A little gem of a poem, hidden away in one of Cary Tennis's answers in his advice column for Salon:
The way you are now is the way you are loved. Those who love you do not love this other person you wish you were. They do not even know who that person is. The way you are now is the way you are loved.
There is only one person who can be loved as you and it is your job to keep being that person.
You are here to do the one job no one else can do and that job is to fulfill the destiny written on your skin in a place you cannot read without turning inside out. Take several deep breaths. Stop what you are doing.
What is the source of your sadness?
I'm struck by how moved I am by this passage, and how uncomfortable it makes me to think about hitting "Publish," allowing anyone to see just how much it moves me. I know I'm a deeply sentimental person, at times almost overwhelmed by feelings of tenderness, affection and love. And yet despite all the work I've done over the years recognizing that aspect of myself and becoming more comfortable sharing more of it with more people in more settings, it's still a struggle.
It's a struggle in part because at times it feels safer to hide that aspect of my self, and in part because I'm not only a tender, affectionate, loving person--I'm also a snarky, competitive hard-ass. Less so as the years pass and I become more comfortable with my softer side, but still, both dimensions are important to me, and I don't see them as mutually exclusive. And yet I find it difficult to integrate them, and I know that I can gravitate toward one side or another in certain roles or relationships.
As I mentioned while expressing my thanks to the GSB's Class of 2012, I'm proud of my ability to simultaneously support and challenge others, and while I'll never "master" that crucial coaching skill, I believe I've made meaningful progress because I identified it as a personal goal, told people I was working on it, and asked for feedback on how to improve. This past year I've also been working on expressing more of my tenderness and my snarkiness, but perhaps it's time to up the ante.
Thanks, Amy. Photo by Candida Performa. Yay Flickr and Creative Commons.