I am me

At a recent networking event, I was surprised to meet a woman who did not seem to want to network at all, but did seem to want to provide the rest of us with an insight into how challenging life can be when we don’t fit into a certain acceptable “norm”.

What struck me was how brave she was to be stepping into an environment that was totally alien to her with the beliefs that she had that no one would want to know anything about her because she didn’t do anything.  She went on to explain that she is a carer for her disabled child, had a medical condition herself and that she had realised that she was not seeing or talking to other people on a day to day basis and so had decided to come along to the networking event as a first step.

It was painful to watch her flinch and withdraw as another attendee proceeded to tell her that she should be more open and less defensive as she came across as angry and threatening and not open.

The whole interaction reminded me of that saying about us creating exactly what we fear the most; in effect a self-fulfilling prophecy.  She was afraid that people would not be interested in her and so told us directly that we will not be interested in her, which resulted in someone telling her that they were not interested in her.

My experience of her was different to that of my fellow attendee.  I was in awe of her courage, realness, integrity, authenticity and grace.  I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame.  What I saw was what I got.  She put on no airs or graces.  She simply said I  am  me!   That was it.  Pure genius I thought.

When was the last time that you dropped the act, stepped away from the façade that you’re so good at presenting and simply introduced yourself as . . . yourself?

A lesson in humanity I think.

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