The problem with being real is that we open ourselves up to hurt. Wounds then form, mental playgrounds of the same scene played on repeat. A festering sore gnawing at the soul.
I lowered my defenses this past weekend. Decided to be real, vulnerable about where my wife and I are in life. I need a new job. For those of you who have read my blog for awhile, you’ll know that this is not a new crisis. What has changed is the depth of the situation. The situation has to change.
As a recent exercise, I sat down and wrote a list of responses to the question: What expectations do I have for my job?
- A positive work environment.
- The ability to grow/move up within the company.
- To be able to make a salary where I can support my family. Annual raises of some sort. Anything but years of silence.
- Open/clear communication on company direction.
- The ability to learn. Even if on my own time.
- Feedback on job performance and ways/direction on how to improve.
- Common respect being a foundation for work relationships.
None of the above expectations are mind blowing. Yet, I had someone tell me in my moment of being open that I will never find a healthy work environment. That this somehow elusive thing does not exist. I know this not to be true based on past companies I have worked for. But the comment ate at me. I was also told that my current salary is normal. Not to expect much more. If only this person was open to a little market research.
What hurt the most about lowering my defenses, is that no one else in the group I was in have any clue of the response given. No idea that I’ve allowed discouragement to affect me before from this person. That I have veered off a track of studying due his words eating at me.
I know that I shouldn’t let words hurt me the way they do. Words have weight. Hard-wiring is hard to change.
The blank stare, the expression that casts, “he has no clue what he is doing with his life”. I’m tired of it. My college degree, my side pursuits, all beg to differ.
We might not all have the answers. I’d argue that this is part of the faith journey. This is part of my journey.
While it may suck to be real with others, authenticity is essential for both maturity and growth. So be real. Drop the shields.