I once worked for a man who had anger problems so badly he would throw things at the staff and was constantly volatile in his temper. The workplace was cold, dark and scary whenever he was in the office and you could literally feel it. It didn’t take much and he would lose it on everyone in the office. More than once many of us left in tears and dreaded going back in the next day. It was a very difficult place to work and yet we all know that sometimes you have to endure these types of tough situations until you find another job. Despite his behavior, he was very prominent in the community, had built a company from scratch and was successful according to profit and position. However, he couldn’t control his temper and behind the doors was misery.
After working for this man for about 4 months I had my first direct blast of his temper towards me and me being who I am I lashed back. If there’s one thing I really won’t tolerate is taking being treated poorly for no reason. Blame it on an abusive childhood, poor relationships or just me being me but I’ve learned that sometimes you need to stand up for yourself. Even though I did stand up for myself and it was apparently one of the first times someone has pushed back on his behavior in the workplace it didn’t bode well for me much longer in that company. He saw this as a challenge and it seemed to fuel his behavior to me more often. I quit as soon as I found the first job that came along. It didn’t matter what it was as long it wasn’t there.
He continued to be successful in the community and in profits through large contracts his company won. His company saw growth despite a constant revolving door of employees and increasing difficulty finding good employees who could work there. He eventually just hired contractors he could hire and fire at a moment’s notice. It didn’t seem karma was going to prevail. Justice didn’t seem like it was going to happen and there was just a trail of destroyed personal livelihoods and careers caused by his inability to manage his temper.
For me personally, I went on and eventually saw my own career grow. I found places I enjoyed working and others that while toxic never seemed to be that bad in comparison. From a distance I watched this man and his company prosper for many years and wondered if karma even existed especially when I find myself looking for another job for a variety of reasons. How many times do we encounter these situations and people in our lives that seem to get away with treating others poorly, taking advantage of them and coming stunningly out ahead without repercussions? We are taught to take the higher road and have love in our hearts but what happens when we do that and we’re the ones who end don’t come out ahead in these situations?
In life we must be able to provide for ourselves and the world isn’t always a loving, supportive place that makes it easy to accomplish doing so. Sometimes we have to stand up to bullies, push back on bad behavior and set boundaries on what we allow. This of course done as much as possible in the interest of being kind to everyone, seeing their own inability to be kind in return as something we can set an example to them on. Nothing about that is easy in any relationship, especially the workplace when the environment is toxic. It impacts our entire being inside and out. We get sick more often, we feel emotionally drained and exhausted from it. We fight against our own self in wanting to lash back and let them feel what they are doing to us.
The heart of the matter is sometimes we reach our own limits in putting up with someone else’s bs. We get tired of being talked to badly, treated disrespectfully and being walked on or taking advantage of by someone else. Sometimes enough is really enough. We all have that limit. For me when I get there it often comes out in anger. It comes out as another side of myself that is the farthest thing from love and kindness because I feel I’ve exhausted that. I also at times think my tolerance for bad behavior directed at me is lower as I’ve learned it doesn’t feel good, often results in hurt and loss to me and quite frankly I get tired of losing. The problem though is I worry about becoming like this other person and doing what they do because I’ve had enough.
As I’ve come to explore further into my own natural living journey I’ve realized I can have quite the temper when I feel those limits pushed. Forcing your will on me seems to the quickest way to reach that limit too. Maybe that is my own shortcoming and maybe it’s the lack of karma’s swiftness in dealing with injustices. Maybe it is both. What I have learned though is being able to be true to myself and not let the bad behavior of others cloud my generous heart or values is where the heart of karma can also be found. The karma we don’t hear about often. The good side of karma. There is always another option even if that is simply leaving to preserve our own sanity and peace. The ability to create those options however only comes when I approach the toxic situation with strategy and see this other side of karma to help me.
