“I recently did an interview, and someone said to me, ‘Are you so proud of who you’ve become?’ … ‘I haven’t become anyone. I’ve just become more of who I really am.'” ~ Gabby Bernstein.
I learned a big lesson this week my friends. I let my ego get the better of me. I got into that “I’m better than you” mode. It was like everything that I’ve learned from Gabby Bernstein just went right out the window. I didn’t even feel like myself. Actually, as I write those words, I realize that I did feel like myself– like the Sam a year ago or even 6 months ago who let the negativity run her life (at least in some aspects).
I sometimes get wrapped up in the ways in which I feel that bureaucracies let us down. The things that seem so obvious, and yet don’t get done. But I don’t have to tell you; we all have situations in life, whether at work or dealing with a customer service issue, or even a spouse or partner who doesn’t necessarily do things the way that we would (or the way that we think is best), where we feel frustrated by what we view as the incompetence (or inadequacies) of others. Our ego gets in the way, and we so badly want to be right.
On Friday I let myself get sucked into a place filled with anger and frustration; a place that I haven’t been to in a long time, because I’ve been making such a concerted effort to stay in the light, and not get stuck in the negative energy. At the heart of it, most everybody has the best intentions (and if they don’t, I can’t change that). Still, I recently began to realize that I need to take better care of myself when it comes to shielding myself from negativity (as much as possible), and the first place that I wanted to start was work, since I spend 40 + hours there every week. So I was able to identify that my energy and creativity could be better used in making sure that my own space at work felt healthier. I rearranged my office so that my folders no longer cluttered my desk, moved things off of the windowsill so as not to block the light coming in (grateful for a window), and put pictures and flowers in places where feng-shui deems them as bringing in more love, light, and creativity.
I started to close my door (grateful for a door) when I needed to. Not all of the time because I enjoy the social aspects of work and I don’t want to give off a sense of being unavailable, but when I need to focus or when the energy doesn’t feel good. I say good morning and smile, even if it is Monday morning and I didn’t have time to juice and I don’t quite feel like saying anything at all. I try to see the positives in others, even if I don’t always agree with their ways of doing things. It would be silly to say that I get it right every day, but once I began to focus my attention more on creating a positive work environment for myself, things felt better. Lighter. And once I started to meditate on seeing more creative solutions to situations that I thought of as being “set in stone,” doors lined with possibilities began to swing open. I just don’t believe in coincidences anymore.
When I originally wrote this blog post I went into great detail about this situation that made me want to write this in the first place. And then I realized that what had happened, the specifics of it, didn’t really matter. What mattered was that after the situation occurred, the rage started to bubble up inside of me. I began to feel superior. Clearly I was better, knew more. How come people just weren’t getting it? (Translation: How come people weren’t just doing what I “knew” to be right?).
So I went back to what Sam 6 months ago would have done, what I have done before. I sent out a scathing email to the “culprits” expressing my dismay. It wasn’t pretty.
Now I can tell you (and you’ll just have to take my word for it) that what I was upset about is valid. It’s what I did next that reflects the “old Sam.” At the time I can tell you that I felt justified. Better, even, having gotten it off of my chest. I was so in the middle of it that I couldn’t even see straight. I let my ego and my frustration with others and with this particular system as a whole drag me into a thirst that just didn’t feel as though it could be quenched unless I exploded and hit “send” on that email. I told myself that because I had a valid concern, I was right to be so angry, and therefore I was right to send out that email basically yelling at people (I didn’t write the email in caps, but I mine as well have). I wasn’t living in my truth at that moment, I was living in my ego. I know this not just because of how I handled things, but because it ate at me all weekend. It wasn’t the fact that I was upset that was a problem (I still believe that my feelings were in alignment with the situation). It was how I decided to convey my feelings that later made me feel crummy.
Looking back on it, though only two days and one Gabby Bernstein video later, I realized that while I wasn’t proud of losing my s*** (for lack of a better term), the real lesson was in the fact that I was able to see that this isn’t how I want to handle my anger, anxiety, or frustrations anymore. That there must be other ways (I’m still trying to figure out what those are, but I know that they must exist. Sometimes I feel like I’m not heard unless I scream). And that while we try to stand in the light most of the time, sometimes we get sucked into the darkness because we’re human. We’re not machines with a formula who can spit out the proper response all of the time.
But the biggest lesson of all? While I can work hard on forgiving others, I think I also need to forgive myself on this one. But next time, I hope that I’ll choose differently.