I really do not understand what is what people see in me. Most of the people talk really good about me, my personality, and the work that I do. The friends that I’ve made, and to whom I deeply connect, become long-term friends, and some of them have been my friends for more than 30 years. I value relationship, and I believe good relationships and connections help you organize in a better way your community. But these relationships are not superficial, I need to invest time with them, getting to know them, talking, celebrating life, or listen to their harsh moments.
When working in an organization where social justice is part of our daily life, connecting with others in a deep and profound way has to be a lifestyle. The problem is when we let corporate America rule the kind of work we do.
Anyway, getting back to myself, I know that for me building a strong support group in the city I am working is really important because it helps me cope with my on going battle with my demons. At the same time my introvert personally always wants to spent time with my own self, because I need to feed my inner soul as well, friends help, community helps, but at the end I am the only I can fulfill myself. So I go back to the question I asked myself in the first sentence, what is what others see in me, that I cannot see in myself? And why do I need the affirmation of others to believe in my own self? I constant underestimate myself; this is what Henry Nouwen called Self-rejection:
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
For me, they are not the outside voices who area dangerous, instead they are the inner voices of my soul who are the greatest threat for my own growth as a person.
How can I translate what the others are telling me so I can see the value of my own self?
This is my ongoing battle, and inner search, and I know I will keep searching to understand who I am, and where I am heading.