“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

~ Carl Jung

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Standing at a Crossroads

It seems the concept of forgiveness has been coming at me from lots of different directions lately.  Several of the blogs I follow had this theme last week in discussions of the beginning of Lent.  Most significantly for me, though, was an intensive training weekend I attended about a month ago.  The four day weekend was described as an experiential training to prepare for helping people recover from grief.  This is an area I want to pursue in my new career path, so I went.  I was aware that some feelings about the losses associated with leaving my job would surface, but that seemed like it would probably be a good thing for me as well.  I went expecting some uncomfortable feelings, but anticipating both professional and personal growth.  

The Grief Recovery Method was developed by John W. James and Russell Friedman who are the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute and authors of  The Grief Recovery Handbook.  Their model is a structured multi-step process  that leads grievers  through the completion of emotions related to their  loss.  It requires a thorough review of all aspects of the relationship you are grieving.  As a part of the training each of the twelve participants selected a loss to work through using the process.  It was suggested that participants select a straight forward loss of a person not a situation, so I decided not to work on the job loss during the weekend.   The process was emotional but helpful in completing feelings about the loss I selected; however, by the fourth day as everyone began to discuss their plans for using the training in their work and as their excitement grew, I found myself slipping into despair.  As in, I could barely make it out of the room at the end of the day without breaking into sobs.

This month has been busy with two weeks of vacation fun and then some catch up work related to my job situation; but, I have had an acute awareness of needing to do the work on my job loss.   With all of the discussion of forgiveness last week, I couldn’t put it off any longer; so, I worked my way through the process.  I think part of the reason I did not want to do the work was related to my misconceptions about what forgiveness really is.  Forgiveness is not denying the pain; nor does it require me to forget what happened to me.  This experience, these relationships I have lost –both the good ones and the bad ones – will always be a part of me.  I intend to use all of these experiences to continue to grow and become a healthier, kinder, more loving human being. 

This has been a difficult process to complete, but honestly not nearly as agonizing  as all the pain I have been carrying around with me every moment of the last seven months.   I believe my grief has been a major block in my efforts to move forward in my career.  So, I am saying good-bye to the pain.  This weekend I made these art journal pages to remind myself of the crossroads where I have been standing for all these months.  One direction leads to freedom; the other back into resentment, anger, fear and sadness.  Am I done with those feelings?  I don’t know, perhaps not entirely; but I don’t believe they will return with the debilitating intensity of the last months.   It is with a grateful heart that  I write this post  to hold myself accountable for the decision I have made to say good-bye to the pain, claim my  freedom, and move forward into whatever waits for me on down the road in this amazing journey that is my life.  I think at last I am ready to continue.

To join a Lenten project of making crosses visit:  www.truenortharts.com


KathrynAntyr said...

These journal pages are soooo gorgeous! My eyes watered as I read your post. I could feel the weight that you've been carrying. I suppose I recognize the emotion behind it. The good news is that I've turned a corner: in the last week I've felt a deep sense of joy and a lightness of being. I feel as though the "hooks" that have been in me are out and I love the feeling of freedom. My hope is that as you move forward you too feel the release of the "hooks", the lightness of being, and the deep joys of living.

As you know when we let go, we make room for new and wonderful things.

I am grateful to share in this experience with you.

{soul hugs}

Dottie said...

I too feel very grateful to have you as part of this experience. Both your crossroads post and the cross making project were helpful in moving me through this process. I do feel a tremendous sense of release and actually feel hopeful about moving forward.Thank you for being there and sharing your experience.

idémakeriet said...

Thanks for your lovely words on my blogg.
Great that I can give you some inspiration.
These art journal pages are really lovely.
Hugs Gerda


What a beautiful way to heal Dottie. I'm sure your experience was beneficial. People sometimes forget that the loss of a job can be something that causes grief as well.