Monday, March 11, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 6

This week's prompt: Grace

Dictionary definition: 

a: Disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency  
b: A charming or attractive trait or characteristic
c: A pleasing appearance or effect

I tend to shy away from this word because I associate it with Christianity. Why? Because of a Christian friend who bandied it about a lot but I find myself thinking about it a lot in the moment because of recent work events.

I won't go into the sordid details, suffice to say that my top boss (I have 3: supervisor, boss, and big boss) did something to me that was very disrespectful and professionally humiliating. I now find myself in a position at work where I am about to have to pay the price for this act, and I'm trying to figure out ways to handle the situation tactfully and gracefully (read with dignity).

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how to maintain dignity when someone rips the rug right out from under you, denying you the natural respect and dignity that you expect. The way I see it, I have a few options:

1. To scream bloody murder and make my feelings known
  •  The problem with this move is that I'd end up punishing my colleagues in the process, all of whom stand by me and are sympathetic to the situation. It would create a toxic work environment for me and ultimately, serve no purpose because I go on maternity leave in 4 months (for the non-Canadians out there, this means I'll be away from the office for about a year).
2. To leave
  • Again the whole pregnancy thing complicates this option but it is one I will explore when I return if I find the situation untenable. 
3. To find a compromise
  • I've tactfully expressed my feelings to my boss, though I don't think she grasps them or the insult she delivered (she's too busy seeing numbers and hierarchies to see the person (and team of people) at the other end of her decision) despite her claims that she deeply values me as an employee. Truthfully finding a compromise isn't really an option because I've lost any agency in the situation.
4. To see this as an opportunity to grow
  • They say that when one door closes, another opens and this is what I am trying to work on seeing right now. I'm trying to remember that the God and Goddess are looking out for me and that it will all work out as it needs to in the end.
In the meantime, I am struggling to find balance between my ego reaction (humiliation), my need to be empathetic to the person about to walk into the landmine that is my current work environment, and trusting that even if it feels like I have no agency right now that how I handle this moment and the choices that arise out of it, will set a new course for me in my career. It's up to me to decide what that course will be within the scope of my passions in education.

In these moments I often find it hard to remember to trust the process, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to remember that there are choices at every crossroad and that I have a choice. I can act with grace and integrity or with anger and resentment. The path I choose will determine my own destiny and the way forward. At this moment I am not only choosing to act with grace, I'm trying to conscientiously manifest grace instead of an ego reaction.

It's a lot easier said than done, but I'm working on it!


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