From anger to acceptance (part 4/4): letting go

It had been 2 years now since I heard that I would not get a promotion at work. Two years of anger –  and now I was ready to let go.


July 2011. I was in my cozy bed, slowly waking up, when suddenly letters came into my mind. WYTAR, all capitalized.


Confused I asked what this meant. It wasn’t any word that I could identify.

After some pondering, I decided that because the letters were capitalized, maybe it was an abbreviation? But for what?

Then the thoughts came that it could mean, ‘Watch your thoughts and relax.’
Or ‘Wipe your thoughts away, relax.’

It sounded like an attempt from my guidance to communicate with me. And since I was not trained to listen to their words, they had to use an abbreviation to get their foot in the door.

Giving up at work

I had finally made peace with the fact that I would not get a promotion. I still did all the work as before. But I was not attached to the promotion anymore.

Journal entry of Sept 9, 2011:

I have given up at work. It feels as if I get no appreciation. Not for programming. Not for my cooperation with the other department.

I feel resigned and a kind of relaxation. Pleasantly quiet. Listless and apathetic. I don’t care anymore.

Whether I spend an entire week to do a PC upgrade or whether I do something more ‘useful’, it doesn’t matter. It’s all like occupational therapy anyway.

When the world is just a dream, why should I be engaged? What’s the point of it all?

The only important thing that counts is waking up. Getting out of the dream.

And somehow things fall into place now.
Those projects where I didn’t want to participate are either canceled or staffed with other people. These are all gifts from the universe. My older child is about to stop singing in the choir, just in time so that I don’t have to do the dreaded task of having to sew a costume for their musical performance.

Maybe my state of relaxed listlessness is quite a good thing.

Gimme!  Gimme! Gimme!

Nov 4, 2011. In my mind, I heard the song Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! by ABBA.

I looked up the lyrics and thought, ‘Yeah, please give me someone to take me through the dark night.’

By giving up the attachment to a promotion, I had on the one hand gained some inner peace. But on the other hand, I also felt  listless and apathetic. My usual passion and engagement was gone. A bit like a dark night of the soul. And I wondered who was going to come along and take me through that dark night?

ACIM workbook start

Even though I had read the textbook part of A Course in Miracles a while ago, I could not make up my mind to start the lessons in the workbook.

But on date 11.11.11, I eventually started the lessons.

Maybe it was Jesus and his words in ACIM that were meant to help me through the dark night of the soul?

Inner discussions

It was not like detaching from a promotion and doing the lessons in the ACIM workbook would immediately work wonders for my emotional turmoil. Rather, I was still in constant inner discussions.

What was the solution?

Should I rather work as project lead because that was more rewarded than doing coding development even though I did not like the work as a project lead?

Nah. Career was not that important to me that I would force myself to work in a role that was not fun for me.

Or should I drop my engagement?

That would mean I would have to give up the programming which was so deeply satisfying. I feared that I would become depressed if I did that.

Or maybe I could  continue to work with passion and engagement like before even if I would never get a reward for it?

That sounded like it would be the ‘spiritually correct’ choice. To do the work that was fun and give a damn about whether it was rewarded or not. And also to do selfless service. I thought that I had to try to choose that path. And I tried. But every time I attempted to work like before, the anger would bubble up again, ‘It will not be rewarded. That is unfair. I feel exploited. I am angry.’ So, that path did not work for me either.

Maybe I should leave the company?

Well, I needed the money. Just dropping everything here with no idea what else to do would put me into fear because I would have lost my regular income.

Or maybe I should at least change the department?

Good idea. But hard to do because I was working part-time. Besides, I figured that the problem of anger about too little appreciation would follow me around wherever I went.

No. I would stay and find out what happened.

It was now more than 2 years after my colleague had let me in on the secret that a functional career path did not exist here. And I my mind was still running in circles.


New salary group

End of January 2012, because of a new rule in our company, I was placed into a higher salary group. That would allow for more pay raise than in my previous salary group for the next years. Woohoo!

That was one of the gifts by the universe after I had started to let go and make peace with the situation at work and after I had started the workbook lessons of ACIM. And many more gifts would pour in later.

This is a pattern that I have experienced over and over again on this journey. Whenever I manage to come to a state of inner peace about a troubling situation, then things will change for the better.

Layers of emotion and an experiment

I had noticed that my emotions came in layers. I would stay with an emotion until it dissolved, but then some new emotion would show up underneath.

Below the anger was sadness. Sadness, because I felt worthless when didn’t get the appreciation that I felt I deserved.

