A DROP FOR YOUR BUCKET: The correct conversation

Today’s training doubled as training and as reconnaissance for an upcoming Cub Scout hike with our 8-year-old. It was relatively short and took me through an interesting old railway path that still has remnants. I don’t know if it was the history of the trail, or if my brain is simply in a more reflective state lately, but I found myself replaying an old memory.

“ With all due respect, your deep end isn’t as deep as our deep end.”

Oof. I heard those words from a fellow leader several years ago at a time when I felt like I was drowning as a relatively new manager. I honestly don’t remember how I responded in the moment.

I think I shut down.

I remember the words playing on repeat in my head over and over and over. Honestly, as evidenced by today…they still do at times.

She didn’t know that I had recently attended the funeral of someone I used to see in therapy. She didn’t know that I’d just been to court that morning to advocate for another kid. She didn’t know…

STOP! (that’s often how my moments of unconstructive repetitive thinking finally end…there’s a small voice within me that lovingly, but also firmly screams that word into my brain)

She didn’t know.

I also didn’t know everything she was going through.

We were both in the kind of survival mode that leads to a profound sense of isolation. It’s the kind of isolation that is never good and needs to be interrupted ASAP.

In the times when that conversation replays in my mind now, it has become a reminder to focus on having the correct conversation. I wish it had gone something like this:

Fellow Leader: “ With all due respect, your deep end isn’t as deep as my deep end.”

Me: “Oh my. Aren’t deep ends heart wrenching? If yours is deeper than mine, I can only imagine how terrifying that must be. In truth, I’m not sure it matters whose deep end is deeper if we’re both drowning. I hope we can find a way to help each other stay afloat until we both find a way out.”

Heather Headshot

Heather Bland CEO, My Refuge House

Inspired by How Full Is Your Bucket?, A Drop For Your Bucket offers a somewhat stream of conscious peek into my brain and heart during my training “adventures”. Between my 40th birthday in October of 2017 and the 10th anniversary of My Refuge House in September of 2018, I will run 10 different races. My hope is to gather friends along the way who will either run with me or cheer us on as we raise awareness about the journey of My Refuge House! I hope you will receive at least drop of inspiration in each of these raw reflections. Thank you for reading and pondering.

Countdown until we hope to see you in Dallas at Fashioned For Freedom: