I have a long time friend who is also a mentor to me. She helped me get my start in healthcare when I was young and has grown into that motherly friend and mentor that I know is always there for me. There is the sound advice, no nonsense calling me out on my bullshit and the warm hug and comfort when I need it. She even often refers to me as one of her daughters. It is a relationship I treasure for so many reasons.
A couple years ago I had the opportunity to return to the company I had first met her at. She had just retired from there and she asked me why I wanted to come back? If I had stayed all those years ago, I too would have had enough time in to retire but my journey, partly because of her advice, took me elsewhere. Now though I was coming back because they asked for my help. It felt like a coming home situation that was ironic and meant to me. It felt surreal. I told her all of this and she wisely said you know it is like home for me but sometimes home isn’t as great as we remember.
Fast forward to this spring and I was crying on the phone with her relaying the bullying, abuse and other conditions that were simply unbelievable. I was experiencing physical health problems as well as a crushed spirit because of it all. She listened, concerned for my well-being and we talked through what I was doing to take care of myself. We then talked about the job that caused all this to occur. We talked about the company too.
When we had said all we could about everything, she said to me I forgot something important. I forget in all that we had just said together about the circumstances and situation that I was still this beautiful smart woman who needed to be holding my head up high. They didn’t deserve my knowledge, experience, talent and intelligence and that was why she pushed me from there all those years ago. I had proven myself to be well known and successful in this industry and what I saw as bringing that good stuff back to this company they saw as something to be intimidated by. I was something to tear down because I was better than it and they knew it.
I had forgotten it was them that asked me to come help them and then they misused me. She reminded me of all I had done, learned and became that while it started there at this company it became so much bigger than they are or ever will be. This was an experience for me to realize that would always be the place where it started but it would not be the place where my career ends. There was more for me to learn, grow doing and become that they couldn’t offer me.
As I sat with this conversation well after the call ended, I felt better than I had in months about the situation I found myself in. I already had a new job offer and several requests for interviews without even barely putting myself out on the market. There were other places who wanted to pay me well to do what I do best and would not abuse and disrespect me like what was happening now. What was holding me back then?
While I had simply forgotten where I had been and all that I had done the thing holding me back was sentiment. I think having great memories and feeling like you are coming home to something is beautiful but sometimes home isn’t what we remember it is. I know this all too well having grown up in abusive home as a child and at several points in my adult life. It is a trauma that sticks with you and no matter sometimes how much you try to distance yourself from it sometimes you still fall for it because it smells and feels like home. Home is such a strong feeling for us all whether it was a healthy one or not.
What I had also forgotten in this situation is who I have become because of that abuse in my life. I had overcome it time and again and while this time I had fallen for it I could also stand up and emerge from it. I was still the brilliant woman who was experienced, good hearted and had created a beautiful life that was no where near the abuse I had experienced in my life. This was just a reminder of who I was and what I was capable of achieving. My lovely mentor friend reminded me of the opportunity before me to not only overcome it again but to stand tall and proud that I knew I could do better.
The thing is many of us have difficult things in our lives happen and we do find sometimes we repeat this pattern of similarities because it is what we think of as familiar or even home. Sometimes those are happy things and other times they are traumatic and painful. When they are the latter it is an experience to remind us of our own natural strength honed and created because we are smart, beautiful and capable of more than the circumstances we find ourselves in. We simply forget who we are.
When we align with our true strength we are aligning with nature itself. It is where we feel our strongest, best self that is unstoppable in the world. What we do with that strength is what makes the difference. Will we return to what we thought was home and try to make lemonade from lemons or will we build something beautiful and unique in the world? Home is where we are surrounded by love, encouragement and respect too. It is where we receive comfort and support when we need it and the nudge to go do great things in the world. Home is what we create it in our life that expands that to others that we can help in this world too.
To learn more of how to live naturally well, contact me at dragonspitapothecary.com