Panic button stuck in On position

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About five weeks ago I received another emotional beating from my boss.  You have heard the expression about pushing someone’s buttons.  I feel like my boss has pushed my buttons too many times and now I am stuck in the “On” position.  My heart races at work and I have a hard time letting it go when I am not at work.  My therapist suggested that I consider filing for disability for post-traumatic stress disorder.  I have considered just quitting my job and taking money out of my retirement saving to live until I heal.  Therefore, I have been thinking about positive things I could do with my days until I found another job.

Go out walking everyday around sunrise.

Volunteer maybe twice a week – once at Feed My Starving Children and once at the local food shelf.

Meditate.

Do more writing especially listing things for which I am grateful.

Be more mindful when reading the emails I regularly receive from Joel Osteen, Kind Over Matter and other inspirational people.

In a recent email Joel Osteen was reminding people to be more mindful when saying “I am ___” because what follows “I am” will come looking for you.  I reminded me of  Don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements.  The first is Be Impeccable With Your Word.  He says, “Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or gossip about others.”  So ..

I am capable.

I am blessed.

I am loved.

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Feeling grateful

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Violas may be my favorite flower.

 

 

TV show Parenthood

I am feeling the need to express my gratitude for two of my current comforts.

One is the TV show Parenthood.  I only began watching it within the last two weeks and I have been binge watching it.

I am also grateful for my patio flowers.  I know that I will enjoy them all summer.  I will notice how they look when the light is at different angles and when the sky is sunny or gray.

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My patio flowers

My patio flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to include another photo of the violas.

I had to include another photo of the violas.

Making connections

You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

The above book is one of the books I have read recently.  I am trying to live in the belief that God thinks I am amazing.  The book is Christian inspiration so Holley Gerth and I have some differences in our religious beliefs but I feel we agree on the Big Picture.  I did find it helpful and subscribed to her blog and plan to read more of her books.  Because of it I also stumbled on this book.

becoming myself by Stasi Eldredge

becoming myself by Stasi Eldredge

I have only read 7% of this book but my reaction at this point is to say, “This is just what I needed!”.  She encourages us to see ourselves as God does and let go of what others have told us we are.  She says “our transformation begins when we believe we are loved”.  “God invites us into a process” so he can change us.  “The voice of Shame says, I basically hate me; I need to get rid of me.  The voice of Discipline says, I’ve got to fix me, because me is not good.  God says, I love you; let me restore you.”

As I read this I think, this sounds similar to what Geneen Roth has been trying to tell me.  I also think of Eckhart Tolle.  The idea of tuning out our thoughts and listening for God.  Since I am seeing these connections, this leads me to believe that there is a universal truth in there and we each understand it a bit differently because of who we each are.

I was browsing through books and see one with the title, I Know That God is Good But Why Am I Hurting So Much.  My response was, I am hurting because I am listening to people not God.

So I am going to give this a try.  Whenever I find myself thinking, ‘I am worthless’ or I don’t measure up in some way, I will try to quiet my thoughts and listen for God.

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While I am talking about where I see connections, I will mention two more.

Joel Osteen often sounds like the folks that talk about The Law of Attraction.

In the above book, Holley Gerth asks, do you clean your home out of fear of what someone else will think or out of love because you want to create a haven for your family?  Marianne Williamson often talks about choosing between love and fear.  That example gave me a greater understanding of that idea.

Blessings.

 

 

I am worthy.

I have not written in a while because I am struggling not to become overcome with despair.  I still work in an emotionally abuse environment.  I have been looking to find another job and that is very difficult as well.

I have been thinking that I need a worthiness practice.  I don’t know what that would look like.  But I have been thinking that I need to protect my self worth in a way that is similar to an addict protecting their sobriety or a diabetic is careful about their blood sugar level.

I do believe that our worth comes from God and all of us are worthy and equal.  I feel very strongly about that for other people and want to inspire and support and encourage that for others.  But I have a hard time feeling that for me.

