I've been in a season where I'm called to support someone who, quite literally, can't see as well as they could in the past. At first, there is incredible compassion as we navigated how to put the support in place to keep the plates spinning that fell to them to spin. Too often, too quickly, a plate wobbled and it was clear that the responsibility needed to shift. Responsibility as in Response Able...able to respond.
I have reflected on the reverse too..it's tricky, isn't it? As a mother, I respond, I'm able...and then what sometimes feels like eternity and at other times seems like a blink, now the kids are beginning to "be able" too. They've watched, they've learned, right? They can't know what they don't know...there will be feedback that comes in many forms to teach them far more than we can. Much of it costs confidence, doesn't it? Better though, it can GROW the confidence so that the expression of the wisdom they're gaining is more fully expressed. It still happens to us everyday too. As time presses on, we learn that we still have a lot to learn. Darn good thing we don't birth a driving 16 year old, right?!? Or that our company has steps in place for growth rather than a demand we can't fill.
Dr. Mary Flannery of The Art Of Story Project says in her recent post "Learn to LOVE feedback. Especially negative feedback. Feedback shines a light into the areas we cannot see. Valuable feedback can come from friends, colleagues, strangers and even those we actively dislike." Breakdown in the feedback loop leads to isolation. Isolation leads to dis-ease and dysfunction. We all need the feedback. Far better if we can love it, yes?
Not one child (nor business with authentic expression) has come with a manual despite the acres of books that offer wisdom, insight, tips, tricks and tools to becoming a "good parent". Learning is definitely part of this story, yes? Learning to share the journey and embracing how the challenge is growing us is a critical part of becoming the kind of parent (and business leader) our children need. They need us to expand what we know just like we need them to learn more about the processes they're beginning to explore.
In the same post, she goes on to tell us "Get a coach. There is no substitute for a thoughtfully engaged third party who is able to tell you what you cannot see on your own. Nearly every great performer has had a consistent relationship with someone who tells them the truth, good, bad and ugly." Such wise words that we can all learn from. For me, coaching has altered the trajectory of my life.
Once upon a time, our villages came equipped with aunties and neighbors to safely walk with; those women could be that safe reflection for mothers. Flash forward to today and the need is potentially even more critical. Blogs, articles and social media can help us to know that "hard, real life" goes on "out there" too. We know we're not alone and that other mothers share this story with us. Those resources can affirm that we're not "the only ones", but the "out there" reflection lacks intimacy. We will thrive when we can access true reflection of OUR situation.
Let's be known. Be it in the personal, professional, spiritual, financial, or physical realm, there are people to offer intimate, healthy reflection. We all have a lot to learn.