Offering Luminaries A Place to Cultivate
Enjoy A Little Peace & Ease
While on Your Journey to Become
Who You are Meant to Be....
My colleague's impromptu office visits always start with the question— “Are you winning”? Appreciating the banter, I generally reply “of course— I am”. Yet, on this particular day, my answer was—“not even close”.
An earnest look flashed across his face as he sat down “this must be serious”, he replied. Grateful for a kind ear, I began to share the litany of my woes.
As I retold the story— my body began reliving the event. My pounding heart echoed in my head. I held my left shoulder tight to my ear as I held my breath between exhales. Putting all efforts into explaining the events holding to a false sense of finding relief through vilifying everyone.
Once I was done, his only reply was to say, “Don’t you realize they are all in the same boat?”
Wait, that is it— that is all you have to say? My inner mean girl was yelling, jumping up and down, I want more, I need more- can’t you see I am in pain? I wanted him to agree with me— I was certain that his acknowledgment of my victimization would bring me peace and renewal.
Damn it, I can’t even get the support when I am having a bad day— it really is a no-win Tuesday.
Then in what felt like an instant, a spark of renewal entered my consciousness. My mind began flashing a series of funny vignettes, staring all the people from my story. They were in a rowboat. George Washington was at the helm, calling out the synchronized rowing sequences. I concede I thought and then laughed out loud.
As quickly as the tension came it released, down lay my shoulder as I sat sharing with him that he captured this moment beautifully. If I just imagine that these people are in “the boat” all rowing on the same water to the same destination the visual brings me some peace. Mainly, because it is clear today that I am not in the boat with them. He laughed at my response and went back to his office.
I sat thinking about how his simple yet profound statement had explained a feeling I have tried to understand countless times. His oversimplification broke through my painful thinking. If these people are all in the boat, paddling the same direction, believing this was the way to dry land it is no wonder that I am seen as an obstacle to their safety.
I then imagined myself treading water or better yet standing on the sandy bottom of the warm ocean, inviting them to jump out. Shouting it is safe, as they remain quivering in their fear of taking a leap of faith.
My co-workers simple response took the judgment of character out of my mental narrative. In a split second, I realized that I am wasting my time thinking about their choices. They are all in the same boat, rowing together toward their destination, and this activity is as important to them, as the direction my boat is heading. The anger I felt for each person dissolved right then and there.
I am happiest out here in the safe warm water, I thought. Watching them paddling away from the change and growth necessary for our collective success. Knowing they will eventually have to correct their course and come this direction, but I don’t have to exert the energy trying to paddle against their strength.
I will continue to set sail toward the new change taking place in our organization. Being an early adopter allows me to relax a little and float, all while they make their way to the place I have already arrived.
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