This week, my husband Evan was laid off from his job at MetroHealth Hospital. He has since had two interviews for other positions there, all which have many applicants. We have begun a large networking process, and he has some good leads and contacts. People are saying “oh no!” and “I’m so sorry!” but we are not upset right now. We are remaining positive, truly and determinedly. We are focusing on “what can be done now?” not “what are we going to do?” At times, this takes effort, but it’s mostly working.
We are open to new opportunities. We don’t know where they will come from.
This got me thinking. There is a fine line between letting go of control and making things happen. On the one hand, letting go of control could mean sitting and waiting for something to happen. But that would be foolish. All that would happen is the clock would tick and the opportunities that could have arisen from doing some good networking would just blow by. On the other hand, we could be all intense and anxious, and post desperate cries for help. But that doesn’t feel right either, and seems detrimental actually. So we are staying confident that the right thing will come up, we are telling people about the situation and asking them to spread the word. Evan has a profile on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (Hey my wonderful, qualified, visionary, MBA-degreed husband is ready for a new and amazing position! Please spread the word!) and he is looking for applicable positions to apply for on his own as well. To me, this combination of action and trust is what balances the two.
In my life, I am working on this too. I’m open to messages and signals, while trying to figure out what is, and what isn’t a message. It’s another lesson in balance. For instance, I was at the grocery store, where they give you a number to take to your car that matches the number on your cart. You bring your car around and they load your groceries for you. I happened to get my favorite number that day. (99 if you wonder). Then when I got in the car, my favorite band was playing on the radio (The Indigo Girls if you wonder). Is this important? Who knows? I sometimes spend my day looking for some sign and wondering if everything is important. But that isn’t being open, it’s being crazy. So I try to stop that.
But there are also times that I’m online and I send a Twitter message or an email at exactly the same time as the same person is sending to me, and we have said nearly the same thing to each other. Or something a friend and I have discussed comes up for one of us later in an unrelated situation. This happens rather often actually! Maybe this is important. How do I know?
The only way I can tell what is and isn’t important seems to be in retrospect. I look back and connect the dots, and then see the whole picture. I do believe there are messages and important things are coming. It is a matter of learning to recognize and respond to them when they do.
This requires walking that balance, the fine line between control and release, openness and hindsight.
Another point for this post: in healing work, one can be a more effective healer if one doesn’t think of “fixing” the recipient of the healing, but rather sees that person as whole, healthy and vibrant, assisting this image by serving as a channel for the healing energy to assist them. My friend Fred shared this with me from a course he took last night:
Serving is different from fixing. In fixing, we see others as broken, and respond to this perception with our expertise. Fixers trust their own expertise but may not see the wholeness in another person or trust the integrity of the life in them. When we serve, we see and trust that wholeness. We respond to it and collaborate with it. And when we see the wholeness in another, we strengthen it. They may then be able to see it for themselves for the first time.
I feel that this idea is extremely important and another way to balance being a healer with being a channel. We set intent for the energy to heal, balance, attend the greatest good of the recipient, and then we get out of the way and allow the energy to flow. It’s a matter of trust in the process, and the validation can be incredibly powerful. I think this brings the entire process of being a healer to a different level. Thank you, Fred.
Finally, in regards to taking opportunities when they present themselves, I would like to share an experience from teaching last night. I subbed for a friend’s 8th grade class. He had given me some materials to teach from on positive body image and problems such as anorexia. It’s not a health class but rather a class at the Temple where I teach, so it’s related to the idea of our bodies and souls being Holy. It’s certainly a good thing for 8th graders to internalize at this age. Turns out that there was about 15 minutes of actual teaching time due to a school program taking up some of the regular class time. When it was time for me to teach, here’s what happened:
I introduced the subject of self image, connected it to the idea of being Holy (Jewish content), our bodies, minds, souls, and that we don’t always feel that way because we tend to be our harshest critics.
I told them that it is a human, and not only teen experience.
And I talked about how we worry so much how others perceive us.
I talked about how this can lead to us compensating with self destructive behavior, and mentioned those things like anorexia, cutting, drinking, drugs.
And then I looked at each one of them.
And I felt all this love.
And I told them, slowly and sincerely, that they are all wonderful people. Truly and deeply wonderful human beings, and so important. They stared at me fixedly.
They didn’t giggle.
They absorbed it.
And I went on and said that I know there are times when they will feel bad about themselves. We all have them.
But if they can hold this message in their hearts, that is part of it.
And then I talked about breathing, taking slow breaths and trying to release some of the bad feelings. Just quieting themselves, and letting it go if they can, even just a little. I talked about yoga, exercise, and a good night sleep.
I encouraged them to share this with their friends. Especially if their friends are having a bad day or a hard time with their self image.
I asked them if they thought that what I was saying was simplistic or b.s.
They said no, it’s dead on.
And I told them to go on youtube and watch a video called Validation.
I wrote it down for them.
I waked in pretty much having no idea what I was going to say.
I walked out feeling like I had shared something powerful and memorable.