Work and recovery

Melody Beattie writes this about work:

Just as we have relationship histories, most of us have work histories.

Just as we have a present circumstance to accept and deal with in our relationship life, we have a present circumstance to accept and deal with in our work life.

Just as we develop a healthy attitude toward our relationship history – one that will help us learn and move forward – we can develop a healthy attitude toward our work history.

I have worked many jobs in my life, since I was eleven years old. Just as I have learned many things about myself through my relationships, I have learned many lessons through my work. Often, these lessons run parallel to the lessons I’m learning in other areas of my life.

I have worked at jobs I hated but was temporarily dependent on. I have gotten stuck in jobs because I was afraid to strike out on my own and find my next set of circumstances.

I have been in some jobs to develop skills. Sometimes, I didn’t realize I was developing those skills until later on when they become an important part of the career of my choice.

I have worked at jobs where I felt victimized, where I gave and gave and received nothing in return. I have been in relationships where I manufactured similar feelings.

I have worked at some jobs that have taught me what I absolutely didn’t want; others sparked in me an idea of what I really did want and deserve in my career.

Some of my jobs have helped me develop character; others have helped me fine tune skills. They have all been a place to practice recovery behaviors.

Just as I have had to deal with my feelings and messages about myself in relationships, I have had to deal with my feelings and messages about myself, and what I believed I deserved at work.

I have been through two major career changes in my life. I learned that neither career was a mistake and no job was wasted time. I have learned something from each job, and my work history has helped create who I am.

I learned something else: there was a Plan, and I was being led. The more I trusted my instincts, what I wanted, and what felt right, the more I felt that I was being led.

The more I refused to lose my soul to a job and worked at it because I wanted to and not for the paycheck, the less victimized I felt by any career, even those jobs that paid a meager salary. The more I set goals and took responsibility for achieving the career I wanted, the more I could decide whether a particular job fit into that scheme of things. I could understand why I was working at a particular job and how that was going to benefit me.

There are times I have even panicked at work and about where I was in my employment history. Panic never helped. Trust and working my program did.

There were times I looked around and wondered why I was where I was. There were times people thought I should be someplace different. But when I looked into myself and at God, I knew I was in the right place, for the moment.

There were times I have had to quit a job and walk away in order to be true to myself. Sometimes, that was frightening. Sometimes, I felt like a failure. But I learned this: If I was working my program and true to myself, I never had to fear where I was being led.

There have been times I couldn’t survive on the small amount of money I was receiving. Instead of bringing that issue to a particular employer and making it his or her fault, I have had to learn to bring the issue to my Higher Power and myself. I’ve learned I’m responsible for setting my boundaries and establishing what I believe I deserve. I’ve also learned God, not a particular employer, is my source of guidance.

I’ve learned that I’m not stuck or trapped in a job no more than I am in a relationship. I have choices. I may not be able to see them clearly right now, but I do have choices. I’ve learned that if I really want to take care of myself in a particular way on a job, I will do that. And if I really want to be victimized by a job, I will allow that to happen too.

I am responsible for my choices, and I have choices.

Above all else, I’ve learned to accept and trust my present circumstances at work. That does not mean to submit; it does not mean to forego boundaries. It means to trust, accept, then take care of myself the best I’m able to on any given day.

God, help me bring my recovery behaviors to my career affairs.” via Thought for the Day — Hazelden.

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