I love the show Criminal Minds – it is absolutely fascinating to me, although dark, but a great show. Of course it does not hurt having “Derek Morgan” who was Orlando in one of my all time favorite movies “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”, Tyler Perry is amazing. I digress.
I just caught up on some of my taped episodes of Criminal Minds and something they repeated a few times in the show was this:
“In all of us lives a dark side; some of us embrace it, some have not choice, and the rest of us fight it but in the end it is as natural as the air we breathe. At some point we are forced to face the truth – ourselves.”
The ending of anything in our life caused by our own actions or by being forced upon us is traumatic, no matter if it is a career, a marriage, a friendship – it is traumatic. Telling yourself and everyone else that everything is fine and you are just going to pick up and move along sounds great yet it is difficult to put into place.
When you lose that part of your identity that has become so much a part of you it is natural to feel lost: what will people think, how will you explain a job ending to the next employer, will they want you since the last company did not – all of these questions are normal.
This may go against other’s opinions, but I truly believe you have to recognize the dark side in you, the anger, the fear, the rejection – all those horrible nasty feelings. You must acknowledge their presence in order to choose to overcome them. You know the old saying about the elephant in the room….
That is step one: acknowledge them. Step two: get your power back over them. Just because they are there does not mean they have the power or right to control you. You have to make that decision. It is like a kid who is afraid of the dark who yells out to the unseen monsters, “I know you are there but I’m not going to be afraid of you!”
Step three: stop trying to fix what is not broken. I believe we have the tendency to look at a failed situation and try to go back to see what happened and play the “what if” game. What if I had done this, what if I had seen that….destructive. Like the line in the Lion King, “It doesn’t matter, it is in the past.” Let it go, you can not fix it or them. Them being the bosses or co-workers or company. They are never going to admit they did you wrong so let it go and why the heck do you need validation from someone who you feel did you wrong? Think about that for a minute.
Step four: put one foot in front of the other. Even if you do not know what direction you are taking, just stick your dang foot out there! Life is moving on and so must you. Even if it is crazy and confused, you will get no peace or closure from standing still. By putting that foot out there you are putting yourself back in the world only this time a little wiser, a little more seasoned, maybe a little more bruised, but a little stronger just by taking that one step.