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.