Thursday, October 23, 2008

Transition It Is, Then

It'll start happening with more frequency, I fear-- this getting news that someone you care about has lost their job will happen more and more in this recession. Down-sizing; right-sizing; fear-sizing. Sigh...

This is the second friend who, over the past few days, tells me they've lost a job. My friend today says it comes as a nasty shock. I think you always have that gut feeling prior even while telling yourself to ignore it as paranoia. Even so, when you hear it out loud, it slaps you flat. You panic; you wonder how you'll make it. You get angry and really, really scared. Friends unite in support saying the right things to sounds good for a second, then the feeling of uncertainty and dread washes back over you.

Having been uninvited to the corporate party a couple of times in my career, I find that I still don't have words to heal that hurt. I can only suggest that you make certain you don't make a bad situation worse by taking it personally. It's not personal; it's business. It's just business. Until or unless you hear someone say, "You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny," it's strictly business. Remember that. You end up wounding yourself more if you take it personally by wondering and churning and thinking negative thoughts about yourself or them.

Now what? You freeze..shut down. Some get really pissed-- I guess that's a coping mechanism that works for some. It never did for me. Instead, I tried to accept the decision because I know that I am always exactly where I am meant to be every second of my life. Even when it feels like ass. Even when it scares me silly. Even when it makes me cry. It's always for my highest spiritual growth and learning. So long as I remember that, and ask for the grace to walk through it, I know that Spirit sends what is needed when I need it. The same is true for all of us. I promise you!

Take the time you need to be hurt but only for purposes of moving through it. Try not to react with fear because that is the mind-killer. Fear has no place in your life. It does not serve. Do NOT rush ahead to the, 'what ifs,' and try to calculate how you'll make it. You can't see the future so it only creates more anxiety. Every time you find yourself doing that, say out-loud, "Stop!" Pull yourself back into the present moment, breathe, and realize that you are alive and everyone you love is close. Collapse your day to the current moment when you find you're scaring yourself to death! Minute to minute is all any of us have, really.

Let your friends support you. Accept a kindness where it is offered. Do not expect much, but never accept less than you deserve. When you are overwhelmed and can't remember who you are, turn to those you trust and let them remind you of the truth and wonder of you. Wait with patience and anticipation of wonderful things to come.

I am sure that many of us, in the upcoming months, are going to have to discover the courage to re-invent ourselves. But, really, every day of our lives we should be living with the courage to do that. So use this difficult experience as a means to practice living in the moment. It's Human nature, though, to get comfortable with and prefer what's predictable...what we have...what we know.

So, let me help you with what I know this minute. Let me tell you what you can count on. You are not your job; you are worth more than that. The fact that it's gone does not lessen you. You are not defined or constrained by a job title or what you did at the office. You are bigger than that! You are not alone. You are loved. You are wonderful. You will have help when you need it. And, you are being given yet another opportunity to stretch your wings and find out how you can fly even when the wind currents die or change. Have faith...we stand with you.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Heather said...

I'd have to say that sometimes the nastiness of the transition is a wake-up call. You're right - we are not our jobs... but sometimes we put so much of our time and energy into it, we lose sight of that. Sometimes we see more in that role, that life, than is really there. Once it's stripped away, we start to see what's real.

At least that's how it worked with me. And, despite the rough landing, I'm better off for it. Transitions have a way of opening doors for us that we may not have opened otherwise.

Eileen said...

My dearest friend, your heart, wisdom and spirit have flown to me in a time of need. Your words were a salve and I have them to read over and over again during the coming weeks. I have such an amazing example of going through this with grace through your life experience and of course by living it through my beloved ... my spirit is treading the deep waters madly and keeping her head above it all. And you are one of the many life jackets coming my way to hold close when I tire. These are tears touched with so much love from the people in my life that are my life ... I would never have said that about the "job" ... it's that damn dependence on a paycheck ... that much I have no problem keeping in perspective.

sibound said...

This is more of a reaction to my former professor's newest endeavor rather than a response to Holly's most recent post about job "Transition ..." (although, as a writer/editor/designer at a small newspaper, I might be using this particular entry as a guide in the future). If you know Holly and you have a life, you should bookmark this blog. Once upon a time, I was a one of those students sitting in the class in front of that enlightening adjunct teacher at TU. I was one of those kids saying, "Why hasn't anyone ever told us this stuff before?" while marveling at Holly's sincere bluntness. It was the most important course of my college career. Holly, your words, style and passion are perfect for this forum — and I'm not just saying that because you so kindly called me a "professional journalist" in your last e-mail (OMG, my favorite teacher considers me a professional!) Needless to say, I'll be a faithful follower here — even if I don't want the cold slaps in the face you'll be dishing out every now and then.

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