And below the sadness, there was anxiety. Like a diffuse fear about an unknown cause. I wondered where it came from. Maybe it was a fear of the dissolution of my known sense of self or a fear of being non-existent?

Also, I was afraid that I would fall into a depression when I followed this route of detachment towards work. I was afraid that I would fall into a nihilistic hole with apathy, listlessness, and an overall feeling of meaninglessness.

I decided to make an experiment. What would happen when I let myself fall into detachment?

Depression? Or inner peace?

I was curious.

Inner peace

By end of March, 2012, I had stopped doing ACIM lessons (- I got only till around lesson 100 (of a total of 365 lessons)). Instead, I had discovered the Raj material (Raj aka Jesus channeled by Paul N. Tuttle) and devoured the transscripts of the gatherings (informal Q&A sessions).

My state of mind was peaceful, blissful, and very detached from work and any of my usual concerns. Listless, without any motivation to do anything, but peaceful.

Nothing mattered.
I would never get a promotion – okay, never mind.
Our house needed to be cleaned – that didn’t matter.
My child wouldn’t do his homework – but I didn’t care.

Now, let me clarify this. It wasn’t as if everything went down the drain. Somehow the basic important things were done – at work as well as at home. It was just that I didn’t invest that extra struggle or control that I would have invested previously.

Also I want to clarify that merely detaching from the promotion was not the end of letting go. There was more letting go to be done later on the path.

After I had detached from the goal to get a promotion, I felt the imbalance between the effort that I put into my work and the reward. I mean I could accept that there is no promotion. But doing all the work as before with the same amount of passion and the same amount of responsibility and stress? Well, that was an entirely different thing to let go of and would come much later in the journey. And finding forgiveness and  letting go of resentment and grudges was yet another process.

Is it okay to be detached and peaceful?

But I wondered: Was it okay to be that detached and peaceful? Wasn’t I overdoing it when I didn’t care about my normal duties?

Then synchronisticly, I came upon a Raj channeling where someone asked whether it was okay to feel listless for a longer time.

And Raj’s answer was, yes, one could compare it to a symphony where the violas have a long break of several dozens of bars. The symphony was designed this way that the violas have a break. They didn’t need to feel guilty for their lack of involvement.

I was in awe that my request was answered so promptly and took the metaphor with the violas as a sign that the forces behind the veil were approving my new state of mind.


Using the metaphor of a hike for my spiritual journey, the winding road uphill had become rocky again due to the anger at work.

During the rocky time, I took a leap of faith over an abyss when I bravely managed to get off the allopathic meds (see previous post).

I was shown with much stick-and-carrot-guidance that anger would give rise to undesirable results and inner peace would result in miracles.

On my uphill path, I had reached another turning point when I managed to let go of the need for a promotion and came to inner peace about the situation. I was as if I had thrown a heavy rock out of my backpack. I was now walking uphill with much lighter baggage.





This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).



From anger to acceptance (part 3/4): with stick and carrot

During this journey from anger to inner peace, it was remarkable how the universe supported the process with stick and carrot.

Here are some examples of the universe’s teaching Methods ( – and when I write ‘universe’ I refer to the invisible force behind the veil; God, Source, Holy Spirit, Higher Self, spirit guides):

Electrical appliances break down

After that first warning, several weird things with electrical appliances occurred.

When I was upset, light bulbs in my room would suddenly burn out.

Or one day when I was in major inner turmoil, my freezer stopped working with a weird unknown error code. Until we noticed the issue, all the food inside was spoiled and we had to throw it away. This would happen several times and it always coincided with me feeling severely off balance. It occurred so often that whenever I got terribly upset, I would always go into the basement and check whether our freezer was still working.

On another day in November 2010, I felt overwhelmed by the requests from society (kindergarten teachers, neighbors, parents, teachers…) and I thought, ‘Oh, leave me all alone! Don’t bug me with your requests of what I should do for you. Just stay all away from me!’

And what happened?

The fuse of the doorbell burned through!  It had to be replaced. Hahaha!

That was a great answer from the universe. I wanted to be left alone, and if the doorbell cannot ring anymore then nobody can come in – and I will get my wish fulfilled. Thanks a lot to the forces behind the veil. Very funny!

Another story: Once, I got really upset about the behavior of someone. In this emotional state of sudden intense anger, I entered an elevator.

Guess what, the elevator didn’t work. It didn’t even manage to shut the doors. So, I took the stairs up and I wondered again, ‘Oops! Was that caused by me? Really? Weird…..’

I wondered whether I was going nuts. Who else had experienced such strange things?

