Thursday, January 14, 2010
Shaking Off the Dust
When something doesn't make logical sense to me, it's tough for my mind to just let it go. I want to figure it out, put all of the pieces in place until I can understand at least one rational explanation, even if it isn't reality. When I really become preoccupied with this process, it can weigh me down. A couple of days ago, I was hanging on to something that not only seemed irrational, but pondering it just sent me deeper into anger about the situation.
Before I left a previous job, I had agreed to help with an event as an independent contractor. All of the pieces were in place as far as I was concerned, and I had taken care to remain in contact with the person organizing the event, just in case there were any changes. I received a phone call from the organizer a few days ago, saying that they were going to get someone closer to the venue instead of keeping me on the project.
I was a bit puzzled, to say the least. I haven't moved, so I am not any further away than I had been. I commented that I believed all of the arrangements were made, and that I was willing to travel if there were additional decisions or changes I needed to be a part of. But this person had it that my involvement was inconvenient, and someone closer would just be easier. My response was to graciously accept the decision and wish them the best.
The more I thought about it, though, the less it made logical sense. After turning it around in my head for awhile, I couldn't conceive of any reason for this person to have developed this idea that it would be better for the event to replace me with someone closer. Unless it wasn't this person's idea. I began to concoct a picture in my head of this planner being influenced by people who disagreed with some of the leadership decisions I had made when I worked there. I began to get angry as I conceived of how my livelihood was being negatively impacted by petty people. Even though I had endeavored remain professional and maintain connections, other people were sabotaging my efforts.
At least in my head. But then, I remembered something I have heard many times about focusing on my strengths rather than perceived weakness. When people concentrate time and energy on weaknesses, they are always catching up. But focusing on strengths leads to forward momentum. It's strange how seemingly insignificant things can add up and weigh a person down, as if the dust on my shoes can actually make my feet work harder. Focusing on my strengths is like shaking off the dust and realizing how much lighter I can actually be. I began to see how this applies to some relationships, too.
What I am trying to create in my life right now actually doesn't depend on my attachment with this old work site. I am not dependent on the people there for my livelihood, and they don't actually have any direct impact on my success. That relationship is primarily part of my past, not my future. While it would be nice to remain connected on a professional level, I can't carry that intention alone. My current goals involve becoming reconnected with people with whom I haven't been in regular contact for awhile and fostering new partnerships of vision and purpose. At a certain point, focusing on maintaining a conflict-ridden relationship detracts from the energy I would like to be putting into developing and nurturing stronger relationships.
So my anger was not for nothing, and I am grateful that I was able to dig into it enough to find the valuable piece and move forward. Hanging on to the anger would have been less productive. But I have more clarity now than I did a few days ago, and in a sense I have given myself permission to move on with dustless shoes.