I am at a peculiar position at work, I have no supervisor anymore. A few months back I switched research units for a number of reasons that are irrelevant to mention for the content of this post. As a newcomer in the research unit I switched to, I am now in a lab which has no senior members. The person who is supposed to be leading the lab - which is merely a handful members who are loosely connected and are working in different departments - is pretty much my equal in terms of professional experience and scope. It has been a real piece of work for me to integrate myself because I can see that I am not easily accepted, and that in turn I am not easily accepting the person who is heading the lab. So, I was looking at the situation and I found that I have build up many judgements and resentments that stem from my interactions with him.
When I honestly looked into myself and saw all the dimensions of accumulated backchat that I bring towards him, I realised that they span not only my personal interactions with him, but also how he manages the lab activities, and those who are liaised with him. For example we have a stack of papers and every fortnight he chooses one from the stack for us to read and to discuss. Habitually, he chooses the paper on Friday evening, which means that I have to work on the weekend and study the paper to prepare myself. I am resentful for this because I believe that he is aware of what he is doing. More resentment came about when he did not answer my emails and did not take my suggestions seriously. From another perspective, I can understand that he could see me as a threat because I came in to the research unit, already involved with a proposal which made no reference to the lab and created a point of separation and superiority.
I have done writing on my mind-relationship with him in my private blog, yet I still feel challenged not react to him. I see that my starting point is already one of suspicion and expectation where I make myself aware of his words and triangulate the meanings to get to the gist of what he is 'really' trying to say to me - or so I believe. What is it that he represents to my mind that I do not want to let go of? Why am I having such a hard time relating to him? When we interact we are both very well protected and I also believe that I have assessed him quite well, which might be the case though it does not justify the mind fuck I allow to exist within me.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to focus on X's short comings so that I can justify for myself why I don't want to accept him, and why I don't want to trust him.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that I can read X like an open book, where I see that he is convinced of himself and I see that he is desires control and yet, he is like a mirror to me where I see myself in a similar way and I recognise that this is a part of me I don't like.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to admit to myself that the problem I have with him is the problem I have with myself, and that my interactions with him are showing me sides of myself that I would rather keep in the dark because they are part of my ego composed from a stack of self-definitions that I fear to lose - who would I be without them?
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use his lab management points, so in effect his leadership skills to find fault with him because in reality I am also unsure of my leadership skills and how I would handle the situation if the tables where reversed.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to come to him with a hostile starting point, because I believe my backchat where I say to myself "I can't trust this guy" which I base on my interactions with him and the stories I have heard about him, and by doing so I realise I eradicate the opportunities I have to stand without reactions when I am interacting with him.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to limit myself by creating a wall, a blockage in my interactions with X because I do not want to let go of my guard when I experience the other as interacting with me from a point of self-protection and here I forgive myself for my stubbornness of expecting the other to first make changes instead of me making changes within myself independent of what he is doing.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that if I were to make changes, for example if I were to approach X with a silenced mind and in breath, I stand to lose 'something' where I cannot even define what I would lose because I don't know what would happen if I were to be in breath awareness and not aware of my distrust towards him.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abuse myself by not allowing myself to change in this situation, in my interactions with X, and continue to be stuck in blame so that I continue to live in my limited mind space instead of living here.
I commit myself to change the situation by learning to interact with X from the starting point of awareness in breath, and by challenging myself to stop all backchat about him until my mind is quiet.
I commit myself to dismiss the stories I have heard about X instead of hanging on to them as proof that what I am experiencing is the 'truth' so that I can continue to blame him, but instead I make the point of my interactions with X to be a point in here-ness, where I do not allow memory or previous ideas I have of the person to dictate how I feel within myself when I am in his presence.
I commit myself to be gentle with myself and to give myself permission to change and let go, so that I can use this opportunity to walk out of the self-definitions that I use to justify my reactions towards X.
I commit myself to take my power back by stopping my reactions and emotions and direct myself from within my relationship with self.
I realise that we are both equally insecure about our position at the university, our expertise in the field, and that our insecurity prompts us to want to be in control about how we are perceived by others. I realise that this is what I do not want admit to myself and what I see about him and I dislike.