The Bliss Blog

This past week, I had the opportunity to encounter a persona who developed in childhood. I call her ‘the shining star’. She loved, loved, loved being in the spotlight, partly since she was so much of the time. Adults used the word ‘precocious’ to describe her. In many ways, she felt she needed to be a miniature adult to meet expectations that were not actually stated, but assumed. She didn’t feel she had to earn approval. She just didn’t want to lose it.

She peeked her head around the corner as I had two experiences that called her to action. The first was when an article I had sent in for another publication got returned for major editing. Ooopps. That throwback part of myself felt as if she herself had gotten thrown back and smacked down, even though the editor made specific suggestions for change and was perfectly professional about it. The second was when a colleague had sent me an email asking a question about a specific dynamic that occurs in the addiction field. Reading the message too quickly, I thought she was suggesting that I write an article about it and I responded as if that was the case. It turns out that she was just wanted my input so she could write the article. My immediate reaction was that I had made an assumption and stepped on her toes as a result. Gulp. I felt like I had developed a case of ‘center-of-the-universe-I-tis,’ and that it was all about me. I immediately emailed her back and apologized for my error. Her laughing return message told me that she wasn’t offended and didn’t want to put to much on my plate!

Later that day, I called two trusted advisors and did what I call a ‘sanity check, ‘questioning my perception of each of these scenarios. Both assured me that I was quite sane… good to know. The other bits of feedback had to do with my need to be the shining star, the go to person, the one with all the answers whose plate can be filled to overflowing with responsibilities to prove that I could carry it without dropping it all and having a big mess clatter to and splatter on the floor. The secondary aspect is my fear of disappointing and letting people down. That related more to the initial encounter. Lastly, what came up was the need to sloooow down my thoughts, speech and actions so that I don’t miss valuable communication. I read recently a word that resonated:  ‘rushaholism,’ which indicates an addiction to zooming about. Even as I have slowed my pace since the heart attack a year ago, I still notice a tendency to move at such a pace that I create a whirlwind around me. I become impatient when my fingers can’t keep up with my thoughts as I type articles. That mood doesn’t lend itself to creativity.

I have also notice a tendency to want to finish what I am doing so I can move on to the next thing, rather than engage fully in the task before me. I miss out on so much by doing that.

As I am preparing for a much needed vacation in Jamaica next week, I am gearing down rather than up. I am learning that I was born a shining star with no need to prove it.






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