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Archive for January 26th, 2009

If there is one adjective that people use frequently to describe me, it is intense. I honestly do not know how to be any other way. Shallow people who flit around and talk about meaningless topics bore me to tears. I am sure that I scare them to death!

Being an intense person has its drawbacks. I have actually been “called on the carpet” for doing too well on a job! The concern is always that I am going to burn out, and then the company will lose a good employee. I am baffled that I must justify why I meet deadlines early and do a good job. Isn’t the goal to be the best that you can be?

Over the years, friends have tried to explain why I need to rein in my intensity. It freaks a lot of people out. For the most part, I don’t care. I am not going to do a bad job just because other people can’t keep up. I am not going to waste my time talking about inane things like comparing and contrasting the benefits of eggshell paint over off-white – Who the h@#$ cares?? (Yes, I know that less intense people do, but I am absolutely baffled as to why.)

Sometimes I will beat myself up over being too intense. But then I will have a nightmare/flashback, and I will “remember” how I got to be so intense in the first place. My childhood was about survival, not paint colors.

I recently watched a biography about the fabulous Richard Gere. Throughout his biography, the word intense kept coming up, but it was not in a negative way like I hear about myself. Richard Gere is able to take his intensity and use it to create believable (and yes, intense) characters on the big screen.

That got me thinking about myself. I do that here. Goodness knows, this blog is an intense one, but it is also a very healing one for some of the most hurting people out there. So, intensity does not have to be a bad thing. It is all in how you use that intensity.

And the bottom line is that, once people get to know me over a period of time, they realize that I am not going to burn myself out. I have a lot of energy, and I channel that energy in whatever direction I deem worthy of my time. Whether that means writing blogs, teaching a class, or volunteering at my kid’s school, I am going to give it all I have. The recipients of my intensity generally respond with gratitude, not rejection.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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