So this week something happened. From the beginning of the week, I felt that I had to remain calm, that something was about to happen and that I just needed to watch. Alright… So I did. Then I could perceive dynamics at stake, and I learned a lot of things about the people I work with just watching them. As I usually keep myself away from the dramas, I needed an upgrade on what was really going on. And it was interesting.
As I was watching, knowing that I was the unsaid target, I didn’t loose my inner peace, my calm, I just smiled and looked at them. But when the strategy unraveled, I felt trapped at first. It took me a lot of energy to just stay there, talking softly, accepting what was going on. Then I realized that they were the one who would grow from the situation, that it had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with them.
A few years earlier, I would have been devastated. Because I know that I will have to face low blows, resentment, and this kind of things… But I am stronger than I was, I am used to deal with their attempts to put me into difficult situations. Thanks to them, I even reinforced my professional ( and probably personal) skills. Each problems asked a research from me to be solved. And I now have skills I didn’t when I began working there. And my other coworkers see me as a reference when it comes to deal with difficult kids, from my former life and my experience as a mother. I proved more than once that I am not a fragile little thing. They threw me through hell, and I came back stronger, each time. My reputation is not to be made now.
The saddest part is that I really don’t care about power or anyone’s approval. I do my job for the kids. I do all I can to make each and every one of them feel good, safe, and to make them love to learn at school. I don’t care about anything else. And I am sure that most of my fellow teachers do their job as I do mine: the best way they can.
So for a while I was set aside. The reason? Perception. I unwillingly question the way some worked. My choices were different, my way of working too. I chose my own way, I didn’t ask them for advice, and I had good results. I don’t think everyone should work the way I do. It’s just the way I feel comfortable with. It suits me. But I didn’t think that I could hurt anyone doing so. Or hurt anyone’s feelings. Because this little war is all about the way they feel. They have low self esteem (they admit it easily) so me doing what I do just make them feel bad. What never was my intent. But them came resentment… and the choice to make me leave or to put me down. Thing is, I fought more than one war in my life, and compared to cancer, my then loved one’s addictions, or the death of my only child, their little game is just that: a game.
And I don’t have to deal with their emotions or perceptions. They are not mine. So I won’t. And I already know that it may only infuriate them… but it’s ok, they will learn to deal with it just as I did. And everything will be fine.
So now that I rambled a lot about the situation that led to my weekly card, here is why I decided to use the word « welcoming ». I realized that in crisis situation, I remained calm. And I went through some crisis, so I could experience it more than once… I have the luck to be able to step back and look at things from a different point of view when needed. Then comes action. Being who I am, it could be rather…. radical. I felt no problems cutting links with anyone who hurt me, or those I love. I felt no shame to say what I felt needed to be said. I could go through a group of people with a smile while I knew they just gossiped about me, or they just despise me. I didn’t care. I still don’t. I learned to protect myself from negativity, and I knew what to do when I felt drained. I am also aware that I have boundaries… they are pretty clear. But once they are exceeded, I tended to aim and hit where it really hurt. Without being able to control the strength of my answer. And I really didn’t like it. So I tended to see my inner strength (or what I called my determination, my will, my warrior self) as a defense tool, as a protection of my softer side. As I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I used to put my armor on, keeping my inner strength contained, which made me feel more frustrated, tense than it should. But it was the price to pay to avoid hurting anyone beyond what they were supposed to handle.
Or so it was. Because these past years, and especially this last one, I worked a lot on the matter. And I now am able to welcome my inner strength fully. Because I know that I have the skills to use it with wisdom. I learned from my mistakes, and I made peace with them. I accepted my tortuous past and the fact that it led me to where I am now in my life. I am now able to step back whenever it’s needed to make the wisest choice. I learned to perceive whether a situation was about myself or about something else. And I learned a lot about myself. I now know not to wait for my boundaries to be exceeded before acting. calmly, peacefully, but strongly. It wasn’t easy… I was so used to the darkness that I had to adjust to the light part of who I am. I looked into philosophies, meditations, spiritualities and they taught me what they had to. Then I kept what was relevant to what I was looking for, and left the rest on the side of the path. It just wasn’t for me, but if anyone would need it, it was there, ready to be used. I learned to find balance.
And this week was a final test, in a way. A few years ago I would have been revolted and devastated. But this time I realized it had nothing to do with me. It was all about a lesson they need to learn. I am just a tool used to help them grow. And I am that tool because I am strong enough to play that part. So I am welcoming my inner strength with gratitude and serenity. I don’t need to arm myself for the war to come. Because there won’t be any war, aside the one that will take place in their mind. It has nothing to do with me. I can go on my path in peace. My inner strength will allow me to go through it unarmed, and I will probably learn some valuable lessons on the way, too. I don’t see it as a defense weapon only anymore. It’s also a beautiful gift. Time for me to use it properly. Time to rise and shine. Time to help others to rise and shine too. This will be an interesting and rich year.