Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happiness is when your worst nightmare is no longer scary

Well, it seems that the thing I dreaded most has happened. No, not death or losing a loved one, but losing my job. My manager called me on Thursday and told me that her budget was cut in half. My contract would be ending the end of August. She was not happy about this, but it wasn't her choice and there was nothing she could do about it. Of course, being the caring manager that she is, she was going to try to find us (I wasn't the only one who lost my job) other positions within the company.

I didn't have time to process this, as I rushed out the door after our phone call to go to the dentist. Laying on the dentist's chair for two hours, with my mouth open and 2 shots of Novocain on either side of my mouth, I had plenty of time to contemplate. My first thought was: Well, this isn't turning out to be a fun day. But then I realized that it didn't feel like a bad day either. It just felt as if God had stopped me and was changing my direction.

Having been through this before--no job, not much money, and needing to move--I was surprised to find that I wasn't panicked and terrified about how I was going to survive, as I had been in the past. I kept checking in. Really? I'm OK? I'm peaceful? I'm kind of excited about having a new adventure? What a different way of being!

I came home and emailed my other colleagues who had also lost their jobs. I wanted to know if they were OK and if they needed someone to talk to. I was concerned about my manager's feelings, as I know that this was difficult for her as well. And of course I was feeling a bit uncomfortable not knowing what I'm going to do. But I realized that I had brought this on myself.

In reading the Course in Miracles, I told God that I was willing to be a blank screen and he could play whatever movie he wanted on it. I've been controlling and directing my own life for many decades and it hasn't brought me total happiness. So what the hell? I might as well turn it over to God.

Also, the night before I had been talking to a friend who had been in a bicycle accident and was home recuperating for a month now. She was telling me that she felt she was on retreat, as she couldn't read, check emails, watch TV, or even think too much. She was literally sitting there watching the flowers grow, and having spiritual realizations. I was shocked to find myself envying her. I was in the midst of quarterly business reviews, juggling several projects, and feeling much tension in my environment.

Needless to say, my manager's phone call had the affect of stopping me in my tracks. I still need to do the quarterly business reviews, but I am detached. I turned my life over to God, and He obviously has other plans for me. So my intention is to spend this weekend meditating so that I can tune in to some guidance. Where do I move? What do I do to pay the bills? What is my work? It's clear that I'm not writing the script of my life. Thank God for that, as He seems to be much better at it than I am.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Forgiveness and Self-Love

Today is Day 48 on the Course in Miracles. I finally am going through some kind of a shift, although for a while I found the Course challenging. A comment on my blog helped me realize that I was trying to do the impossible. I was trying to forgive with my head. I would notice that I was angry with people, and then tell myself that I forgave them. But I hadn't really forgiven them, and saying I did didn't make it so. Instead I started doing something that I had always despised. I stopped being real. What I said and what I felt were incongruent. And it was yucky! Being angry with someone and telling yourself you forgive them is just laying some spiritual concept over the truth. Ugh! I thought I was beyond that.

The anonymous comment helped me see that I was trying to give from an empty cup. I wasn't loving myself; I wasn't feeling loved; I was feeling attacked; and I was trying to offer unconditional love to someone else. A whole bunch of realizations came from this:
  • I was love-depleted. I hadn't experienced love in a long time. What I had experienced was a long war, which alternated between my being attacked and my attacking. I was exhausted from this war and didn't have the resources to offer unconditional love.
  • I felt that even most of the people who loved me, didn't really like me. They tolerated my personality. I was too loud; I talked too much; I was too edgy; whatever the judgment was. While I had to own this as my own projection, I also needed to move out of the toxic relationships that didn't feel good.
  • I needed to stay away, at least for the time being, from friends who have issues with me, to allow myself to gather some strength. Why would I want to hang around people who just tolerate my presence? Or people who are constantly trying to fix me? I need to be around people who like me.
  • More importantly, I need to start liking myself. This means that I need to stop judging myself and start acknowledging the things I do right. Yes, I have a temper, but I am basically kind. Yes, I intimidate people with my fiery nature, but I also cut through bull shit. I have good qualities.

I realize that most of my relationships are of the "fixing" kind. My friends are trying to fix me, and of course I am trying to fix them. Not to mention how hard I am trying to fix myself. But fixing is really an attack and it is continuing the war.

My intention is to stop fixing and start loving--first myself and then hopefully I can pass that on to others. I need to fill my cup before I can offer anyone else any kind of love or true forgiveness. You cannot offer what you do not have. Forgiveness must begin with self-love.