The New Normal is Abnormal Enough
Whether you are still at home zooming your life away, trying to muster enough courage to head back into the office every day after the office has been revamped, scrubbed and stamped COVID safe, or about to return to work post lockdown, it’s all highly weird, disconcerting and tiresome on an epic level.
If the times are not bewildering enough, what if you are returning for whatever reason, to an environment that was already toxic (psychologically and emotionally) before things came to a screeching halt?
Indeed, it isn’t highly unlikely that you may have eagerly (and perhaps secretly) desired the gift of free time (as involuntary it was) to turn the page, wipe the slate clean and start anew- seek out new and better opportunities for yourself, or at least entertained the idea.
But a crumbling or shaky economy may have thrown a monkey wrench into that effort or caused indefinite delays with respect to new openings on a general level.
For those of you living in or returning to a seemingly unhealthy status quo, here is a bible-inspired perspective, and a list of practical suggestions and self-care tips on how to move forward and thrive regardless of your work circumstances.
The Context and Background
October 2017 to September 2019 certainly merits a dark asterisk in my personal and professional history, and over time, the asterisk sheds more and more of its opaqueness the more I use these experiences as guideposts on how to survive and thrive under duress; not just at work but when applied to various life contexts as well.
I endured nearly 2 years of my professional life in a state of painful disappointment, disillusionment, and frequent transition. This period presented itself in three job changes that came as a result of poor leadership and management: incomplete, haphazard training, hypocritical, flaky and insincere characters who made me believe they sought best interests and well-being, and a hair-raising lack of transparency in terms of professional goals and objectives.
It stunk on an epic level. And the toll it took on my emotional and psychological health was grandiose in a diametrically opposite sense.
In July of 2019, it reached its climax when I walked out of work a blubbering, broken mess, unable to sustain the heaviness of my anxiety and stress only to return to that particular place 4 days later; but this time assuming a new role that took me out of the former position that I was unable to handle and into an entry-level position at a massive pay cut.
They say desperate times call for desperate measures; I could not have felt more desperate than I did at that very moment, and so I did what I had to do to pay my bills and muster up enough strength and self-worth to get up every day and head to work so as to avoid falling into paralyzing despair; mostly for my own dignity and for the sake of my wife and 2 young children.
So, where I am going with this sob story and what is the takeaway you ask?
The good part of crashing (and yes, there can be an upside to it) is discovering our power to choose– the wisdom and humility you gain when you decide to pick yourself up and move forward with the process of getting better rather than bitter.
When God Allows Us To Be Stubborn For Our Own Good
Romans 1:16-17 says: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel: It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it is the righteousness of God revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.”
I believe that the more faith we have in the Gospel, the more we come to know via the power and miraculous work of the holy spirit, the nature and power of righteousness instinctually and intuitively; perhaps we can call it our conscience, the inner voice of God that speaks to you in some shape or form and guides you towards right and honest living.
Do the following questions strike a chord with you?
- Have you ever found yourself in a situation be it personal, professional, ministry-wise, etc., where you know something is wrong; where you feel completely out of place and sense you are being asked to do too much/ more than what you really know is possible?
- Have you ever felt like you are surrounded by people who are judgemental or disingenuous and/or don’t really have the best intentions with respect to your wellbeing and may even criticize you (often behind your back) for showing vulnerability?
- And moreover, not only do you know something is off, you manage to convince yourself that you’re nuts, lazy, lacking ability, that you are disillusioned, paranoid, negative or judgemental for thinking this way, although you just can’t shake this impending feeling that you are being taken advantage of and simply can’t find the courage to hold the right people accountable?