Sometimes harsh reality comes and slaps you in the face. The day you had planned gets turned upside down. I had a conversation with a close friend the other day and they pointed out some ways that I had really hurt their feelings. Ugh. It was painful. It was like I'd been looking in a mirror and thought I looked fine and then my friend lovingly turned the lights up and pointed out some things I was missing. Like, wow.
I immediately apologized, and took a bunch of time that day to process. To turn inward and reflect on what had been going on. For me, the first thing that overwhelms me is feeling bad. I just felt so bad.
As I gathered my thoughts and really tried examining my actions I realized that most of what I had done that was hurtful was because I was being an a-hole. Pretty much, just a giant a-hole. But I wasn't intentionally being that way, I promise. It was in times where my greatest strengths were coming out that I had dropped the ball. I am a leader, I'm a dreamer, I'm argumentative, I'm
stubborn of strong conviction, etc. These are mostly things I am thankful for. They are some of what make me, me. Those things generally serve me well and have helped me accomplish a lot in life.
But, in this soul searching I realized that I dropped the ball because I missed the tension. I missed the line I have to walk carefully. Out of my greatest strengths also come my greatest weaknesses. I steam-roll people. I try and be in control all the time. I argue and try to be right (geez, the personal ad just writes itself, right?). It's frustrating at times because I feel like what comes out of me naturally should all just be good and right and not hurt people--HA--it's not. I have to constantly be aware. I have to always look for the tension between being a leader and steam-rolling people to do what I want. The tension between listening to other people and just wanting to do it my way. It's all about the tension.
A friend once told me years ago, that as long as you are aware of the tension you are probably okay and on the right track. It's when you lose perspective of the tension that you should be concerned. Well, I had lost all perspective of the tension. I've got a long way to go.
I am thankful for this friend who had the courage to sit down with me and tell me this. It takes concern and love. It was not easy...in fact, the conversation was painful. But it was real and it hopefully will make me a better person. A better friend. A better leader. I heard someone (Jon Acuff) say recently they judge a person's leadership by how many people they have in their lives that can tell them, "no." I need more people in my life that can say no. That can walk beside me and shine a light and point out what I'm missing....cause I can't do it alone..cause we really are all in this together.