Sep 30, 2005

30 days to serenity

September has been a month where things came to a head for me.

I don't function well when I'm tired. Ever since childhood, I've always gotten cranky when tired. After a weekend of little sleep, I got cranky at work last Monday, and the person I was cranky with (a regular co-worker) took it so badly, that my bosses were told.

So I had a meeting with my boss and his boss last Tuesday. Two very nice men, but I found it scary. I was afraid of losing my job.

I had a day off the day after. A day to reflect and rest up. But I found that I was so upset, I couldn't face going to work.

This year hasn't been much better than 2004. I tried to distract myself in March with my trip to California, but too much new and different plus the loss of my cat meant I didn't get my batteries recharged like I needed. I was looking forward to a peaceful summer vacation where I could completely suit myself, only to have it spent attending Grandma's funeral and to her affairs.

And then I gave up the key to Grandma's apartment. My last connection to her and Grandpa was severed and it hurt more than I expected.

I've been so wanting to take some time off work, but have no vacation time left. So feeling like crap, knowing I'd been overwhelmed, I called in sick. I was glad I did. I woke up angry Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (that is, I woke up, thought about the situation, and instantly got pissed off at my co-worker). Not good. Certainly not the right way to start the day if the idea is to not lose my cool at work.

So I spent my days at home tyring to think through my own behavior and how to handle the situation, only to realize that my anger was getting in the way. Finally, I realized I need to write off some of my steam first, and in so doing revisited past hurts from my childhood, and realized that some old wounds now need addressing and healing. Some of my reactions echo how I felt back when I was in school and being bullied. I don't know why this is coming to the surface now; maybe Grandma's death has removed a barrier in me or something.

Saturday morning was the first morning I woke up and didn't instantly get irritated.

I haven't written about this sooner, because I admit to feeling like a failure. I'm supposed to be so spiritual, using affirmations to get my life in order, but then I fall back on old, destructive ways and Kaphlooey!

But it wasn't for naught: The wounds that are surfacing need healing. It's time to put the pain of the past to rest. That I choose such dramatic methods, seems to be my usual modus operandi. But I have been thinking lately that it's time to address my temper.

In the past, my temper served me well. It let the people around me know that I wasn't happy with how they were treating me, and that I certainly wasn't going to go down and cave in to their abuse without a fight. My resulting distrust of people trying to get close to me, know my weaknesses or failings, was useful back then, too, but now that and my anger are only getting in the way.

I'm also tired of flaring up over little things. A cup bangs against the side of the sink as I'm putting it in the sink, and I cuss up a storm at it. That's an over-reaction. I don't want to raise my blood pressure or become an irritable old woman. Grandma was always so sweet to everyone and that definitely made it easier to get treated nicely back.

So I pored over my metaphysical books, battling with my loss of faith in that good things are meant to be the norm, and battling with my fear that maybe this isn't fixable. Maybe I really blew it.

But after five days at home, digging through my own library, catching up on other reading (and constantly getting reminders and guidance from various sources, including old magazines and Dr. Phil), writing out my thoughts, I found an affirmation in a Joseph Murphy book (see below), and I also rediscovered my faith. God had not left me, I was not alone. (Normally, I'd talk to Grandma about such things.)

I returned to work on Monday and my boss was happy to see me. My co-worker was skeptical about my new resolve to do better, to keep my negative feelings in check and always treat others well and without "bitchiness". I can understand his skepticism, but I'm not depending on his co-operation. I'm depending on myself (and God) to create a new habit for myself. It takes 30 days to create a new habit, so if I can keep reminding myself to stay on an even keel, be patient, and treat everyone with a smile (and to a smile) for 30 days (I started Monday Sept. 26), I'll have accomplished a lot, and by then, even my co-worker may notice.

I'll be having a meeting with Personnel on Monday. I've been thinking about asking for an anger management class or at least some kind of customer service training. I want to know how other people manage to handle customers fairly, nicely and patiently, no matter how they themselves feel. I have never been able to hide my feelings, to keep my emotions out of my voice, so this is all foreign territory to me. I definitely have something to learn.

What restored my faith

The affirmation that brought my faith back was hiding in my PDA, and is from Emmet Fox's "Diagrams for living", p. 104:
God in me is stronger than anything I have to meet. God has given me dominion over my circumstances. I let nothing in this situation frighten me for I know God is with me.

What I'm using for 30 days

The affirmation that I read and try to focus on with all my mind and heart is Entitled "Prayer for Controlling the Emotions", and is from Joseph Murphy's "The Amazing Laws of Cosmic Mind Power", p.151:

I am always poised, serene, and calm. The peace of God floods my mind and my whole being. I practice the Golden Rule and sincerely wish peace and good will to all men.

I know that the love of all things which are good penetrates my mind and casts out all fear. I am now living in the joyous expectancy of the best. My mind is free from all worry and doubt. My words of truth now dissolve every negative thought and emotion within me. I forgive everyone; I open the doorway of my heart to God's Presence. My whole being is flooded with the light and understanding from within.

The petty things of life no longer irritate me. When fear, worry, and doubt knock at my door, faith in goodness, truth, and beauty opens the door, and there is no one there. "O, God, Thou art my God, and there is none else."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

HI AGAIN...I just wrote you re my lack of faith on the menopause forum...and decided to look a little bit more into what you had written. Maybe you have helped me by sending me in a direction I have been avoiding. I also took a trip to California end of August...second one but I find such peace in the landscape. I'm sorry about your Grandmother ...and your cat...you seem to have your head on your shoulders and wisdom beyond your years. I envy you more than I did.
Sorry, that's a sin isn't it.
Be happy and thanks so much.

Keera said...

Ooh, I lost my head there, though, hence this particular blog. But it was worth it - as it turned out. Also first time I didn't have Grandma to ask advice from. I'm not out of the woods, yet. (I need to write a follow-up blog.) Anyway, if I can help, I'm happy to. BTW, being single doesn't help keep one calm. I'm single. ;-)