Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The opportunity in an economic crisis

Yesterday I had a comment on my blog about my post on the stray cat, by a man who is angry that I care about a cat when the world is going through an economic crisis. He wished me dead. I deleted the comment as I don't want that energy on my blog, but it gave me food for thought. Does an economic crisis mean that we forget our humanity and turn life into a jungle, where we are all trying to survive at the cost of everyone else?

Trust me, I know what it's like to be enraged because you've worked hard all your life to support yourself and your family, and you suddenly find yourself without a job, without an income, with no savings, and not having a clue how you will survive. I know the deep terror that is underneath that rage--the terror of death. How can people around you have a normal life, when you don't know if you're going to make it? I know the loss of identity that comes with all of that too--the feeling of being a failure. Who are you, if you're not productive, if you can't support yourself?
Do you have any value as a human being?

I've been through this several times, as people who know me or who read my book are aware. It was even worse, because I was the only one going through it at the time. No one to commiserate with. No articles written about this. No one else experiencing the same fear that I was going through. I had two options: I could become a victim and hate and blame the whole world for my predicament, or I could take responsibility for my choices and make different ones. The first option leads to hell, the second to heaven.

By looking at my choices, I could see where the self-betrayals were. I had bought into the belief that I had to do a job I disliked to survive. I hadn't followed my passion, the things that gave me joy--like teaching or writing. Everyone said that an MBA was the degree to have so I jumped on that bandwagon and pursued a business career that I never really enjoyed. To make up for that, I bought a lot of stuff, which tied me to the high-paying job even more.

The loss of my job, in hindsight, was the best thing that happened to me. It allowed me to stop and see what I really wanted in my life. It led to downsizing which freed me up to accept lower paying jobs that I enjoyed. It led to tutoring math, editing books, and writing--which I love to do. More importantly, it led me to discover where true security lies.

True security does not lie in a job or a savings account. True security comes from within, from having a connection with God (the universe, whatever you want to call it), and from trusting that this connection will guide you, through the dark night of the soul, Home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one of your best blogs ever. It touched me in every level. For a mathematician, boy can you write well! How comforting to hear somebody admit
"I was enraged too, I tried hard and still failed, what is wrong with me?" But that rage led to other experiences, that proved to you that you were anything , but a failure. All of a sudden a lioness woke up, with mo bad intentions, but the need to survive and thrive. Lions are not content just to survive.

You took inventory of your life, you realized that you were betraying your real nature, trying to be something that you thought would make you happy, but it did not, did it? God made you find your real purpose and with that, He led you to the path of happiness.

I admire and applaud your courage to share all these things with strangers. You tell them the "raw" deal that you were given and the options that you had. You took responsibility for all your actions and with HIS help,
(politically incorrect person here), you are striving.

You will continue to strive, because you learned a lot along the way and you are willing to share the "good " and the "bad" with all of us. How courageous, my goodness. How humble and unselfish. I am considered shameless and I could not put myself out there with no "shell" with my "Achilles Heel" showing and whatever comes.

I am proud to be your friend and your "surrogate" family. I may not be spiritual , but even a hard ass like me, can see the truth when it stares them in the face. I am happy you have a direct line with God and so do I. That makes me a bit more evolved, no?

On behalf of people like myself, thank you for not dismissing us judging us, just sharing with us, not preaching to us, just narrating your experiences and how you got out of them. Keep doing it. And yes it is me, who expects a blog more often, what do you expect from someone non-spiritual, with the mentality of a 5 year old. My Nina wants a blog too. She loves to read them and she thinks you are brilliant, while her mama can barely type.

So, keep on writing and sending them sister, because the Popis and the Ninas and the Xs of the world demand them, want them, need them and it is your job to help us out here.

I will reciprocate . I will spare a bully or two. Deal?

Now for all of you people who are wondering what kinds of friends Despina has, I have only one answer. The best, the bravest, the most honest, the most diverse, because God gave her enough space for all of us. We are all welcome there, as long as we are "real", no matter how unlike her. She knows we love her unconditionally, the way she loves us and God loves us all.

So there world, that is my opinion and if you want to dispute it, go ahead, as if I give a rat's ass about what you think.

I love the blog and I will be shameless and say it again and again. I love , love , love it. And if you were half way smart, you would too.

Your biggest and stupidest fan probably. But at least I am real and I love you like my sister, the one who is totally different than you, but somehow ends up at the same place you do.

Popi and Nina.