I think I mentioned a while ago in this blog (What kind of being does it takes) that I was doing a leadership training of 7 months which started in September and will go through all the way to April. The group of participant is amazing and some of the people in there are already amazing leaders in their community and in the world. This week-end we had a 2 days training in New York. In those training we go deeper into the inquiry of what it is to be a leader and we look at what actions we can take on to express this leadership in reality.
During the week-end, someone told me that she didn’t feel like she has access to me, that I don’t open my heart and don’t share from it. She also saw me being impatient for a second and she was troubled by that and didn’t understand what happened. She said she sees me as someone so evolved that she feels intimidated. I asked her if she thought that because I don’t dramatize everything in my life meant that I was not opening my heart. She said no and she also reminded me of the few times I had confided in her and that she felt privileged. I said isn’t it opening my heart to you? Yes but she didn’t feel she had access to me because I wasn’t really sharing my profound emotions and feelings. And maybe it was because I knew so much more and that was a barrier to really be connected. She also told me that I can be such a contribution to the group because of all the training I already have.
Another person told me that people in the group could be intimidated by me because of all the training I got before and they don’t feel they are equal. I know more and I should be careful and take that into account when I talk to them. I asked him if I was arrogant and disrespectful when I talked to people. Of course not, he answered. Did he feel diminished when I talk to him? No, but sometimes my comments could appear like I know better. I asked again, do I use an arrogant tone when I say those comments. Not at all, he said again. So what is your point? You have to be responsible for how you occur for people, they look up to you.
I had another conversation with someone at the end of the week-end. During that conversation the person said that she was intimidated by me and she reminded me of another time when she came to talk to me and I was closed and not very welcoming at the moment. She also said that what she does with people like that is she avoids them and withhold communication. So she took all her courage and came to talk to me because she didn’t like aggressive people. This person is a coach in our group. She said that she is very committed to the participants in having a great life and she thought that she couldn’t make a difference with me because I was so trained already and knew more than her.
When I came back from the week-end my first reaction was to withdrawn and shut down completely. I would go through the rest of the course getting what I came into it for and do as little damage as I could, not intimidating people. The part of not sharing my heart was being irrelevant since even when I share, people thought that it could be more or look different. At the same time, in each conversation there is something for me to be responsible for. I make them wrong for not seeing me as I am, so I get pissed off when someone is intimidated and walk on eggshell to talk to me. They are totally justified then to believe what they believe about me.
Coming back from the week-end, I spoke to my best friend. This guy knows me inside and out. He knows all about my little tricks to push people away and keep them at a safe distance. So he cut that on the first minute. Whatever you do, don’t change it. It’s working.
My daughter, another wise mind, started to laugh at me when I share that with her. You are so committed to people’s happiness that you are willing to shut down your light to make sure others can shine. Nonsense! Stop being so significant, nobody will die because you worked your ass off to be where you are. People feel threatened by many things and your love is not one of them. And today she sent me this: Only he who bears the burden knows how much it weighs – Arab proverb.
With great respect and love!