No one deserves to be treated poorly and yet it happens a lot in the workplace and in our relationships. We live in a world where taking advantage of someone for your own gain is not only expected but tolerated entirely too much. Yet if we want that to change we cannot put on the same hat of that behavior, even and especially when we have reached our limit. As hard as it is that higher road, bigger and better person approach is truly the best option in all the end for ourselves. In my own experience with these types of situations the recurring theme is what I do in response and in my own actions. It doesn’t always feel good to not give it back the way it is delivered. It certainly doesn’t always mean either that I won’t be hurt but it does mean I can protect my own being and what is truly important to me.
In choosing not to give it back and instead redirecting my anger in a constructive way I get to see them for who they are. Most importantly, I get to choose what to do next instead of limiting my options. It makes the situation more strategic for me and builds up my ability and strength to prevail in what is right for me. It also makes those really difficult situations one I don’t become desperate in and react from. I may crave relief immediately but if I’m able to forego that emotion, I can develop other means to still protect myself and give myself more options to a better situation – especially in the workplace. Easy? Not always.
In truth it’s a lot like the strategy of war, where tactic, skill and the element of surprise are necessary. What I have learned is my arsonal needs tools to help me keep my wits about me, my health strong as well as a clear picture of what is possible instead of what is limiting. For me this includes making time to take care of my health, physically and mentally, ensuring I’m resting and allowing for emotional recovery frequently. It also includes increasing my nutrition to include high quality natural foods, products and essential oils supporting recovery and focus on balance, centering, grounding and calmness while protecting my immune system. When we are weakened from this type of high stress and we’re in it frequently we get sick more easily and emotionally we become drained more quickly. Keeping a reserve filled with what our bodies and emotions need to endure and survive while we create the options to emerge from these situations is critical.
Knowing my own temper I need these tools at my side to refrain when it’s so tempting and instead see other strategic moves being created. The ironic thing is when I am wearing an essential oil that helps with these things I not only benefit but those around me do as well. The aroma is effective at diffusing short fuses and increasing the calm overall. It has become what I call a secret weapon. It has also enabled me to protect my physical and emotional health in these situations of high stress. The next step may take time to emerge so it’s necessary to navigate in a way that keeps you healthy while you wait on karma and what’s next for you.
Workplaces are so toxic these days. There is not a corporate culture out there that doesn’t have some degree of bullies, rudeness, tempers, greed, game playing and just plain ugliness. Since it is unavoidable it is necessary we equip ourselves with the necessary tools and strategies to navigate these situations and not become a part of the problem we see. While we may not be able to change the person, environment, culture or situation we can anchor ourselves in a way that keeps us from becoming like that too while we build our options.
Many years later I read in the news the man who had the bad temper ended up losing his company because he went off on a customer who held a large contract. This resulted in other customer also ending their contracts with him and he ultimately needed to file for bankruptcy and close his company. I guess perhaps this was finally karma coming to arrive but it is truly my hope it also triggered the necessity for him to receive the help he needed.
When I read this news though I didn’t feel relief or even gratification justice prevailed. I felt sadness for his loss and the loss of a company that could have done great things for the community, providing jobs for neighbors and being something truly phenomenal in this man’s life that helped many. I have come to think of karma not as something to be waited on in these toxic workplace situations too. Rather when I face these types of situations where it can be lots of toxic problems I’ve learned I need to be true to myself and expand rather than constrict my own options for what happens next. I cannot do that if I behave as they do.
As a result of that realization, I see the heart of karma is actually for our benefit of what we can achieve because of these challenges. Karma is actually a dish best served leveraging these challenges to create new opportunities that are positive and naturally aligned for what is right in our own lives. It does act swiftly and actually helps us be successful despite the odds. By just waiting for karma to right a wrong we miss out on the generous heart of karma in our own life. I’ve come to see karma is actually a good thing for our own lives and it does act swiftly when it comes to doing what we need most in our own life. It acts in our own best interest with a generous heart.
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