Thursday, August 6, 2009

Those Days

We make these commitments to things hoping that by doing so we will in some way define ourselves as better versions of who we are. We lock into an education and a career path hoping that we'll have stability, purpose and drive. It's a commitment of time, money, energy and we have no real guarantees. But we do it. Partly because we really are passionate and partly because, well, that's what you do. Grow up, go to school, get a career, move into your own place- have a life.
And sometimes, it goes really well. We have days when we think "this is why I do this". We feel like we're making a difference, like there's a reason for it. And that keeps us going, even when the less desirable parts of the job take up more time than the stuff we're actually doing it for.
But then there are those days when we don't make a difference. When the words we say fall short. When change doesn't come. Or even worse, when some change we thought we were moving away from comes back full force. And who knows if we'll have another chance to make that change. Or if we even want to try again?
And then the inner critic pops up. There is no real change, no real hope. All you're doing is delaying the inevtiable. You're wasting your time, your energy on something that's just not going to pay you back. That hopeful, optimistic voice is just naiveté.
And sometimes people give into that critic. Suffer the occupational hazard of "burnout" or the more covert "early retirement" which is anything but. And grow bitter, resentful, shriveled. Raisin-like.
But we tell ourselves that we won't. It's just a bad day, we'll get over it. We have before, after-all. But there's still that lingering question: what if we're just delaying the inevitable?
Our friends tell us that we need to recharge, that passion needs an energy boost. That's why we take vacations, seek further education to expand our knowledge base and consult others who know more or have more experience. And talking still helps.
But those days hurt us more than any of us really want to admit. A tiny, almost unnoticeable part of our spirit dies. The same as when Santa Claus stopped existing, true love became a marketing tool and we found out that our most admired person really was just a schmuck.
We don't let it break us, we don't give in. But it would be a lie to say that it didn't hurt.

1 comment:

  1. I know. I understand and empathize. Pema Chödrön would tell you to delve deeper into that pain, to get to know it, to dive into the places that scare you, but also to take refuge in your true Self, knowing that there is a bigger picture here, a higher purpose, than the HUGE bump in the road that happened to you today. Ok, that was a huge sentence, but it's true. If I have gleaned anything from what this amazing woman talks about, it's that feeling peaceful about a job, relationship, whatever, involves going deeper, feeling the roots of the pain, asking yourself why you feel this way, and giving yourself room to feel that pain. You have every right to feel the way you do. You are honored by pain as a reminder that life isn't as comfortable as you may want it to be, but for good reason. If we didn't have pain, we wouldn't learn. We wouldn't grow. We would still put our hand over the flame again and again and continue to get burned. The Universe is letting you feel this pain so you can look at the world with slightly different eyes. That different perspective will continue to help you on the way. We bring what we need to us, whether we want it or not. And what we bring will give us the fuel to get up the next morning and keep going. You got burned but you will heal. You will help more and more people in your job and that is why you do what you do. Because you help people make better choices for themselves. You are a gift to those with whom you interact. You are a precious jewel that only some can really see. Others, like this person who didn't follow your advice, don't see how beautiful you are or how incredible your gifts are. Believe in yourself and what you do, and some will reap the benefits of the seeds you plant. Unfortunately only some.

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