April 16, 2008
So, my journey continued. I was completely aware of my actions or non-actions. Some tried to engage me in conversation, some tried to pull the least little bit of information from me. I gave sparingly. I had thought I wasn’t staying, so there was no point in investing, sharing, or even caring. I didn’t doubt they were all good people. We obviously had some important things in common or we wouldn’t have found ourselves together.
Again and again, I had to acknowledge that it was significantly harder to remain anonymous in a smaller group. It also made it much harder to stay aloof. Staying closed up is hard work for me. I have an opinion on everything, and I am prone to offering it without provocation. Still, I pulled myself in pretty tightly, and put up some walls as well. I established boundaries for myself regarding what I would and would not discuss. I really had to work hard at all this. And that should have been a clue.
When it became clear that to me that leaving was not an option, I had an equally hard time opening up. I ended up feeling trapped within the walls I had raised. I had to address each block as if it stood between me and a member of the team. I dealt with some of them, moved the focus to the next one in line, and continued to break down barriers.
There came a startling point when just being friendlier and smiling were no longer effective tools. That is when I noticed the moat. I must have pushed pretty hard to have sent someone so far away from me that I thought we’d never know any more of each other than just our names. I just couldn’t stand that idea. So, I confessed; briefly, not wanting to be overwhelming after having been so withholding.
With another GOD-smack, I was reminded of a lesson that I should have learned a long time ago. Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know what struggles they are facing. If I had paid any attention to anyone other than myself, I surely would have seen it. Not only had others been building walls, too, but it wasn’t only my moat, after all.
Blessedly, neither one of us had to breech it completely alone. Just by talking, we began building a bridge across it. Eventually I expect the channel to dry up, and hopefully, someday, there might even end up being a little garden of friendship there.
Posted by jaselin at April 16, 2008 06:41 AM