Yesterday was March 31.
This is a significant day of the year for me. It was the last official day of my old job. Four years ago, I was unceremoniously and rudely dismissed from my job. I know now this was due to events totally beyond my control, but my self-worth was in the toilet and it took a long time to recover.
This year’s March 31st, turned out to be the last official day of my old boss’ job. I only know this because by a Divine “ha-ha”, he was sitting at the table next to me for lunch yesterday. This was the same boss who unceremoniously and rudely dismissed me from that job.
I was having lunch with my friend, who is one of the very best lawyers I know. He is incredibly smart, funny, never gives up, has so much integrity it hurts, is super honest. He always has his clients’ best interests at heart, even when they don’t. He has a work ethic that would make a slave blush.
The only thing I ever found fault with in him, was his total and utter dedication to his work. He cared so much for his work, it was to the detriment of his personal family time with his spouse and children, and his own personal talents.
He was perplexed because these issues were unprecedented at work, his usual arena of perfection. The worst part is, that these issues were not related to the quality of his work, his work output, or his work relationships. So what the hell was going on?
He was experiencing the shock I had myself four years ago, when my job fell apart for no reason related to my work.
The lightbulb was finally going on for him. The last tiny bits of his soul were finally getting sucked.
Yesterday, was the first time the penny really dropped for him. He finally realized that no matter how long he waited, he would never, ever, ever be getting the gratitude that – by any account – he deserves. It finally dawned on him, that even though he pours his heart and soul and love into his work every day, week after week, only a miniscule amount of his hard work will ever be acknowledged, let alone rewarded.
I was really sad to be there to witness his realization. It is not happy, to realize that years of your blood and sweat will never be appreciated.
But I was also incredibly happy to witness the fact that he has now turned his laser-like focus, and his commitment and his dedication to his own endeavours.
I am excited because even though he may feel temporarily angry about the lack of appreciation from his job, he has now committed to bringing the most success to himself. He is bringing his brilliance, his focus, his love and most of all his utter, at-all-costs commitment, to his own work. His work can’t help be absolutely brilliant, because anything he applies and dedicates himself to is absolutely brilliant.
He cannot fail, because he puts his heart and soul into anything he commits to, and he will be sharing his heart and his soul, and his brilliance, with the world. And because he gives of himself 1000%, the world will love him back for a million-fold.
So Why Were We All At the Restaurant?
So why were we all at the restaurant on this auspicious date?
It came to me last night. The three of us are at three stages of valuing of our souls, commiting to our authentic values.
I’ve made the commitment to my own gifts in order to nourish my soul. To accomplish this, I am doing what’s necessary to make more time for myself and transition out of my job. My realization only came after my painful removal from that job and a lot of soul-searching.
My friend has just recognized that he must make the time to value his own gifts, as his job will never will value him fully. He has also recognized that in order to honor himself fully, he will eventually have to leave this job.
Yesterday was a payback from me to my friend. When I was totally losing my mind at my old job four years ago, questioning my own value and my sanity, he was the only one who assured me of the value of my work. He was the witness, the anchor that reassured me that I could value myself.
I was honored yesterday by being able to be a witness for him. I was able to affirm for him the value of his work. I could reassure him that the non-appreciation he is receiving had nothing to do with the quality of his work, just as he did for me. I also helped him see, that his focus directed towards his own work would also lead to brilliance in his own work.
How does my old boss feel about his own value? I’ll never know, but I’m guessing that perhaps my old boss represents one that never truly did value himself. He certainly appeared to never felt valued from his job. Perhaps he felt that if he gave everything to his job, there would be a pay-off somewhere. I doubt he ever got that pay-off. But, perhaps now that he has the time to value his own pursuits, he will. Today for him, is literally the first day of the “rest of his life”. I wish him luck with that.
I am thankful that I didn’t have to wait until my retirement date until I realized that my highest duty was to myself and my own gifts.
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Copyright 2010 :: Kara Thompson
Thanks to alicepopkorn for the amazing photo!