My brother has been going through all his VHS tapes and re-formatting them to DVD. During the process he found an old clip of me dancing around his living room. I was 18 and wearing the fancy yellow dress I had just bought to wear to my Grade 12 prom. Watching the video, he turned to me and asked, “Where did your confidence go? You used to be so vibrant and alive.” I replied, “I’ve been divorced twice and laid off from work a bunch of times. You do the math.”
This realization hit me hard. Where had my confidence gone? Did it depend solely on situations outside of myself?
Getting divorced was good for me. Of course it was difficult at times since I was a single parent with three daughters to raise. Money was scarce because I was laid off several times from jobs in the high-tech industry. The lay-offs were all out of my control and due to economic woes and recessions. Not my fault. I knew that logically but emotionally the loss was a real hit to the ego. What was wrong with me? Why did these companies not see the value in keeping me?
In a nutshell, the past 15 years have been really difficult but I always brushed myself off and kept going. Better things were coming, I always said to myself. I was an optimist. Or so I thought. Suddenly, I realized this wasn’t true. I was bitter and angry about how things had turned out. I’m smart with a lot of talent and I should be better off financially, damn it! My ego was definitely hurting.
Logically, I know that my real value doesn’t come from any job but emotionally, this is hard to accept. If I’m not an “insert miscellaneous career title here”, then what am I?
The thing I loved most about college was the respite it provided from all this soul searching. I was a student and didn’t need to worry about looking for a job while I was in school. It was a delicious limbo while it lasted but then I needed to find work again.
I have just been hired at a large financial institution in my city and I am really excited about my new role. I know I am going to excel in this job but I will always be afraid of it being taken away from me again. I am working on my spiritual side as a way of reminding myself that who I am is not what I do. My career is not my true identity.
My career is not my true identity. My career is not my true identity. Has it sank in yet?
No. But I’m trying.
I just read Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani and it really opened my eyes to my magnificence. In it, she talks about her Near Death Experience (NDE) as she lay in a coma with severe lymphoma. Tumours the size of lemons dotted her lymphatic system and she was only given a few hours to survive. During her NDE she joined the rest of the Universal Energy and could see all of time happening at once. She realized that she had been too hard on herself in the physical form and all she was required to do in life was to simply be, to exist. She was magnificent just because she existed and not because she had a certain job or looked a certain way. When she returned to her physical body, Anita miraculously healed herself of the cancer and within a few days the tumours were gone.
This was a message I needed to hear! I had forgetten how wonderful I really am. I was so wrapped up in my anger about how my life had turned out that I forget myself. My real self.
I am vibrant and wonderful no matter what happens. I am magnificent!
And so are you.