I’ve always considered myself to be a good employee. I’ve loved going to work and enjoyed connecting with clients and colleagues in the workplace. I’ve always endeavoured to get to know people and to have a meaningful connection with them where possible. So I was a bit nonplussed recently, when I began a temporary administration assignment where I felt like a fish out of water.
I’ve worked for all types of organisations, with wide ranging ages of employees. However I’d not worked anywhere where the culture was to employ only young people so I attributed my discomfort to the age factor. This particular workplace employs mainly young people between the ages of 17 to 25 years of age while the three managers are in their 40’s.
Right from the first week I felt a bit weird working there. It was as if I was a non-person. I’d never experienced this feeling of not belonging to the team before. To add insult to injury the work I was given was really simple; I spent most of the day in a small windowless archiving room completing the task of filing invoices.
I asked myself, “What on earth am I doing here?”
During the past 20 years I’ve deepened my connection with myself via self-love and self-care and have learned to truly nurture myself, however I didn’t seem to be able to tap into my inner support. I felt awkward in this place. I tried to ‘fit in’ as best I could but would breathe a sigh of relief each day when I left the building. I wrestled with myself for a day or two about ending this assignment. I decided to continue because I figured there had to be a worthwhile reason for this contract to be presented to me.
Into my second week with the company, these uncomfortable feelings were beginning to ramp up and I was unable to avoid them or understand what was happening. It was as if I had no worth at all. I didn’t feel valued by, or visible to, the other employees.
I was beginning to think that I would have to accept that my time in the workforce had come to an end.
I was devastated because up until this point the thought of retiring had never occurred to me. I still had heaps of energy and vitality and as far as I was concerned I was nowhere near ready to retire.
Nearing the end of week two I was really struggling with what felt like a mild depression. I was unable to make sense of it all and when I attempted to explain to my husband what was happening, all my pent-up feelings came tumbling out in a rush of emotion. I was angry, mostly with myself for not having the where-with-all when I was younger to study and build a worthwhile career. I told myself that if I had, I could have done something that would not have left me feeling like I was on the workplace scrapheap at age 65.
Fortunately, I have a very wise and loving husband who listened patiently to my rants and sobs and once through my ravings I was able to at least let myself be. I realised of course that I was having just a wee bit of a reaction (understatement) and I knew from experience that nothing sensible was going to come from me trying to sort it out in this frame of mind.
The next day I went to work with more awareness and instead of reacting to what was in front of me and happening around me, I focused on observing it all and allowed myself to feel what was going on in my body. I felt nauseous, anxious like I wanted to run and yet there was a desperateness there. I wanted to make people like me and not ignore me. What were these excruciating sensations telling me?
I began to see that I was being presented with an opportunity to heal an old belief where I’d often felt that I had to change myself to be around others and especially around my family.
I was then able to see that this situation at work had nothing to do with my age, whether I’d studied at university or what my role in life was, is or will be in the future.
When I allowed myself to truly feel my body, I realised that these feelings were in fact not new at all. This workplace reminded me of my family and that it was no coincidence that I just happened to be working for a carpet business. The sight and smell of the carpet was reminding me of my childhood; my father had a carpet business for over 40 years.
This sense that I didn’t belong, that I was invisible to others and that I didn’t feel valued was a very old feeling from childhood and one that I’d been running away from feeling for a long time. As a small child, and well into my teens and adulthood, this is exactly how I’d often felt in my family. To ‘fit in’ I’d developed a way of being that was to please others so they’d ‘notice’ me.
I’d learned how to ‘bend myself in-side-out’ to get approval so I wouldn’t feel these feelings of not being ‘liked’ and therefore not ‘valued’. I had a twisted idea of what love is, that to be liked and approved of was to somehow be loved.
I had developed an unconscious pattern of hardening my body that had allowed me to go through life ‘managing’ these feelings without noticing or dealing with what was truly happening within me.
In this particular workplace environment, I’d stepped back into the old familiar way of being with my family. I felt small, ineffectual, invisible and unsure of myself. At the same time, I realised I didn’t want to be seen, I didn’t want to stand out in case I was ridiculed.
What I was being shown here so obviously, was that when I diminish myself and thereby not truly connect with others, not allow myself to feel okay with who I am no matter what I’m doing or who I’m with, then they can’t see me because I’m hiding my true self.
It’s nobody’s fault I’m feeling this way. I am in fact, doing it to myself because of an old belief I had never challenged around my family.
From here I realised that I had a choice. I could continue to pretend to be this small person and stay invisible or I could come out and be all of me and not worry about what others think and thereby enjoy my life at a whole other level of being in the world.
I was quite relieved to realise that I was not on the workplace scrapheap at 65. This was actually a wonderful opportunity to let go of a debilitating mindset. It was time to be authentic and allow my true qualities to be seen here. Our deeper qualities are so often overlooked and not valued or prized like the technical skill sets called for today.
‘Your daily deeds and chores
do not add up to your worthiness,
for the loveliness was there
at the birth of the day.’
Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, Vol 1, Book 7, p539 – Serge Benhayon
I began to feel more whole and I knew that should these old feelings ever emerge again I could support myself with the truth. I could now deeply appreciate my own gorgeousness as the 65-year-old woman who has gained amazing wisdom during her life and brings this wisdom to everything including the workplace.
I am forever deepening my connection to divine truth and I appreciate the warmth and joy it brings to myself and all those around me.
Lynne PM, Brisbane
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