Yesterday was a POWERFUL day of healing for me. I think there are probably about 3 posts in here! But let me get started and see where this goes!
I’ve shared before that I was fired after 19+ years with the same company related to my addiction. I’ve learned that resentment can be the downfall of an addict — my downfall. So I’ve worked hard to turn this over to my Higher Power so it doesn’t eat at me. Almost every morning, I include prayers for the people involved. It usually goes “I pray for C, S, L and others involved in the decision that they may grow in their understanding of addiction.” I learned somewhere that if I’m pissed off at someone, praying for them helps shift the focus towards compassion, understanding and love. It’s been helping. But, I learned an even deeper lesson this morning.
Yesterday, I had three separate incidents where people from my old place of employment showed a “personal touch” to my situation and helped restore some of my faith in people. Again, more lessons to sum up – but let me highlight the three situations (for my own memory!)
First, I got a note from a colleague. The portable PC/video projectors from my former teams are labelled per the administrative custom with my last name — so SMITH#1, SMITH#2. It helps with the scheduling, tracking, etc. One went missing so one of the area AA’s sent out an email to the building – “Projector Smith#2 is missing.” It sparked an email from my colleague: “This reminded me that the REAL Smith #1 is missing from our midst! Hope you are doing well…think of you often and miss you here.” That meant SO much to me! I know in the recent months & years before recovery, my reputation as a leader and people-person had suffered. I own that. But, amidst that, it’s comforting to know that it wasn’t all negative…I still have people that see through that and know, love and miss me. Wow.
Second, I was talking to my dad about the situation leading up to my termination. He hadn’t want to tell me this earlier, but shared with me that after I was fired, he actually wrote the president of the division (F.) in which I worked about my situation, asking that the company reconsider their actions. That BLEW me away. I know my dad loves me and he has been an amazing support. It hasn’t been overbearing or codependent – just a healthy, supportive love. For him to have taken the time to “go to bat for me” meant a lot to me. But again, it didn’t stop there. The president (who I have interacted with a number of times and for whom I have a LOT of respect) actually wrote back! And, it wasn’t a form letter, blowing my dad off. It was a personal letter, written and signed by F. He said he looked into the situation — and knowing F., he did. He’s just that sort of man – he has that sort of character – and amidst the responsibilities, pressure and situations he’s faced with, he has managed to maintain a personal touch and concern for the people in his organization. Wow.
Finally, I reached out to a former colleague who is fairly high up in the organization. Like F., she is at the executive level, interacts with C-level management, etc. On a personal level, she carefully looked into some questions I had and responded to me. Without getting into the details, she shared some facts that restored my faith in some people involved. When I hung up I was overwhelmed. Again, like F., her true personal character shined through the processes, the bureaucracy and administrivia. She demonstrated that amidst it all, people can still show the personal touch…the care, concern to “do the right thing.” Even if she and F. couldn’t change the situation, they took the time to look around and respond. That meant a lot to me. Wow.
So how does this all fit together? What was my HP trying to teach me? Well, like an onion I probably only have the first layer. But here’s how those three came together.
Last night I had a dream. In that dream, the company was trying to send me a final check. But, due to a mixup with the printing, the computer, the process — we all know how that can work against us! — the check couldn’t be processed automatically in the system. They were stuck – they couldn’t do what was needed to be done! And, in many places & times, But, the CEO got involved and said, “just get me the old checkbook and we’ll write CT the check and take care of this.” And, so I was handed a personally signed check — written out to me, in his hand, signed with his actual signature. And, I literally woke up crying. Honest. The dream was so real, I woke up crying.
As I thought about it — and prayed…”God, what are you showing me?” I got my answer.
First, the tears were not of sorrow. They were of healing.
Second, all of those mornings that I prayed for C, S, L and others…I now realize they were just cogs in a wheel — part of the necessary processes and bureaucracy of a large organization. I wanted to be angry at them and make them out to be the bad guys. But, I learned some facts that would indicate that’s not the case – that they did care about me, my situation…but were trapped, limited in what they could do. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the organization made the right decision (IMHO), it allows me to forgive them as human beings involved, and see them with compassion. Like I’ve learned elsewhere, hurting people hurt. Well, just because people stuck in the bureaucracy of an organization hurt others, it doesn’t make them bad people. Corporate people hurt…in a sense.
Third, I realized that while I was praying for them to grow in their understanding, ultimately, I was the one who needed to grow. I was the one who needed healing. And, God did just that. Not me – Him. In praying for others — in doing the next right thing and staying centered, by God’s grace, in a spiritual place, God ultimately worked on my heart and helped me forgive and let go on an even deeper level. Some of the forgiveness I had experienced to date was on a somewhat shallow level — and necessarily so. I was going through the motions – not in a bad way. I needed to keep praying for forgiveness and compassion even if I didn’t feel it as deeply as I should. In doing that…over and over and over…God slowly changed my heart.
I have heard stories of our CEO doing some pretty amazing things to make a difference – personally. Again, without getting in the details, I can remember specific situations where he intervened and “did the right thing,” adding a personal touch to a pretty public company position on a very sensitive issue. In doing so, I grew to respect him personally as a leader – as a man of character. And, through the actions of the three people yesterday — underscored by my dream — some of my faith in the company, in the people of the company, to “do the right thing,” was restored. As the leader of the company, his character shines through — people are able to follow his lead — and I know that all is not lost just because of one incident…it’s not black or white, good or bad…there is still respect for people.
What healing…what growth…what insights. By God’s grace…