Then I heard about a woman who would cause local area networks for the entire neighborhood to fail if she was in a crisis. The people who were called to repair it could never find any physical cause for the failure. It was just that if she was in a mental crisis, then the LAN would fail – that happened several times.  It was comforting to know that I was not alone with this weird behavior of the universe.

From some people, I received first-hand accounts about similar experiences in case of feeling severely upset. These include light bulbs at home burning out very frequently (every other week in the same room), burning out of an electric outlet, street lamps suddenly going dark when the person walks by, and a pause button of a CD player which would only work when the person was not in a stressed mood.

The influence on electronics seems to be common among people who had a near-death experience. For some of them, light bulbs and other electrical things were affected not only during anger, but also during a strong positive emotion.

Even though not everyone at the beginning of the spiritual path does have these experiences, I think that they might be far more common than I had assumed.

I regarded these events as little slaps on the wrist by the universe telling me to pay attention to my emotional state. ‘Hey, did you notice that you are off balance? You better watch your inner peace! ‘

Two screws loose

One day in April 2011, I was in the kitchen running the usual inner rant in my mind about how unfairly I had been treated, when suddenly two screws in the kitchen came off at the same time. One under the sink and the other one from a door.

It was such an unlikely event that I interpreted it as a message. It seemed like I was admonished, “If you stay stuck in anger, you have a screw loose. And not only one, but two!

Plants perish

I noticed that the herb plants in my kitchen would perish very fast when I engaged in angry thoughts while preparing dinner. I wondered what a bad quality the basil in the pot was nowadays. Always, the stem would become black at first at the lower part and then the whole plant would go bad in a week or so.

But when my mood changed eventually, then also the basil plant would stay fresh many weeks longer.

Something else I realized about these stick teaching methods is that they became stricter and stricter as I progressed on the spiritual path. At first, the weird events would only happen if I was really angry for a long time. But later, they would happen even if I was in a slightly stressed state of mind.


While it became clear to me that my anger would cause all sorts of turmoil in my surroundings, I was shown that inner peace would allow for miracles.


I was taking a walk close to a Spanish restaurant where we had eaten a while ago. Suddenly the thought crossed my mind, ‘Oh, these deep fried calamari in this restaurant– how yummy! I wish I could have them again!’

But I did not talk about this wish to anyone.

Just a few days later, my husband went shopping and bought frozen deep fried calamari for the oven.  I hadn’t told him to and it is not an item we would usually buy. They were just on offer in the supermarket and he followed the nudge to get them.

I found it amazing, how fast this wish was fulfilled.

The trashbag story

Around Easter 2011, when my little kids were out of the house for a week, I was cleaning out their rooms, collecting old toys that they would not need anymore (- well, that I had decided they would not need anymore).

I collected many small transparent trash bags full of old and broken toys. But unfortunately, it was too much for our garbage bin outside. So, I had to store the transparent trash bags in the basement.

Then I thought, ‘Oh, it would be so useful to have one of these large heavy-duty drawstring trash bags, which are opaque, in order to hide the old toys, so that my children cannot see them when they come home.’ I was afraid they would l start lengthy discussions about whether these things can be thrown away or not.

That was just a thought. But we didn’t have any of these large opaque trash bags at that time and I did not consider buying any.

Two days later, when I got home from work, I saw some strange plastic lying in front of our garden door. I looked closer wondering what that was. And it was a large opaque drawstring trash bag, arriving just in time so I could continue with my toy-clearing work the next day.

Wow! I was so amazed at how this worked. This sure seemed like a very strange synchronicity. Too strange to be just some random coincidence.

I had come to realize that anger seemed to cause all kinds of strange turmoil. And on the other hand, inner peace attracted miracles. It felt as if the process of coming into inner peace was supported with stick and carrot.


Getting off the prescription drugs

Something else that occurred during this time period  was that I was able to get off the prescription drugs for my rheumatoid arthritis. In April 2010, after I had an acute illness with a couple of days of high fever (-it was the swine flu), my rheumatoid arthritis got much better.

I thought that this was the once-in-a-lifetime chance to get off the allopathic medicine. And in a courageous  attempt, I reduced the dose of cortisone and sulfasalazine even further. Each reduction would always result in a backlash of increased inflammation a few days later, and that’s why I could only try this reduction at that time where I had almost no RA symptoms.

I managed to reduce the dose down to zero in April 2010 and suffered through heightened inflammation with much pain in May 2010. But I didn’t give in to the temptation to start with cortisone again. Luckily, the inflammation lessened eventually to a lower level.

I found it remarkable that the much-feared swine flu had such a positive effect for me in the end. Yes, the fever was exhausting. But afterwards the RA was so much better that I was able to get off the prescriptions drugs. I am not sure I would have dared to get off the meds otherwise. And since then, I am able to rely on homeopathy for the treatment of my RA.



