I see you.
I see all of you.
I see all those times you get up early and wonder how you are going to make it today. The worry you carry about keeping the bills paid while balancing a job that doesn’t fulfill you. The guilt you feel for needing to work late and missing time with your son. The big guilt when it’s been one of those work days and you literally have nothing left in your to even fake happy smile at something your son wants to show you from his day. I see all of that.
There are so many times I see my own spirit low, beaten down and deflated. So many things can happen in a day that take us down paths we never expected. A meeting at work where someone was pushing their agenda and ego overshadowing any form of collaboration and partnership. The deadline that came out of nowhere and pushes everything else out of the way to meet. The boss who doesn’t have your back on an important issue and leaves you to take a beating verbally. All of it ends up leaving us feeling exhausted, burned out, depressed, low on energy, over it. Our spirit sinking in grayness for once again not being able to shine and letting ourselves, our family, our employer down.
It is very difficult to not take things personally at work. We are told to grow a thick skin and let it roll of off us but sometimes that’s pretty hard. People seem to take on a evil villain mask when the come to work some days. You have to wonder if they are that way at home too and that is just how they are. I sincerely hope not because wow that would mean there are some seriously mean people in the world! The way we treat each other at work is incredibly mean at times and taking it through thick skin is just a politically correct way to say bullying and bad behavior is acceptable.
At a certain point in it you realize just how much it is impacting you not only physically with not sleeping or eating well, feeling stressed out and anxious but also how it affects your spirit. The part of you that fuels creativity, inspiration and motivation. It is incredibly hard to feel motivated about your work when you’ve spent the last hour being chewed on by people who are doing it out of meanness. There is a very big difference between constructive criticism and being disrespectful to someone. Too often in work those lines get blurred and there is a lot more abuse than any of us would accept anywhere else in our life. Yet we do here because of that paycheck. Oh the things we put up with for the sake of that!
The biggest sacrifice for it is usually our own spirit. The one that sees us dragging through our day holding back tears of hurt, anger, frustration. The very spirit we brought to that new job and was excited about being part of that team is now laying on the floor crumbled in a thousand pieces. When a job takes away your happiness and replaces it with never ending consuming of their toxic environment it is not a healthy place. It is also not worth the paycheck.
I get jobs are hard to come by, good jobs at least. It takes time and is super annoying to fill out all those online applications and submit your resume but the alternative is letting your spirit continue to die. I am not suggesting our spirit is more important than our bills but I’m saying they both matter. They both impact the quality of our life. If we only have the paycheck we only have money and what good is that if we have to use it all for caring to repair our body and mind from the abuse of working for it?
I see you struggle with what to do about that too. I feel your pain over looking at it asking how did this happen or what could I have done differently. Sometimes nothing. Nothing because sometimes we can’t fix something that was already toxic and bad. Like replacing a chemical cleaner that is dangerous in our home with a natural one, sometimes we just have to replace that job, relationship and environment. It’s not easy at all and we struggle with that thinking it will turnaround and be better. We hang on with every fiber of our being hoping this time it will be different.
Our plan B is always to find another job, one where that will never happen again. We spend our spare time looking through job posts, taking interview calls hoping for the offer that relieves the painful situation we are in now. While that may be necessary it often doesn’t repair your spirit long term. A broken spirit needs time to heal and just jumping into something else doesn’t heal us from burn out. We need that clear head and heart to go into something new because these wounds of what’s happened will come with us if we don’t deal with it.
I stand up for myself when no one who should be my leader does it. Sometimes you have to stand up to the bully right? David and the Goliath style is often what it feels like to be standing in front of a problem with no more than a pebble’s chance of trying to overcome it. I wonder in the times it didn’t go well for me in that spot if David just got lucky. Sometimes the bad guys win and we leave broken, hurt and ousted. Coming back after that take a great deal of strength that I often wonder if I have. At some point the determination goes out of you and you’re left just looking at the broken pieces and empty seats.
For those times my spirit has been broken like this I have found it is necessary to have grace with myself. I can’t immediately put on that smile and give anything to my family because I’m hurting so badly so I give myself what I need in that moment. Sometimes it is a solid cry and a long talk with God. Sometimes it’s looking at our family budget to see what plan B looks like these days and getting into motion a strategy to find another job. It is always about giving myself the recognition that what happened hurt and I didn’t always deserve it.
At one of the points this happened to me I really didn’t know how I was going to overcome it. My entire life felt like piles of flaming garbage surrounding me in a deep arena where I was facing a giant. There wasn’t a plan B and I wasn’t winning the battle. My spirit was busted and I was tired. It was in that scary, vulnerable place I realized the answer for me was to find a way to get out of those arenas. I needed to have a way to not have to go into so many of them at the very least by reducing my need to have to go into them for a paycheck.
It took tremendous strength and courage to start my own business in the middle of a job crisis. It took even more courage to realize I deserved better than I was getting from those jobs that ended up feeling this way in my heart and spirit. It may not be at the point I can call it my only income but it sure gave me a healing to my spirit to restore my hope in that being possible one day.
I still see me working hard, putting up with things that are not right and threatening my spirit. I still have days where there is just nothing left to give of me but that’s when I remember what the bigger end game is for me. That’s what makes it possible for me to keep going. It may not be ideal right now but that choice I made to stop being the victim at work and realize I could do better gave me the strength to stand up and throw the pebble. I may miss the mark but I have my spirit that won’t give up.
If you are struggling at work and looking for a way to offset that, message me at dragonspitapothecary.com to see if what I do would work for you.