Monday, June 4, 2012
Know it all
For years I’ve lived in the shadow of needing to know. I had to know everything about everybody. I had to know everything about every subject. As you can imagine, I was exhausted. I needed to know every nuance, every minute detail, every piece of information must come through me or be known by me. Woe unto me for not knowing something. If I didn’t know something this meant two things: 1. A surprise attack – someone could spring something on me without my knowledge and 2. I was inadequate. I spent the need to know years in turmoil and in fear of being found out. Not being smart enough. Not knowing enough.
Number 1 taught me a very valuable lesson. I worked for a major corporation for over seven years. I was good at my job but wasn’t “popular”. I was pleasant to work with, friendly and fun and I always got the job done. I attended the company functions and knew all the employees at our location. I was well liked by many and I played the corporate game. There was one gentleman, Dave Ullman, who didn’t care for me. He thought I wasn’t qualified for the position I held and he felt I had too much authority. My manager, the VP, traveled frequently and relied on me to keep our office going. My position, at one time, was held by Dave, before he left the company. My VP and I talked several times during the day and he trusted me. He had every right to trust me. I worked my way up from receptionist to this position. I made lateral moves and upward moves making sure to never burn bridges. I was happy. I knew my job and I was good at it.
I cannot begin to express the devastation I experienced one Friday as I sat in my office and Dave came in, shut the door and announced that I was being laid off. I was in shock! I didn’t see that coming. I felt betrayed, I felt slighted, I felt this decision had been made in an unethical and unfair manner and I was hurt. I was a single parent of a six year old what was I going to do? She depended on me. How would I manage? How could you do this to me. I was young and resilient. While I didn't like the decision or understand the decision - I didn't stay down for long. I spent a long time questioning why I was laid off. I spent a long time wondering about the fairness of life.
Let me assure you that the months ahead were fantastic. I accomplished more in the time I was laid off than I had ever done and I seemed to have more money than imaginable. I reflect back on that time and can smile. My nephew (who was married to my middle niece) and I were good friends and when I confided in him, he stood up, looked me in the eyes and said “For Chrissake, how many clues did you need that it was time for you to move on?” I sat there stunned. A man, five years younger than me, who had no belief system spoke words of truth. I still play those exact words to this day.
There have been many layoffs (especially in my field) and I can’t say that I don't feel pain when it happens because I do. I can't say that I always handle the situation well. I would love to say that I instinctively know that I will be okay but I don’t. It takes time for me wrap my head around it. There have always been fields of opportunity for me after layoffs, there has always been great growth and joy but as with anything – it is hard to see when you are in the midst of it all. I have learned that there is always a blessing in everything – regardless of what it looks like or what you think. There is always a bright side.
Are you faced with a “layoff”? It doesn’t have to be employment. It can be any situation of familiarity that is changing. How is your current belief serving you during this layoff? Most of the time our current belief system does not hold us. That’s okay. We tend to like tried and true and safe. Sometimes we have to break out of the ordinary in order for the extraordinary to manifest. Take a couple of deep breaths and then trust the process. Trust yourself and trust that your Higher Power is working it out – because He is. No doubt about that!