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.’

Disappointment

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.

What?!?

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.

Anger

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).

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14 thoughts on “From anger to acceptance (part 1/4): anger

  1. I can so understand your frustration and anger over this situation.. Having given your company a great tool to use that you had developed and nurtured to then almost be ignored and overlooked… So understand your feelings .. And as your anger bubbled beneath the surface, I am imagining that your illness and pain became more intense..

    Again I relate being given work overload, not learning to say no, trying to please, while wanting to be appreciated for your efforts… Which first started the series of illness with me, which was Raynauds, a Frozen Shoulder, spondylosis in my neck, which resulted in a series of injections…

    And all the while I was following my spiritual path and thinking why? Oh and severe cystitus.. … lol…. Which when you look into the symptoms within Louise Hays book, is telling you exactly what is wrong with your life..
    But we carried on regardless..
    Until I was stopped in my tracks with my breakdown……
    I wonder Karin how many more people never truly realise just how our workload, stress, and inner thoughts of ourselves impact our health…
    The Universe speaks to us all the time.. But often we are so immersed within our Day jobs we cannot see the wood for the trees until something drastic happens..

    I think that is what is happening with the world right now…. Its sick of giving us the Signs, until we have to take notice… And it impacts all of our lives..

    Again I so enjoyed reading your journey Karin.. <3
    Thank you .. <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your long comment and for showing understanding for my situation.

      I am glad to hear that you enjoy reading my journey. That is encouraging. Thanks for letting me know.

      I wasn’t aware that you had that many illnesses as a result of your situation at work. I just recalled that you had Raynaud. I remember having read your impressive story about the reasons for that.
      Thanks for sharing.

      While my rheumatoid arthritis was not impacted by the anger, I experienced different health issues when I was spiritually off track , i.e. resistant to sharing my journey. I experienced breathing problems in the throat, back pain, and just before I started this current series of posts, the blood-pressure was too high. Each time, only getting on track (and that meant sharing more and posting more) would resolve the health issues. Interesting, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes its very interesting.. just how when we are out of balance our health is out of balance and when we become more intune and balanced and at peace within ourselves just how our dis-ease dissolves..

        Yes I was also struck down after all of those complaints… lol.. I sound like a walking disaster.. I kept working though with FMS.. Fibromyalgia Syndrome.. Which when I was finally diagnosed the hospital consultant said many of the issues health wise were often cursers to the illness.. Such as joint and muscle pain… Even Migraines which I had suffered severly from..

        My own turning point came when I left my employment changed career paths and started Qi Gong, Affirmations, and Acupuncture… I still have that monthly to every six weeks for over 11 yrs.. And I totally swear by the results and relief it brings, as well as it aligning my energy body… :-D

        I hope your BP is now more on track.. Sometimes writing is releasing and letting go, All good therapy as we turn a corner within ourselves..
        :-D
        So keep writing and shedding your load Karin…
        It’s all very interesting.. <3

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good to hear that changing career paths and starting Qi Gong, Affirmations, and Acupuncture led to an improvement for you. Thanks for sharing your experiences here.

          Thanks for asking, yes, my BP has improved due to posting more regularly. Sharing that which I formerly thought of as unspeakable is like letting go of a huge weight.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. All those feelings of rejection is where our life fears reside. And the more we hold them the more our bodies react. We build coping patterns to deal with them but eventually they begin to crumble.
    Find the common denominator in all your relationships, work, partner and especially parental ones, and find those same angers and pain in how you feel you have been treated by them.
    Dig deep as you follow that path, until you find, as a child, those same pains of rejection of who you are…in there is your freedom. Once understood they lose their power over you.
    Anger is very beautiful emotion. Painful yes, but it is the strongest pointer to where we need to go to look and understand. In there and only there is a love like no other…waiting to be found 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽

    Like

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      You wrote, “Find the common denominator in all your relationships, work, partner and especially parental ones, and find those same angers and pain in how you feel you have been treated by them.
      Dig deep as you follow that path, until you find, as a child, those same pains of rejection of who you are…in there is your freedom”

      That is certainly a possible and valuable approach. And I have already tried to find the common theme that runs through my relationships.
      However, regarding the anger at work, I dealt with it differently. In my next posts, I will share more about how the story unfolded.

      I want to clarify something here regarding the topic of unsolicited advice.

      Did you interpret my last sentence in this post “I had to find my inner peace again. But how?” as a call for help from my readers? If so, I would like to let you know that this was more a question I asked myself, but I did not intend to ask my readers for advice.

      I do appreciate that your comment comes from a place of good intention. You probably meant to help me in some way.

      I am sharing my story because I have to. I am pushed to do so. If I don’t share, things in my surroundings go wrong or I get sick. Meeting fellow travelers on the spiritual path and exchanging experiences is a beneficial side effect of sharing. However, getting unsolicited advice from helpers of all walks of life is an unpleasant side effect. Please note that I am *not* sharing in order to elicit advice, unless I explicitly ask for it.

      I do appreciate it if you share your own experiences and challenges and what has helped you to solve them. However, what has worked for you may not necessarily work for everyone else.

      If you would have phrased your comment as, “I have experienced such and such, and here is what has helped me,” I would see that it is your experience which you are sharing. And that would be fine. I would appreciate it. Maybe I can learn something from it.

      But because you used the imperative, “Do this, do that, and then you will experience such and such”, it comes across as a command or as an order and as if you are sure that you know what is right for me. And I think that is not the case.

      Please refrain from giving unsolicited advice in your future comments.

      Like

  3. I do believe Karin that ACIM transforms one’s life. I have been an avid reader most of my life and The Course is the most powerful, profound material I ever experienced. A decision to “go there ” most likely sets new probabilities in motion.

    Unfortunately, I can relate to the job woes around not being given credit and being mislead about opportunities. If this situation helped you grow spiritually, that’s a gift. It is so cool how blogging is like medicine for your health, How I wish that was the case for me! :)

    Keep writing and hopefully, joy will also follow.

    Hugs, Linda <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda.
      Yes, I also see it like that. The decision to “go there” (to start ACIM) sets things in motion.
      I am sorry to hear that you had to go through similar job woes.
      I agree that I can try to look at the gift that has come from this situation in order to make peace with the past.

      Yeah, it is cool that coming more into alignment ( more frequent blogging) is good for my health. It seems to not only affect my health but much more. For example, the WordPress app on my iPad which had shut down several functions over the last two years (without any OS or app change from my side!) is now regaining those functions, slowly and one by one. That is cool to see. I interpret this as follows: It is as if I have switched to another timeline because I have made a courageous decision and am therefore more in alignment.

      Hugs,
      Karin

      Liked by 1 person

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