through all the frou frou: tell me one way you’re going to DO that one thing you’ve been telling yourself you’re not ready for, and while you’re writing go on ahead and share what that one thing is.
Did you miss the first installments? Get caught up!