Another chord struck, so it seems appropriate to expand upon this blog topic.
I did not mean to imply that it is easy being with what IS. Yes there are times, like when you can’t find the right shoes or a parking spot, that we can let things flow better, depending on our mood. But when it really impacts your life, like having your job on the line or a health issue, it is much more difficult to accept and move forward. The little child in us gets triggered by the threat and the whole survival issue contracts our bodies, hearts and minds.
Two things can help us accept and move through these periods a little faster and easier:
1. Understanding that railing against whatever shows up will not change things, but will only make things worse by draining our energy and distorting our ability to respond constructively.
2. Trusting that whatever shows up ultimately will lead to a better result than what you had originally envisioned.
My day to day life is full of the benefits of flowing through life even when it hurts. One of my favorites examples is how I got my job at the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) Mobile Crisis Unit. I was working as a researcher at Hillside Psychiatric Hospital and I had just gotten into a big disagreement with the head of the research department about his desire to change my duties (see my story). I loved working there but chose to let go and look for another job since I knew it was only a matter of time before I got fired. I immediately started asking everyone to let me know if they hear of a job opening for me.
Among the people I asked was a young social worker who had a love/hate relationship with me. She seemed to really respect me, but something bothered her about me. When I related my situation to her, she told me that she had interviewed the day before at VNS, and did not think the job was for her. She suggested I look them up. When I asked her for more details, she rushed off saying she would tell me more about it some other time. I could feel that she was withholding and knew she would not give me any more info. I was frustrated and disappointed – this after all was about my livelihood. Instead of getting triggered and coming from survival, I chose to not confront her and just look up VNS’s phone number to see what I could find.
Of course I looked in the Queens phone book, since I was a single parent and needed to work close to home, to Leor. When I called, the switchboard operator wasn’t sure about any job openings and forwarded the call to the only social work department in the company. A gentleman, Steve, got on the phone and explained that I reached the Mobile Crisis Unit but there was no opening in his department. He suggested that I send in a resume anyway since maybe something will open up in the future.
Needless to say, I was disappointed. This would have been an ideal job at an ideal location ten minutes from my home. I sent out the resume without giving it much thought. I wondered which position that young social worker was talking about, but again I let it go and continued to look for other positions. A week later I got a call from Steve informing me that his social worker had just quit and asking if I would like to come in for an interview. Of course I did and of course I got the position. No place could have been more perfect for me.
The day before my last day at Hillside Hospital, I bumped into the young social worker and told her of the “coincidence.” I then asked her, “Where did you interview?” She answered it was the Manhattan VNS office. I walked away smiling at my fortune and knowing that Spirit works in mysterious ways. You see, because she withheld the information that the position was in Manhattan, I went looking at the Queens office. Had she told me that it was in Manhattan, I would have not pursued it because Manhattan was not an option.
Epilogue: Steve left after nine months and I got promoted to his position, as head of the unit. I worked there for almost eight years and I can wholeheartedly say it was the most important and life affirming job I have ever had. (See Dear Brothers and Sisters for more).