That is the power of words, to create or destroy, to lift up or haunt. I try to keep this all in mind as I work at putting words together to tell my tales. I try to remember that the words I tell my own self are every bit as important, that they will either help me grow and improve as I move forward in life, or they will cause me to slip down the bitter, black hole of self pity and self destruction.
You would think with all the family health and medical problems we experienced in the last year that I would have a bit of left over trauma associated to some of that. But you might not suspect that one of the things that haunts me the most are the off handed remarks made by an old manager in my months late yearly review.
Nope, it wasn't the text in the middle of the night that my brother broke his back in an accident, or the need to call the ambulance to have my father end up in the hospital/nursing home for months, or the news that my sister needed emergency surgery that has caused me the most nights of lost sleep.
It was the casual off the cuff remarks of this manager during my review that gutted me. Was there a problem with my work? Nope. I was at the top of my game in my day job as a logistics coordinator. I had the most books of anyone in my department, at the right profit margins, all while keeping customers, shippers, and drivers happy.
It was while we discussed some of my personal goals that the words were shared that shook me to my core. I mentioned I had set certain personal goals and was having trouble achieving them because-life. Then this manager, that I had respected because he seemed to embody how to live with faith and character in the work place, passed his judgement on me. "Have you ever thought about the fact that this is God's way of saying no?"
Day and night. Of course I have thought about that. Who wouldn't? But yet, this same manager, if he encounters a difficulty, would never consider that God was saying no to him. He would say that it was just the devil or society trying to keep him from all the blessings that God means for this man to have. Apparently that doesn't carry over to me in this manager's eyes.
So, why when he encounters a problem is it the world or the devil trying to stop him and when I encounter a problem it means that God has said no? People wonder why folks struggle with the seemingly mixed messages they receive from church leaders.
This caused me to wonder if that is how everyone sees me, to doubt my desires, my dreams, my purpose. This caused all other problems to be just a little bit harder as it chipped away at my self confidence and faith.
With the help of my family and friends I was able to re-group, to move forward with my dreams, and to edit and change the narrative I am telling myself.
By changing my perspective I have been able to start to heal. It gives me a fresh outlook on myself and everyone I encounter. Sometimes it is taking a walk that leads to a new view, or reading a new book. Sometimes it is as simple as sitting in a different seat. Sometimes it is doing research on a new story line that opens up my heart and mind to new possibilities.
Our cat Frosting has taken to sleeping in the bathroom sink. It really seems to have given him a new perspective. He seems a lot calmer now that he has found this new secure sleeping post.
I hope you are able to find a new perspective this year, one that will open you up to positive possibilities in your life.