This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).



From anger to acceptance (part 2/4): admonishments

In response to my inner turmoil about not being promoted, the universe sent me some messages.

Ridiculous titles

On an internet forum, someone mentioned the German satire Wiener Titelwalzer by Ephraim Kishon in which he makes fun of the inflationary use of titles in Austria (like professor, doctor, counselor etc.) (- this story is not available in English, but the title could be translated as Viennese Title Waltz).

I wasn’t aware yet to what extent the universe could respond to my urgent inner cry, but that looked like more than a mere coincidence to me. It was like a message,

Titles mean nothing. They are ridiculous. It doesn’t matter whether you ever get a promotion for your work or not. Be content with what you have.

The situation of introverts

Then someone mentioned a book by Gunter Dueck in which he described the various types of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personalities and discussed how the introverts have a much harder time than extroverts getting appreciation in our society.

That was an eye-opener for me.

Suddenly I felt understood. It is just a feature of our society that organizing and communicating are valued more than quiet and focused problem solving. That was a small comfort.

Dream: stag

After half a year of intense emotional turmoil, I had the following highly symbolic dream on January 1st of 2010.

Hand in hand with my little son, I was walking towards the sea when we came to a fork in the road.

Straight ahead was the shortest way to the beach, but there was a dead stag in the middle of the street. It looked young, beautiful, and innocent.

I felt uncomfortable having to step over that dead deer. Therefore, I chose to take a right turn and tried to get to the seaside on a different route. Besides, on the street to the right  my parents were walking in front of me. Thus, it seemed that this way couldn’t be entirely wrong.

Halfway to the beach, we arrived at a house. We were exhausted, went in and asked to stay a while in order to get some rest. People were friendly and let us in. We were allowed to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

The next day, my son and I wanted to go on to get to the beach and attempted to leave the house through the back door.

But what was that? Right behind the door was a huge active volcano. I saw that it was impossible to cross it. We would never arrive at the beach this way. Then I woke up.

Here is my interpretation:
The beach and seaside are symbols for freedom. I set out to find freedom. That is what the spiritual journey would lead me to.

I had to search the internet in order to find out what the stag meant. I found that it is a symbol for the Christ. I figured that the dream meant to tell me that I had to go the way of Jesus. That is, I was told to do the lessons of A Course in Miracles, which is a Jesus channeling.

If I chose the detour path, the road which people normally travel (like my parents), then I would never be able to find freedom. There would be unsurmountable obstacles (represented by the erupting volcano).

I assumed that this was what the dream wanted to tell me. However, it took me almost two more years of anger and suffering before I would follow its suggestion.

And after I would have followed the suggestion of the dream, the stag symbol would appear again – this time in a different way. I’ll describe that later.


After the big forgiveness opportunity was presented to me at work, the universe sent me a warning:
I was given tickets for the opera Rigoletto as a Christmas present.

I wonder whether the one who gave them to me knew what this story is about:  Because of revenge, Rigoletto wants to have the Duke killed. But the Duke isn’t killed, and instead and by mistake,  Rigoletto’s own daughter is killed, whom he loved dearly.

I interpreted that as a warning and felt humbled and very grateful towards the universe that told me,
Dear child, if you choose to act in revenge you will only hurt yourself.’

But still, I felt angry and didn’t know what to do about it.



This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).



From anger to acceptance (part 1/4): anger

When I came upon A Course in Miracles (ACIM), which is a Jesus channeling, I found it difficult to read, but it sounded like truth. I slowly chewed my way through the textbook of ACIM, and thought, ‘Sounds like this is somewhat more substantial than the Law of Attraction stuff. But unfortunately, it can only be applied if you are really angry with someone.’

Well, I wasn’t angry with anyone – not at that time.

Boooom! (Imagine fireworks and a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat)

“Here you are,” said the universe, and gave me something to be angry about – a big ‘forgiveness opportunity’ (as they call it in ACIM terms) so that I could practice the application of the book-knowledge (- yeah, I know, be careful what you wish for).

Let me share some background information about this.

Passionate about work

In my job, I was involved in a work process which required me to deal with errors in a last-minute fashion. Just before a deadline, there were always too many errors and too little time to have them corrected by other departments.

One day in 2004, I was so fed up with this high workload and the resulting stress, that I thought,  ‘There must be an easier way. Why can’t these errors be found and prevented much earlier in the process?’

And so,  I set out to develop a pilot tool which did exactly that: find the errors earlier in the process and lessen the workload at the end.

