topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, January 12, 2007

Perceptions and Realities

I've been absorbing some stuff for the past few days. I'm still feeling slightly unsteady inside but I know it will pass.

Back on New Year's I mentioned how my intention is to make my inner peace and my external self congruent. I guess that learning process has started. This may prove to be an interesting road.

A few days ago we had performance reviews at work. In this company, part of the review process entails peer review. The bottom line is that you get reviewed on your work, but also on everyone's perception of you. I am used to being a high performer and I did get a very good review. But the truth is that I do not do corporate politics. And unfortunately they're necessary to advance. I do have a direct nature, and I am quiet but usually very friendly. Most of the feedback I got was extremely positive, but some of the negative stuff I found to be very suprising as it's actually quite far off the truth. But I do understand why the perceptions are as they are, and part of that has been my job role and that I haven't had the opportunity to be visible in certain areas. My manager basically summed up my review as being 80% to the next level except for the social schmooze factor.

And the truth is that I am also in a new environment where people don't really know me. I've come through a hell of a lot of change in the past year, and I do think I've done a damn good job of it all. I do not want or expect my co-workers to see or even know about all of it. The truth is that none of them could ever know or understand exactly what I have been through this year. As with everything else, in order to balance everything this year I just do my best. I am carrying a lot of weight. I have been through massive adjustments. Only I can see exactly how well I have handled all of the stress.

The truth is that the social schmooze thing has never been a strong point for me. I am the kind of person who has a few really good friends. I am not a large-scale social person. I hate large parties. Throughout my life I have always been different from everyone around me. And that is something that I am ok with, in fact, glad of. But it does come with a price of being misunderstood. If I am calm, people think I am sad and moody. If I am lively, people think I'm stressed out and high-strung. Also, I am an artist working with financial markets people. There's a big gap right there. My spiritual perspective, I know for a fact, also stands me apart. They don't (and shouldn't) see it, but I do. And I don't know how to say that wthout it having perhaps negative connotations, but it's just true, not a judgement. That doesn't make me or them any better or worse, just different.

Intelligence and personality tests rank me in a very small percentage of the population as well.

The point of all this is that I need to learn how to better understand/be aware of/manage perceptions. Not that those perceptions are bad, but there are certain things I would like to, I guess for lack of a better word, emanate. I also have to wonder how those perceptions would be different if I was a man, because I do have a lot of outwardly male personality traits. And often others don't like to see that in a woman. So what would be perceved as ok for a man is not as ok for a woman.

As an example of something I would like to emanate, I would like to be seen as someone who is kind. Which I generally am. My shadow to that is irritation.

When I was with the X there seemed to be a lot of pressure to be a "correct" spiritual way. For example, being a "peoples' person". Which I'm not, though sometimes I would like to be. It's an interesting paradox, that I'm not really a people person, though I do have a deeply compassionate heart and I enjoy helping people. So I'm learning that my nature doesn't need to be changed in order to be aligned with god. But my ultimate goal is to be a being that emanates pure love to everyone.

The other thing that I know to be true is that we all see ourselves in each other. So, I cannot expect people to see me (or anyone else for that matter) clearly because they are looking through a lense clouded by their own stored pain, issues, self image, insecurities, etc. We can only see ourselves and others to the level of our own understanding. That's just how it is.

What really turns me off though, is petty meanness. People lie all the time. They are false. About things they don't need to lie about, even. My sister and I were talking about this very thing, because one of my perhaps weak points or naivety is that I don't notice it because I am not like that. She is not either, so she understands. I very, very rarely-to-never tell a lie. I prefer dealing with honesty and in honesty. That is something I take seriously to my core. And I don't think it of other people either. And yet, it's all around me. Human meanness and dishonesty is something I really, really dislike. It makes me want to leave humanty and become a monk.

So anyhow, this post has been swimming around in me for a few days now. My heart still feels a little funny, totally unnecessarily I know, but I know this is all learning experience. I sincerely hope and pray for the wisdom of clarity and understanding.

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