I woke up that first day asking myself, “Is this real?”.
Yes it was. But why? What was the purpose of this tumult?
To some extent, I had a sense of relief. I had endured an isolating, cruel and abusive work environment for quite a long time. I done everything I’d been asked to do and done it well, but that wasn’t good enough. I was gone. Collateral damage. All ties were severed, e-mail deleted, letterhead shredded, office furniture canablized, name plate thrown in the trash. The “cleansing” had taken place.
So, I guess that it was time for my cleansing. My first days were filled, at the suggestion of a wise cousin, with yoga/meditation classes, reading, visiting with friends, and keeping busy. Nothing heavy. Paint a smile and move on.
The yoga was great for me. We practiced loving kindness meditations which I found helpful. Loving kindness exercises allow you to forgive yourself and take care of yourself. Often, in that darkened room, the tears would flow silently but I considered that helpful. I had to let the sadness out.
The hardest part of the first few weeks was telling people. It seems you have to explain why you are in the grocery store at 10 am. You feel like a failure. Sadly, I found out that many of my friends were experiencing similar job losses. Seems it is easy to get rid of 60 year olds.
I realized in that first week, that the healing and recovery was going to take a long time. Change can be both subtle and dramatic. Everyday is different from the day before. I had to learn to embrace the change that just happens. I had to believe that things will get better and that I will be happy again. And, I was responsible for making that happen.
For these early days, the purpose was rebirth.