DSS Leadership – Assignment 1
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”.
What is really important to me?
Making a difference in people’s lives is important to me. I need there to be a reason for me to be alive. I need there to be a reason for me to wake up in the morning otherwise what’s the point in doing it? What’s the point of struggling to understand and breathe through my grief and the pain and loneliness of mom being dead if everything is meaningless? What’s the point in doing anything if what I do doesn’t matter?
I realize this might be a coping mechanism and a dependency, but this is where I am currently at in life and in my grieving process. I need my life, my energy, my effort to matter and to legitimately make a difference so I have legitimate, almost tangible reason to keep living.
Not regretting my choices and wasting life is also important to me. My decision-making process is very different than what it was three years ago. I do more for myself. I am less of a work-o-halic. I am less of a perfectionist. I evaluate my choices through a lens of “If I were to die tomorrow, would I regret doing or not doing this action. I would regret saying or not saying these words?”
I try to ensure I am living the life I want to be living. I try to ensure I have a clear understanding of my values and priorities. I try to ensure that the ripples I make within my sphere of influence are positive and that I make amends when feelings are hurt. I try to resolve conflict as quickly and as mutually beneficial as possible. No one knows when their time will come and I do not want to leave things unspoken or undone, so I suppose in that regard closure is important to me as well. It’s important to me to go to sleep at night with a sense that I lived life the fullest I was able to that day. It’s important to me that nothing in regards to my relationships or personal wants feels like it was withheld, ignored or avoided because I might not have the chance to change or fix things later.
Is this the life I want to live?
Yes… and as much as I wish I could say otherwise, at the same time, no.
I want my mom to be alive. I don’t think those feelings or thoughts will ever change or go away. If I’m completely honest with myself and the Universe, I’m still just a little girl from a divorced family on the inside who wants to make mommy proud and now that mom isn’t here I’m having to adjust to living for myself. I struggle with feelings of not having a safety net; of not having a home to go back to. I most likely struggle more often than I admit to myself, let alone the outside world and there is a strain and weariness that comes with the feeling of having to be strong all the time for everyone always.
I can say, that though life is different than what I had wanted or expected it to be, I am content with where I am. I’m glad I moved to Nebraska even though several important people in my life did not agree with my choice. I am proud of the person I am turning into and I believe my mom would be, and is proud, of me as well. I, for the first time in three years, actually feel excited about different future events in my life and I wake up looking forward to things and with a sense of purpose more often than not.
I cannot and will not deny that there is a part of me who will always wish that things were just a little bit different than what they are, however, I believe I am living life to the best of my ability in this moment. I recognize that I am still emotionally and spiritually injured. I am still in the process of healing and figuring myself out. I understand it may still be years before I fully reconcile all of these new emotions and insecurities within myself. Maybe my best will improve as time goes on. Maybe I’ll eventually stop looking at life with such an acute awareness of death. All I can do is continue living and see where my journey takes me. I have no ultimate destination in mind and I think for the moment that’s ok. I am learning to live again and right now it feels like I’m where I’m meant to be going in the direction I am meant to go.
What gives passion, meaning, and purpose to my life?
Helping others realize that even when it’s dark and scary and they don’t know how they’re going to make it to the other side or if there is even an “other side” to get to, that they’ll be ok and they’re not alone. I suppose that could be summed up as supporting others; connecting with others. Much like when I played World of Warcraft as a Discipline Priest. I wasn’t the main healer. I wasn’t the main DPS or the tank. I didn’t need the spotlight. More accurately, I didn’t want the spotlight. I wanted to work in the background, supporting the rest of the group and knowing that I helped all of us reach the goal we were working for. I was part of something rather than “being” something. Most of my previous projects in the Computer Animation field and as an instructor were completed in the same mindset. I was part of a group. I was part of an event. I was part of something, which meant I was connected to something larger than myself.
How can I better serve, to make even more of a difference?
I don’t know. I guess that begs the question of do I want to make more of a difference? Maybe I don’t like this question because it makes it feel like what I’m already doing isn’t enough. Or maybe it’s because this question disregards everything I am currently doing.
I know that I want to become a preceptor so I can help train new techs Through training new techs, I would be indirectly helping the patients they interact with, thus increasing my sphere of influence.
I want to be an LPN to broaden my scope within the clinic, allowing me to increase the portion of the workload I am able to take for my team. I want to become an RN for the same reason. I would be better able to “serve” if I were allowed to do more things within the clinic.
Much further into the future, there’s the possibility of becoming an RN instructor; teaching others how to care for and be empathetic to patients. This would be another instance of both directly and indirectly affecting others.
There are so many possibilities and ways that I could do more. Maybe if there had been a question before this one of “What do you currently do to make a difference?” or something along those lines I wouldn’t have such abrasive feelings towards this one.
I do a lot. I want to do more. That doesn’t mean what I do isn’t enough.
How can I live connected to these inner values?
Again, this question is mildly frustrating. It makes it feel as if I’m not currently living connected to these inner values, even though I feel I am. It makes me question if what I am doing is good enough which makes me feel defensive because internally I feel I am doing good enough and I don’t want that inner truth to be questioned or attacked.
In regards to the inner value of purpose: I changed career fields so that every morning I wake up and go to work, I directly affect peoples lives. Without the dialysis treatment I help provide, people’s health and quality of life would be directly impacted. My team will suffer if I don’t show up to work. My patients will suffer if I don’t show up to work. My existence matters. Though I know my existence mattered while I was an instructor, sitting in front of a computer feeling like I was for the most part babysitting, did not give my life the sense of meaning I needed to keep struggling through my own internal battle of “Why? Why wake up? Why show up? The lab could be covered if I wasn’t here.”
On a personal level, I needed things to change and be different because I had changed. I was different. Life was different and could never go back to being the same. I needed my career to reflect that internal change so I changed it. I feel as long as I wake up and continue doing the work I am doing that I am living life in alignment to my value of purpose. My life has meaning and value because I give life, meaning, and value to others.
I’m not sure how to live life more inline to my value of closure more than I already do. I tell the people I love that I love them. I say sorry when I feel I am wrong, or when it is brought to my attention that something I said or did had a negative impact. I try to express my feelings rather than letting things fester under the surface, hidden by my silence. This is something I still need to work on, especially in my personal relationships, but I have come a long way in that regard and I will not be dismissive of my improvement. I try to make sure that things are “right” between me and the people I interact with. I am getting better about asking people the question, “Are we ok?” because I want to take the time and energy to fix it if we’re not.
The last value I feel I wrote about was my sense of purpose in supporting and connecting with others. I feel I do that through my work. I feel I do that at the dojo when I train with the other members. I help them improve and through helping them I help myself. I teach them to try and that their effort is not unnoticed. I teach myself to be patient and to think of something other than myself or my personal gain. I teach myself to care and see the world, the whole world, not just my narrow perspective.
By helping this eight-year-old girl not be timid and shy, I am showing her that it’s ok to be self-confident, to trust herself and that if she does something wrong it’s ok. There is honor in learning. There is honor in trying. I am teaching her that swinging and missing is ok as long as you take the time to regain your stance and try again. I’m teaching her the things I wish I had learned when I was her age because where would I be now if I had? Where would I be, what conflicts could I have avoided or navigated better if I hadn’t struggled so much with self-worth and self-confidence or the fear of failure?
I feel I do a fairly good job of living in accordance to my values. There is always room for improvement, but the defensiveness I felt at the beginning of this question I think stems from being made to question if what I do isn’t enough which may be my own Shadow Beliefs coming to the surface.