Believe.

Believe.

I created the above art to remind myself to believe in my worthiness even when it feels like I am surrounded by powerful forces trying to convince me that I have little to no worth.  Because that is what my work situation feels like and that is what job hunting feel like.  Recently, someone that knows me well said that my parents made a point of telling me I was not worthy.  Work feels pretty much like that.

The following are some of the things I am going to do to support feeling worthy.

I am going to look for quotes on self-worth and post them on my Facebook page.  I might combine them with my photos or combine them with art doodles.  I hope they will encourage my feelings of self-worth and perhaps inspire others.

I am going to look at myself in the mirror and say, “I am worthy.” even if it feels silly.

I will try not to let job hunting let me me feel worthless.  If someone thinks I am not a good fit for their job or I don’t have the skills or experience they are looking for, that is okay.  But it does not mean I am worthless.

I am also going to try to read more.  I have read 11 books so far this year.  I feel good about that although I wish it was closer to one book a week.  It just seems as though I feel better when I read especially if their is a sprinkling of spiritual books among what I read.  It feels harder to read when I feel discouraged.  I will try to sort that out.

When in drought

poster on supervisor's cubical

poster on supervisor’s cubical

Things at work have been rearranged a little bit.  I still have the same manager but I have a new supervisor.  The above poster has been on the supervisor’s cubical for perhaps eight years.  The people that worked for this supervisor moved into our area last week.  I moved over one cubical and the supervisor will be located in my old cubical.  The supervisor has been out recovering from surgery.  I worry about being ganged up on – bullies feel safer together.  So far things are okay.

another view of the same poster

another view of the same poster

I am tired of dreading going into work.  I am tired of waking up during the night and feeling anxious.

I want to convince myself that worrying does not do any good.  I think I believe that if I worry, I can be prepared for bad things.  But that is not true and I cannot control anyone.

Last week Martha Beck sent out a daily inspiration that said “Think of a current “drought” in your life.  For 10 minutes, just trust that it will be okay.  Trust that you will be guided.  Trust, against all odds and evidence, that you are safe.”

Joel Osteen would tell me that with God all things are possible.

I want to trust that I am safe and things will work out.

Last week I had a telephone job interview.  At the end of the call, she started telling me about another opening they had that she felt would be a better fit for me.  I am not used to people seeing good in me.  The job opening sounded very interesting because it involved investigating and problem solving.  I told her that as she was describing the job I was thinking I would need to be very organized and figure out a system to keep track of where things were with a particular dispute.  She told me that they would provide me with training and that I could see the system that others used.  I would be allowed to be a learner!

I am going to try to hold the possibility that I could be hired for this position – that I could have work that I enjoy with nice people at a good company with good pay and good benefits.

Struggling

I admit that I am really struggling.

I am still reeling from my boss’s most recent attack.

I decided to try a career counselor.  In the email I sent to her I said, “I am looking for someone who would be willing to do a brainstorming session with me for a plan to leave my job as soon as possible.  My boss is emotionally abusive and has eroded my confidence and self-worth.  I have been looking for a job but I believe my lack of self-confidence has really played a role in not finding another job.  I have reached a point where I feel it might be good to take any job at all to get away from her.  I would like to come up with a list of possible jobs and a plan for how I might obtain those jobs.”

The career counselor was not helpful.  If I could go back and redo the situation, I would re-read my email for the counselor at the start of the conversation.  Instead our conversation was mostly about my current job situation.  She told me if I came for several sessions, (spending several hundred dollars), she could help with interview questions and a LinkedIn profile.  Those things might be helpful for me but I left feeling even more hopeless.

I suppose it did help in a backwards sort of way.  I do realize that my current work situation is very damaging.  I have been minimizing how bad it is as a way to survive.  But somehow I need to acknowledge how bad it is and at the same time make every effort to not let it get to me.  I need to put on emotional armor, a full hazardous material suit if you will,  before going to work.