I poured all my heart and mind into this tool. I loved the creative and meditative aspect of the computer programming that was involved. A calm mind and deeply focused thinking about how to tackle an issue, the process of having a question and then getting the answer using intuition. The sense of satisfaction, when I could see that my little invention actually worked. How delicious! That was my preferred mode of operation since school and put me into a state of flow.

Then the management of our team realized that this new tool was a good thing. And they wanted to set up some projects in order to spread its usage.

Even though I had had the idea for this new tool and had developed a pilot implementation, I did not apply for the position of the project lead for these new projects. I rather worked on it as a project team member because that would allow me to focus on the development of the coding rather than the coordination and communication tasks.

It was deeply satisfying to me that the new tool could help many people to lower their workload and stress. I was proud of my ‘baby’, passionate about my work, and felt very engaged.

But besides the passion I felt about it, would my work be recognized and appreciated by the management eventually? This thought did not really take center stage for several years. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I always hoped, ‘Eventually, I will get a promotion for it someday. There are not only the management and the project lead career paths, but there is also a functional career path in our company. And this is the one I would like to choose. I am sure this will be properly appreciated at some time.’


But in July 2009, a short conversation shifted everything.

“Why are you leaving?” I asked a colleague who was about to change to another department.

He told me that he had heard from the higher management that a functional career path didn’t really exist in our department. And he was dissatisfied that good tool development was only rewarded with a pat on the back, but one wouldn’t get promoted for it. The rules were certainly different in the rest of the company, but in our department, only project leads of large and visible projects would get promoted.


In our department, the functional career path existed only on paper, but not in reality?!
I couldn’t believe it.

Later, I asked my boss about the issue. He told me that he could not give me a promotion because I did not have the role of the project lead. He also said that, contrary to the rumors I had been told, the functional career path did  exist. In theory at least. But one needed to show the same qualifications as a project manager regarding areas such as communication skills, organizing skills, and visibility, for example. And that it would just take considerably longer to show these qualifications if one did not have the role of a project lead.

So, hairsplitting aside, it basically meant that I would have to lead projects in order to get a promotion. Invention of new processes and tools for improved quality and efficiency was allowed, but not rewarded.

I still couldn’t believe it.

In my frustration, I talked to another colleague about it. He said, “Considering what type of work you like (i.e. design and development of coding), I would suggest that you give up the wish for a promotion entirely.” That was extremely blunt and also correct. Of course, it was not what I wanted to hear.

So, I had just found out that my contribution at work would never be appreciated the way I expected.

Big disappointment. Big disillusionment.

After all, I was so used to getting a lot of praise for my work since school. Excellent work was rewarded with good grades and prestigious scholarships.  That was a huge part of my self-image. Now, this self-definition of me was threatened.


I was disappointed, felt treated unfairly, and became angry.

I was upset about three things. First, because the functional career path was not treated equal to a project management career path. And second, because this was disguised and not openly communicated. And third, because my self-definition as a high-achiever was threatened which not only made me angry but also sad and ashamed.

At work, I had to make the choice between doing what was appreciated (project lead) and doing what I like (design and development of coding) – and I chose to do what I like. That means, despite the disappointment, I still did further development and maintenance for my tool. But I couldn’t help thinking about this situation all the time, especially when my mind was not occupied otherwise.

Ironically, I was able to work calmly when in the office. But when I did not work and when my mind was unoccupied, feelings of resentment crept in.

The work which had once been fun and fulfilling suddenly wasn’t so much fun anymore. After all, I felt treated unfairly. Of course, I saw that the anger was not healthy for me. But somehow I found it very hard to ignore that part of me that was angry and wanted to set boundaries.

Again, like during the time when I could not dance anymore due to the rheumatoid arthritis, I thought, ‘How can I ever be happy again?’ I had derived so much joy from my work. But now, knowing that it would never be appreciated the way I expected it, I felt I could not continue with this work. Otherwise, I would feel exploited.

In addition to the anger, I often wondered what had gone wrong. I had followed my joy and intuitive urges and had done something which was a beneficial contribution at work for me and my colleagues. In previous times in my life when I had followed my joy and intuition and then had taken action with intensity and dedication, things used to work out well. I wondered why it was different this time.

Here we go! After three years of merely reading spiritual books, I finally got some real work to do in order to regain my inner balance.

About five times each day, the inner thought stream would play, ‘How unfair! My work is not appreciated. The company doesn’t deserve my engagement. If I continue with the same level of dedication, it will result in burn-out.’ On and on, for hours each day.

I had to find my inner peace again. But how?


This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).