Thursday, October 07, 2010

Feelings Ego and Shame

I’m changing jobs. This week the new person arrived who will take my place. She’s wonderful. I’m the one that chose her. But, alas, those reasonable facts did not save me from my baby ego. I was caught off guard by, yes, feelings. Yeah, hum along, “feeeelings, whoa, whoa, whoa feeeelings…”

All of a sudden I was feeling bad because of the comparisons I was making: the staff like her better, volunteers too and she’s smarter, nicer, knows a lot more, even prettier. (Hey, these are Junior High emotions so why not?)

But that’s not the worst of it. Yeah, all that baby girl ego, but the worst of it was that I thought I was alone. I thought that having these feelings was some weak part of me, some unsober part of me, some “What a failure in recovery” part of me.

So I began to, sort of, kind of, tell people what I was feeling and people I spoke to all said, “Oh yeah, of course, I totally get it”. And then they told me stories about their job change and all very similar feelings that they had. These were people in recovery and people NOT in recovery. Men, women, managers, teachers, CEO’s.

So it’s not the feelings; it’s the shame about the feelings. The worst of this was not that I felt sad and insecure and displaced but that I felt so much shame for having those feelings! It was the shame that was my undoing.

This is, I think, why it’s so important to tell someone—some safe person—what is going on in our heads. Because it turns out that human beings—very healthy human beings --have all of these feelings. But I am still learning that.

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