I did have a job interview last week.  When I arrived, they asked me to fill out an application.  Later, a woman interviewed me for about fifteen minutes.  My guess is that she had already decided on a candidate but interviewed me to say that she had interviewed a number of candidates.  I don’t think she meant to be cruel but it felt cruel.  I go through a lot of emotions before an interview.  I worry about what I will say and what I will wear.  I hope that this will be the job that is right for me.  I tell myself that I have no control over what anyone else does.  I also took 1/2 day of vacation.

I received an email from a different company today asking me to me to reply to about two dozen questions – interview by email if you will.  I wonder if it is another situation where they have already decided on a candidate and will use my answers to say that they interviewed several candidates.

Wishing you comfort

My living room

My living room

I can’t believe that I just posted a picture of part of my home.  I can sit in my living room now and plug in the lights and it really feels comforting.

The home I grew up in was not a haven so I have long wanted to create a haven for myself.  I have lived in my town home for over twenty years and I have not really been successful at creating a home that feels like a haven.

My therapist asked how I was feeling at home.  She asked if I feel better because I am doing better at not letting the people at work eat at me when I am not at work.  Her question kept swirling in the back of my brain because I wanted to understand why it feels different.

I believe the difference is that I am better able to see work experience as separate from my experiences growing up.  I can be in fear of the people at work from an adult perspective rather than a child’s perspective.

Christmas at work – I have felt bullied into contributing for a Christmas gift for my boss and also bullied into exchanging gifts with coworkers.  Earlier this year I told my boss that I did not wish to exchange Christmas gifts.  There was a scheduled meeting on Wednesday when they gathered to exchange gifts.  I did not attend.  Later when I went to ask my boss a question, she tried to force a gift on me.  My facial expression was showing that I was offended and I was holding up my hands in a “No” sort of gesture.  She then started attacking my personality.

Gratitude helps us feel better, right.  I am grateful for the following.

This is the second year I have been a part of the Focusing On Life blog’s holiday card exchange.

One card says, “It makes me so happy to be able to share in this little card swap & wish you and your family a JOY-filled Christmas season.”  Dotti

It makes me happy too Dotti.

The following card is from Viv.  It may be silly but it feels extra special to me because it came from England.  For some reason the inside message made me cry.

Blessings.

A Christmas card from Viv

the inside of Viv's card

Crying over spilled crockpots

crockpot

Last Friday, my division at work had their annual holiday pot luck.  They are unpleasant for me for many reasons.

One of the things that I think about with pot luck meals is the difficulty in transporting food.  I remember a time when I was transporting a crock pot to my brother and sister-in-law’s home and it tipped over.  I wanted to cry.  I went back home, threw out the remaining food, cleaned up my car, and drove to my brother’s home.  In a demeaning tone, my mother asked why I did not bring the food that had not spilled on the floor of my car.

At the time, I did not speak up for myself.  I did not feel I could.  This incident probably happened about 1985.  I think it is about time I stopped carrying it, don’t you?

I am currently taking a class where we are discussing communication with spirits or Spirit.  I decided to send a message to my mother’s spirit telling her how I felt about the above incident.

I was hurt by your comments, Mom.  My judgement was that once the top edge of the crock pot touched the carpet on the floor of the car, the whole container was tainted.  I wish you had patted my shoulder and said ‘I am sorry that it tipped over and you had to throw out the food that you made.  I’m sure you put care into it and were looking forward to eating it and sharing it.’

I have also been cleaning out a lot of things in my home, tossing or donating items. I am going to consider this hurtful memory as one more thing removed from “my home”.

Blessings.

To end this post with a positive image

To end this post with a positive image

The Union Street Bakery series

The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor

The Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor

I don’t want to let go of these characters; I wish there was a third book to read.  I see so much love in these characters.  I see a willingness to accept one another and work things out.  Especially in book two, I see a willingness to reach out with their love and enfold others.

