A lot has changed in and around my world since last we spoke. I’m still pinching myself some days at how quickly life can change and how dramatically those changes can affect your life. In the ongoing process of change, I’ve also learned a few things about myself. Here’s a short story on my most recent change of view.
A dear friend called in the middle of the day, which was very unlike her. She said she just needed to talk. I was headed to a meeting but told her I’d call as soon as I was free. Sure enough, when I called, what I didn’t want to hear was exactly what she wanted to talk about. She has late stage cancer and the prognosis without treatment is a few short months. BAMM!!! Talk about a slap of reality. She wasn’t upset or afraid or defeated; quite the opposite. She’s been the strongest, most positive, faith-filled person I’ve ever seen when faced with such a bleak future. Her strength and confirmation of healing did not change my view of her; I’ve always known she was a strong woman. The change of view comes to light because even with all her strength, she still needed me to lean on. WOW…with that much faith and strength, who knew there was even a need to lean on anyone. I’d always been the one in need and didn’t think with all my sadness, I could offer any support to anyone when they needed it. To me, God has her firmly in His hand; what could I possibly offer. Well what I’ve learned is that even in the throws of a storm, the faithful still need friends.
This leads me to my second strong, faith-filled friend. Again, I got a call (voicemail) saying she needed to talk to me. It took us a couple of days to connect but when we did, here again there was news I didn’t want to hear. Her mother has late stage Alzheimer’s. WOW….again a slap of reality right in the face. And again, same scenario…she wasn’t looking for me to commiserate in her sadness; she needed a friend to lean on.
Now you may ask why this would be a change of view for me. Well to be honest, I’ve not handled sadness well in my life. Having lost my best friend, my mother-in-law, and my own mother in the span of three years, my sadness tolerance was at its max and I didn’t think I could handle any more without falling totally apart, yet alone being someone others could depend on in their time of need. Looking back I can now see that when I was at my lowest, relying heavily on my friends, God was growing my strength and faith so that I could help them when their time came around.
Guess that ‘s why when the latest incident appeared, I was able to deal with it from a totally different set of eyes. This last issue involves work relationships and how change can throw others for a loop and how we react to their reaction is affected by your own change of view. Long story short, a colleague came to me with her “concerns” about my status on the team. She presented herself as a representative of the entire team. Apparently the consensus was that the team didn’t appreciate me positioning myself as their supervisor/leader. LOL…. I didn’t laugh in her face but that was my internal reaction.
Ironically exactly what she was “accusing” me of what exactly what she was doing to me. Who did she think she was telling me how I should act as a member of the team? Telling me that the team didn’t feel it fair that management was positioning me as their supervisor was quit frankly silly. I have been given an opportunity to use my learning (point of view as a manager) to benefit the entire team. Yet from the team’s point of view, they were annoyed that as the newest member of the team, I could possibly be of any use to them.
Well to give you a snippet of my “feedback” to that – I just told her that I was not going to step back, fall back, or block my own blessing just to smooth the feelings of the team. God does nothing by chance and I have been so blessed to have this opportunity to not only give back to them what I’ve learned (thru the hurt and pain of failure) but to also learn and grow myself both in a professional environment and in my God faith. So while the conversation was negative and my reaction would have been negative as well in the past, because of the realities of my dear friends and the challenges they are facing, my change of view helped me to see beyond the ignorance of my colleague and understand her point of view. I was able to communicate to her in a way that she now understands that she too needs to change her view because looking at what should have happened has maxed out her professional capacity leaving no room for new things to be introduced into her world that will grow her position. I was not going to let my sadness capacity limit my ability to use that sadness to help my friends and grow myself in the process.
So my fellow conversationalist, I offer to you this point of view. Hurt in life is inevitable; it’s how we choose to use it later that really matters. I’m learning to let go of the hurt and embrace that pain because it is helping my friends deal with their pain, which is a mighty good feeling to me. Pay it forward! Our view of the good and the bad can benefit others if only we change our view at how we see the lows and the highs of life.