Even though the week is over in a few hours, I feel like I have been drug buck nekkid though nettles and huckleberries. I got a hundred thorns sticking in me that snag and dig whenever I move. Removing them leaves a wound for the salt, vinegar, alcohol, and lemon juice.
No, I am not feeling persecuted, just overwhelmed and burnout after listening to homophobia comments, backbiting remarks, having my decisions undercut by co-workers, explaining basic human needs to those one “expects” to have some compassion. Yes, I hear the world can be an ugly place, but I work in health care at a facility that claims every patient is a VIP and places patient care and comfort before common sense.
Didn’t I start counting down these 100 Days quite a while ago? I feel like I am going to work every single one of them. Work, not as in go to a job, but work out - work out the places that have been the challenge for the last three years and three months. Tonight as I sat revisiting the management process, tears just streamed. Breathing would neither dam or delay the flood once it leaked out. the listener continued his story hoping, I’m sure, that I would pull it together. Not! I could cry and stay or shut down my feelings and head out the door. Or worse, displace them in a situation which would lead back to one of these discussions. Better to break the cycle.
In support of the process, I came across The Six Perfections - on The Path of Liberation. I was actually looking for mala beads to gift a friend when I found these Buddhist teachings. In particular, the teaching of patience surfaces tonight.
Perfection in patience is demonstrated when the mind does not become agitated. First, we remain calm and relaxed when we are harmed by others - physically, mentally, or emotionally - for we know that our reaction will only increase suffering. Secondly, we voluntarily accept suffering as we are responsible for the situation or circumstance we are in and these are teaching moments - growth opportunities. The third aspect of patience deals with concentration and focus on the teachings...
As much as teachings of healing and hope like to focus on turning the other cheek as a universal standard for addressing adversity. We can also recall the need to stand and meet out justice, as when the same author of turning the other cheek tore through the temple whipping the money changers or called out the major teachers of his day as liars and hypocrites.
Do I hold my tongue regardless of the injustice, neglect and outright hatefulness? How can I maintain any integrity within as I divert my gaze? If the space I seek is the space I create, then am I not responsible for ensuring that my presence makes a difference?
I expect to be free of prejudice, classism, homophobia, and personality clashes (for the most part) while at work. I recognize that we all have our own opinions, but when they infringe on the peace of others, perhaps they are best reserved for our personal lives. My goal is to be surrounded by those who are educated and honestly accepting of those different than themselves. High standards, yes. Achievable, certainly.