Day 115 – Don’t forget your full body armor suit!
Today started out so positive. I got up at 6am, meditated for 10 minutes and when I got to work the electricity was off. I thought that maybe we’d get the day off work.
Meditation was difficult this morning, but I feel that the doing was the benefit of today’s practice. I probably could have meditated for longer if I hadn’t watched a video my brother sent me via email right before I sat. I was supposed to look at it critically and then send him my feedback. I didn’t have enough time to meditate and send him the feedback and I chose to sit on the cushion. However, my critical mind also sat down right next to me and it took all my effort for those 10 minutes to simply stay with my breath. I didn’t always succeed.
Nevermind, tomorrow I will sit again at the same time without watching videos before hand and hopefully my mind will be more settled. (Hmm, yeah, a bit presumptuous I reckon!)
Work was dark, gloomy and humid when I arrived. Normally our manager tells us to go home if the electricity doesn’t come on after half an hour of going off. Unfortunately, she wasn’t around to tell us to go home and the electricity came on after I’d been at work for about an hour so no vacation day for us. That dampened my spirits a bit having already fantasized about the possibility of a now 5 day weekend. However, I figured that staying at work was the worse that could happen today and that we were up for a quiet day in the office trying to look busy. I never comprehended that I’d be walking onto the battle field less that half an hour later.
The knife that my co-worker previously used against me paled in comparison to the weaponry that she revealed in her arsenal today. To top it off she got another co-worker to face off with me as I sat in the middle of their crossfire in front of the entire office of staff members. I didn’t realize how open and vulnerable I could feel after meditating in the morning when confronted by bullies. There hasn’t been much of a chance to experiment with this possibility thankfully. I just wish I had known to bring my armor to work…
I’m still in one piece, mind you, so it was nothing I couldn’t survive without a few tears shed hiding in a bathroom stall and an angry, but professional, email sent to our managers.
For as beautiful as I found today’s Zencast by Thubten Dondrub I found it hard to see that a flower is not simply a flower, and that I am not simply me.
I wish I could have taken the attack by my co-workers and let it slide right off my back knowing that I am not really me, that we are all one and therefore if my co-worker is angry it is simply cause and effect energy moving around in Mara. I couldn’t do it though. I felt attacked, my ego was bruised. I got defensive and then I got angry, which led to tears. This is my usual reaction when I feel bullied and out numbered. I had hoped I’d moved a bit closer to equanimity in this kind of situation. Alas, I haven’t… yet…
I wanted to shout at the other staff members for not standing up for me, for sitting in silence as I was unfairly attacked. I wanted to leave work that instant, go home and feel sorry for myself. Instead, I sat in a bathroom stall in the ladies’ toilet dabbing tissue against my eyes, breathing deeply to help me calm down. I thought hard to recall all of Thubten Dondrub’s great words that I’d heard on the car journey to work. It worked to a certain extent, but I still spent the remainder of my day wondering what I could have done differently, what I should have done differently and what I would have done if…
What role had I played in this attack? What would the repercussions be to my email? Would the facts that I stated in the email stand up against a jury? Could the management find fault in me instead of the co-workers that are hell-bent on my destruction?
So many thoughts. So much me, me, me. So much self-pity. So many judgements. It’s really terribly exhausting.
In fact as I write this I feel tired just thinking about all the energy spent over small misunderstandings that have led to a war of co-workers. It does make it easier to understand how world wars begin…
However, as bad as the morning was, if I’ve learned anything today it’s that I must continue to remember the sentiment of the following quote:
“The toughest thing is to love somebody who has done something mean to you – especially when that somebody is yourself. Look inside yourself and find that loving part of you. Take good care of that part because it helps you love your neighbor.” – Fred Rogers
(Thank you to Rev. Danny Fisher for posting it on Facebook today.)
I must make sure to be patient and loving with myself so that I do not in turn do to someone what has been done to me. In this case maybe the cycle can be broken and a little bit more peace can enter the world where once there was only anger, bitterness, misunderstanding and hatred.
The wisest choice I made today? To not let bullies ruin my afternoon and evening as well. I could have spent all day worrying over this horrible interchange with my co-workers. Instead I went out for lunch with great friends who are also co-workers. I also spoke to other colleagues I rarely get a chance to speak to and I worked hard in my Spanish class asking questions and explaining customs in the USA and Scotland.
The only way these bullies will get me down is if I let their actions affect my life outside of work. I love myself enough to not let that happen so I’m smiling, I’m breathing, I’m walking and I’m off to finish my night with a Metta meditation dedicated to those who seem to be ready to stoop to any level to make me feel powerless and alone.
May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful.
May you not mistake my kindness for weakness.