You’re furious at her.
The update was late, twice as long as you’d wanted, and not written for the audience you had in mind. And the meeting where you have to present it is first thing in the morning.
You’re not just furious. You’re frustrated, and not a little bit scared about what’s going to happen as a result of all this.
And in your fury you’ve said some things you regret. Some things that fail to see her dedication, the hours she put in, the way she set aside her own concerns in order to help you. By not seeing her good intentions, and by being so sure of your rightness, you’ve left her feeling hurt and wounded and confused, and wondering if her commitment to your project was well placed.
And, when you’re brave enough slow down a little and start to look more closely… which is difficult, because looking honestly hurts you, too… you start to see what you’ve known from the moment you asked her to take this on. You weren’t clear. You were in too much of a rush. You assumed she’d know what to do without checking it out with her (“that’s what she’s paid for after all”). You were afraid to show her that you didn’t, really, quite know what to do yourself.
When you look closely, you start to see that your anger – real as it is – is not so much anger at her, as it is anger with yourself.
And this is the crucial revelation.
Because you see that you projected your own shame and your own self-criticism towards her. And you see that this primarily played a self-protective role. By being angry at her, you did not have to feel your anger with yourself. Covering up your own vulnerability and uncertainty allowed you to shift the burden – and the blame – her way instead of yours.
And it is this revelation – seeing what you were really up to – that allows you to take responsibility, and to make amends.