Relationships, Identity, and Learning

Looking back on 30 days of posts, these are the themes that stand out.

Perhaps they also describe well my highest awareness(es) of 2020? 

How do I relate to (literally) everybody, directly and indirectly?  No other year has shown us more clearly how we are all inextricably connected.  One interaction with one other person can infect a whole family or community, make people sick and die.  One exposure affects multiple coworkers and their families, forcing time off, losing hours and income, impacting kids and schools.  Anyone who does not recognize our unbreakable ties right now is either not paying attention or simply in denial.  But beyond this, how do we show up for those around us?  Do I make people’s day net better or worse for having encountered me?  If I die tomorrow, will I have made a positive difference in the short time that I lived?  How does my presence affect any/everything, and how can I make it the best possible?

Who am I?  What defines me?  I think it’s my relationships.  But what is the balance of internal vs external expectations and standards here?  How much do I need people to like me, what does that tell me about who I am, or not?  What does it mean to be my most authentic, Central Self?  What if I’m not perfect?  How much failure is acceptable, especially when it’s repeated?  Am I really an honest person if I continue to deny a truth about myself?  Can I say I have integrity if my actions don’t always align with my professed beliefs?  I define myself by certain core values, which I declare often.  But how well am I really living them?  How could I do better?

How funny that it’s all connected this way.  My relationships show me who I am.  Leadership and doctoring, at which I spend the majority of my waking hours, is all about people.  I am my best when I down-regulate my internal noise and attune to those around me, while also differentiating along my core values and identity.  But I have learned this year that I get emotionally hijacked more often than I like to admit, and my highest, best self takes flight in a nanosecond.  How fascinating!  I’ve walked this path of self-reflection and awareness as long as I can remember, and I’ve come a long way.  And there is still so long to go, so much left to learn, relearn, apply, and master.

Sitting here in reflection, though, I don’t feel distress.  Rather I feel deep gratitude (and also a bit sleepy—maybe I’d be my better self if I went to bed earlier?).  All of this deep thinking, analysis, and writing takes energy.  But it’s not draining.  I have reveled often at how well supported I am in this work—by friendly and unfriendly allies alike.  The challengers teach me the most.  It all fuels me.  So there must be some purpose, right?  Some calling I’m meant to hear and answer, to make this life the best it can be? 

I’ll keep listening and doing my best. 

2 thoughts on “Relationships, Identity, and Learning

  1. Yes!! Growth mindset! We are never “done”.
    Thank you for your words of wisdom and sweet reflection of the reality of connection and striving for a higher purpose.
    Sweet dreams my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

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