Searching your Soul
Have you ever found yourself suddenly plunged into a really sad place in your head, and you have no idea why. It’s akin to being tossed into an ancient thieves hole, sitting on the dirt, looking up at the iron grate 40 feet above your head. You can see the sunlight, but you don’t know how you’re going to get back up there. There’s been a significant shift in my life lately that has forced me to stop and take stock of what I let effect me. In the midst of introspection, what I’ve learned is sometimes you have to go deep within to truly hear your soul speak. This is that story.
If you’re following along on the journey, you may know that I still have a ‘day job’. It is, for the most part, a fulfilling career at a good, stable, company. I’ve worked there for 18 years. I have a fancy title, an office with a pretty view and a challenging position. It pays the bills for the re-fit of Eclipse (our sailboat and future home) and provides financial stability while I’m building my business, SS Magpie. Soon, however, I will untie the dock lines and shove off from this comfortable seat. The date has been set for over 8 years so this is not a mere fancy. Interestingly, some of you may think that the thought of giving up so much stability is what frightens me. It’s not.
Recently, and quite unexpectedly, a long time friend of mine was fired from his job. He had worked at his company for over 24 years. He didn’t steal something, he didn’t harass anyone, he was just the proverbial square peg in the round hole and no longer “fit the suit” (if you don’t know what I mean by that expression, than you didn’t spend enough time watching the Brady Bunch as a kid). I was sad for my friend in terms of the way it all happened. Let’s face it, everyone would prefer to be the one in control of the timing of shifting their career rather than having someone make that decision for you. But, I am excited for him because this is his opportunity to do something brand new. What really surprised me about the whole situation however, was how deeply the aftershocks of that event affected me. Like standing on the edge of a cliff when an earthquake strikes, I found myself grasping for the handrail that just isn’t there.
My depression would come upon me quite suddenly, without warning. Wait- what? I wasn’t the one who got canned…what the hell? One minute I’d be good, the next I’d be overwhelmingly sad. If you know me, you know that I am not a sad person. I have even been told by some people that my happiness is actually annoying (I could rant on about how crazy that is, but I’ll save it for another post). So, this feeling was a super scary “stranger-danger’ experience. Not one to dwell in bad places, I turned inward and started the hike through my psyche to figure out ‘what the what’ was going on. I began to meditate again to help clear my mind (shame on me for getting out of the practice to begin with). I used my mala to systematically flow the rhythm of my thoughts when things started racing out of control in my head. I took St. John’s Wort to help boost my emotional support. And just like that, after a few weeks, the sun came out from behind the clouds and I finally realized what was actually bothering me.
It was not the loss of my co-worker (yes, I had worked with and known this person for over 15 years). It was not the stress of the change in management (yep, the guy in the story was my boss). It was the fact that I realized, that somewhere along the journey of my career, working for someone else, I had lulled myself into believing that I was the one controlling my fate. How silly of me. Now that I’ve been able to put a name to the nasty goblin in my mind, I’ve started making plans to take back control (more on this soon!) Just the thought of this has energized me in a way I can’t even express and the dark place is gone. I found the ladder out of the hole- thank goodness!
So what’s the point of this whole story? It’s to show you that sometimes you need to look past the surface to see what’s really going on. The dancing monkey on the front stage is often just the distraction and usually not the real star of the show. Figuring this out seems so simple right? But as life so often shows us, usually the most obvious things are veiled behind layers of self doubt. You have to be willing to grant yourself some grace, do some deep soul searching, and be completely honest with yourself in order to often see what’s right in front of you. There is no one else that makes you amazing. It’s time to take back control of your life.
xoxo – Cheryl
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