My recent employment history is making me think of a Zen story, let me share that first:
A man goes up the mountain, looking for the Master. After 6 months of looking he’s about to give up. He sees an old man coming down the hill, carrying a bundle of firewood on his back. He asks the old man if he is the Master.
The old man nods.
The seeker says, “What is Enlightenment?”
The old man drops the wood and says “Ahhh!”
The seeker is instantly enlightened.
Then he asks, “What comes after Enlightenment?”
The old Master bends, picks up the wood bundle, and continues down the hill.
I’ve been thinking about being out of work and I couldn’t be happier. I made a decision to leave a position I was not happy in and chose to make a new life for myself. I utilized the services of a career counselor to help draw out what I needed and find a bit more direction. I’ve been searching and applying and had to face the challenges of rejection.
For anyone who has not gone through a long term job search, I have to share there is a piece to it that I underestimated, the emotional piece. With facing rejection from employers one begins to face the depths of their self doubt. It is not pretty and let me advise, if you do face this head on, make sure you have some good support with friends, family, or professionals to lend you a hand when the going gets rough. I will share that the results are very fulfilling, once you face the dragon so to speak.
I’ve learned a lot over the last several months, about myself, about the working world, and about facing uncertainty. In a way, life is a school and the everyday is the arena in which it takes place. I’ve learned so many psychological and spiritual lessons that I am so thankful for what I’m going through. Yes, I am thanking life for putting me through this. Actually, I have to admit I did choose to bring some of this on myself.
I chose to listen to myself that I wasn’t happy. I chose to leave my position and take a chance at finding something more fulfilling. I chose to go explore these ups and downs. And I chose to draw out the gold from these experiences. And gold it is.
One thing I’ve gained is a bit more accurate intuition. And my intuition is telling me that it’s time to come down from the mountain. Ok, now let’s get a bit symbolic. My unemployment is kind of like a retreat from the world. I’ve been retreated from the world of work and learning life lessons. I’m feeling I learned what I needed to learn and it’s about time I re-enter the working world. I have a feeling I’m going to get hired on with a company soon and this is where the real challenge begins.
The lesson in the above Zen story is that one must take the wisdom that they gain and re-enter the world at some point. So I’ve learned many valuable things to help me on my life journey and the next life lesson is to apply those in daily life.
Maybe I needed that retreat, that time to learn without being numb in a job I don’t like. Maybe that’s how I had to learn these things. But I can say with certainty that I’ve gained my clarity and am ready to go in my direction. I’m so thankful of the support I have from family, friends and of course the wonderful loving help of my guardian angels. The only thing I can do is pay it forward, which is part of my goal in the coming years. Let the living begin!