Everyone knows these are financially tough times. And the fog of such days, can sometimes obscure how emotionally hard things have been for some of us off and on in the past. Allow me to mix and match my metaphors here: If charity starts at home, sometimes it may be a good thing to bring the home into the office.
Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Help me, GW/BW – So my job is stable and I just got a bonus. I was even able to give all my employees decent raises. But I can’t say that for most of my friends. I remember a time not too long ago when I was the one laid off and many of the ones in question were not particularly helpful or supportive. On the one hand, I feel bad for them and want to cook for them or buy them dinner and a drink. On the other hand, I remember when they were not there for me. A little voice inside is saying Hah! Now the shoe is on the other foot. But the nurturing side in me does want to help. How to reconcile? I think “forgive and forget” is BS… – Survivor’s Guilt, Manhattan Beach, CA
I get the human urge to want to gloat especially when others have been less than supportive of us in the past, but we’re talking Survivor not Temptation Island here. In this climate of uncertainty and volatility, not so sure it’s your best strategy. So don’t get voted off like a bad player if you want to stick around to play another day, overcome your basest urge(s) and be your biggest person possible. I strongly suspect you have that quality in you more than needing (wanting is a different story) to thumb your nose or lord over others’ misfortune — and that others have seen those higher qualities in you whether you felt the appreciation or not, could very well be likely one of the reasons you’re in your current blessed position. The luxury to think of such dilemmas is your just reward enough, I say. Now, sweet P/T Mama Teresa, don’t stress it and keep your whisking, cocktail swizzling kind-hearted nose to the grindstone — and spread the love and the luck.
Anyone’s karma can be a bitch,
Dear Employment Survivor,
You have a loving and nurturing heart. It is clear from your question that you are one who naturally thinks of how you can take care of the people in your life—possibly better than yourself.
Guidance we heard early in life (especially from well-meaning parents and teachers) like, “don’t brag,” “don’t get too big for your britches,” and “nobody likes a show-off” has left many otherwise functioning adults feeling guilty for taking care of themselves. We become afraid of embracing our success and congratulating ourselves for a job well done because we see others struggling. We tamper down our joy and think of ways to dole out our rewards so others will not resent us for our success. Now that’s b.s.
If there are people in your life you’ve seen struggling who have been supportive in whatever way they could be to you in the past and you want to brighten their day with lunch or dinner on you, well then, you are acting in the highest good of all. You feel good. They feel good. If, however, you feel called to act out of guilt—pull your hand back. You will be giving away emotional resources you cannot afford to expend.
Giving from the heart pays back exponentially with good feelings, good will and good karma. Giving from guilt depletes you in the same way, leaving you with residuals of shame, worry and self-doubt. This is one sure case where you should pay yourself first.
Recognize, however, this is not the same as holding a grudge. There is a difference between not offering or giving a compassionate and polite, “No.” and dangling a carrot you intend to pull away at the first opportunity out of some sense of revenge. If you are doing the former, I say, BRAVO! For respecting your own emotional boundaries. If, however, you are doing the latter, I can only leave you with the words of James Ray, Philosopher, “Holding unforgiveness against someone else and expecting them to feel pain is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Let it go.
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Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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