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.

Relax

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

WTF??

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.

Anger_letting_go_3

 

 

***

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

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The riddle of acceptance

The spiritual seeker is told frequently that the path is about acceptance. But what actually is acceptance?

If we are in a difficult situation, does it mean we are supposed to accept it, shut up, and carry on?

No! That would be a misunderstanding.

If our feet have grown two sizes too big for our shoes, it would be silly to stay in too small shoes just because acceptance is more ‘spiritual’. We would get new shoes (if possible).

I am in a situation in which I feel exploited. And this  has become more and more unbearable over the last years. For a long time, I tried to adjust a parameter here and there, talked to people, and improved some processes. Isn’t it all about acceptance? Am I not supposed to be the good person and make things work?

But it still sucks.

Finally, during this summer,  my inner pressure reached well above fever pitch. In a showdown with the other involved party, I declared that I will exit this situation and hand the stuff over to someone else.

Boy was that freeing!

The wise inner voice commented,
“This decision has been looong overdue.”