We all have those opportunities in life to really explore parts of who we are. Sometimes we are so unaware that we posses a certain ability it takes an extreme situation to unleash a dormant aspect. For me it was a boss that i struggled with. For a long time i was overly frustrated by the person I became as a result of the relationship we had. I became a person that compromised who he is to avoid further pain in my life. I literally changed who i was in their presence to adapt to an overwhelming personality. I chose not to speak up when i thought something was wrong, irrelevant of if it were wrong i did not stay true to how i would handle situations. I responded with fear, doubt and an overall negativity towards everyone involved. I placed blame on the boss, just like anyone would do. But not what i would usually do, i know it takes two to tango and i was on one end.
There is no need to go into the dynamics of the relationship, cause if this applies to you than just imagine your boss and it will all make sense.
Now the only reason I do tell this story is there no way I could make the next point without having made you aware of the fact that the choice in how I responded was something that I chose to do and have actually done. Cause otherwise if I was reading this i would of said yeah right that sounds like bullshit, not accomplishable, way to airy fairy. So let me sum up the situation, it was bad, the pain that i felt, the stress it caused and the person I became as a result on the influence they had on my life was overwhelming. It came to the point where my health and well being were affected and i hate to admit that. That someone could have that much influence over me, and that i would allow it for the length of time that i did, was probably something that needed to happen for me to learn the most from the experience. and have the lesson stick for life, so what did i do?
Well I realised that my first thought was how do I get her to be nicer or a better version of herself. And as noble as that was it was stupid, for to presume that the problem rested with her was ignorant, the problem was in my reaction. No matter the person she is I still have a choice over how I react. how I feel in relation to her, That is something you are always in control of, no one can take that way. Victor Frankle, a prison camp survivor from WW2 wrote about this in his book, Man's Search for Meaning, an incredible look at how in the harshest of treatments that could be inflicted on one person from another, people either stayed compassionate and true to themselves or they turned on themselves and their surroundings. He noted that only how you feel inside is the one thing that can not be taken away from you. You have the capacity to control that.
I chose that who I would be in response to the onslaught of personal attacks was a person of love who realised that who my boss was, was not her true self, in fact for her to be a negative influence in my life she would have to have some pretty serious stuff going on in hers.
For one extreme personality trait to exist it must be created by another extreme. If someone inflicts pain on another it is usually that pain has or is being inflicted on them in another aspect of their world. The child who is beaten grows up to beat others or they grow up to be dominated by their spouse, or even abused. Both outcomes created from an extreme.
And so if the relationship with my boss was an extreme that came into my world, is it creating another extreme within me? It was. At first it was negative, a truly harmful experience to my soul. In which I initially felt harm and anger towards my boss. So i needed to interpret the experience differently, I needed to see this as the greatest opportunity I had faced to be love in the face of fear, to be kind to jealousy and most of all compassionate to anger that had arisen from a soul that was itself struggling. To be love i needed to realise that who I am is not influenced by another, it is my choice. This combined with the thought that if we are all connected in some way on this planet than what I was putting my boss i was putting on myself. If I was being anger to them than I was being anger to me. Hopefully that made sense.
I am grateful for that experience, for if you are okay with today you can regret yesterday. Everything is for a reason.