When Daisy is three years old, her mother abandoned her at the Union Street Bakery.  She was adopted by the loving people that owned and ran the bakery.  Daisy is now 34 and just lost her job with an investment firm; a job that she thought would provide security.   The investment firm made some risky investments and lost a lot of money in the economic downturn. The firm’s reputation is making it difficult for Daisy to find another job.  Her parents have retired from the bakery.  Her sister, Rachel, and her husband were running the bakery but he died suddenly.  Her family really needs her at the bakery.  With mixed feelings Daisy goes back to working at the bakery and living in the attic apartment above the bakery.

On her first day back at the bakery, an older woman from their neighborhood brings a historical journal for Daisy.  There is a mystery to be solved with this journal and it seems to have special significance for Daisy.

Her mom is encouraging her to find out more about her birth mother, believing it will help her to find some peace.  To help her understand the importance of why she needs to do this, she tells her about her first day of preschool.  Daisy was 3 1/2 and when her mom turned to leave that day, Daisy panicked and grabbed her legs and started crying.  Daisy’s mom ended up sitting in the hall outside the classroom and the teacher agreed to leave the door open so Daisy could see her there.  Daisy’s mom sat there the whole time she was in class and she did that for four days until Daisy had stopped checking for her.

Sweet Expectations by Mary Ellen Taylor

Sweet Expectations by Mary Ellen Taylor

I am giving away a little bit of the story but in this book Daisy finds out that she is pregnant.  As in the previous book, there are spirits urging Daisy to bring answers to the present.  In this book, the woman is Jenna.   Jenna worked in the bakery in the 1940s.  My favorite part of the book was Daisy’s search to find answers as to what happened to Jenna and the people she meets in the process.  Daisy finds out that some people refer to her sister as The Seeker.  Daisy would not be able to solve this mystery without her sister Margaret’s help and Margaret’s connections.

Reading this gave me a greater appreciation for the art of baking.  I believe this also happens for Daisy and how she sees Rachel.

Over the course of the two books I see Daisy’s family as become more bonded, more appreciative of the gifts each brings.

The family works hard to keep the bakery going.  I find myself being drawn to books like that.  Perhaps it is part of my desire to work with others toward a common goal.

I found much to like in these books.  If you read them, I hope you do too.

Blessings to you.

Part Two The Real Me

I am trying to see beauty even on gray days.

I am trying to see beauty even on gray days.

 

In my last post I was explaining I was hurt by the comments of a coworker.  I almost said that I had allowed a coworkers’ comments to hurt me.  I don’t like it when I hear people say that.  It feels like kicking someone when they are down.  I think that feelings happen.  If we are aware of the feeling, we can then choose what to do with them.

Anyway, the same thing happened today.  I noticed that the automated mail cart was off the track and stopped.  Even after everything I said yesterday, I still hesitated to go fix it.  But I did.  Walking toward it, I was thinking, I have noticed this off the track a number of times in the same place so I should contact the Mail Center so they could call a repair person.

I got it back on track and moving again.  I turned around and there was a coworker a few steps away from me.  I told her that I would not try to fix it if I did not know what I was doing and she did not need to check up on me.  She said that she was not checking up on me but our other coworker had told her it was not working.  She said that she was going to contact the Mail Center. I don’t really believe that she was not checking up on me.

It reminded me of the following.  I first heard this a number of years ago in a Twelve Step group.  I believe it was written by Portia Nelson in 1977.

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

Chapter One:  I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in.  I am lost.. I am helpless.  It isn’t my fault.  It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two:  I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.  I fall in again.  I can’t believe I am in this same place.  But it isn’t my fault.  It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it is there.  I still fall in .. it’s a habit .. but my eyes are open.  I know where I am.  It is my fault.  I get out immediately.

Chapter Four:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it,

Chapter Five:  I walk down another street.

I need to love the part of myself that feels I I can’t do anything right.

Blessings, friends

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