Cloaked In Kindness

They say it’s not over until it’s over. For the first time in years, you had the worst two weeks of your career. There you were, priding yourself on your ability to roll through change as it happens – after all, your life has been full of it. So much so, that you’d adapted to a life that never stops moving. Thrived on it, to be honest.

You always thought change was good.

Until it wasn’t. Until your hard work was cast aside and politics came into play. Until they told you that “it’s not you, but things just have to happen this way.”
And then what do you do?

You have an epic meltdown. Your world as you know it, is over. You’re standing in the middle of this lonely, desolate road, desperately looking for signs to steer you in the right direction. There is no one. There are no signs. Your stance is empty, useless, unwarranted. The fight you want to take up, the points you want to make are moot. The one thing you stand for, the journey you’ve taken and shared with the world – it doesn’t apply to you.

And so, you wallow in sorrow for a few days. Look for the counsel of those who love you. Those who truly love you, the ones who protect you, care about you. Not the ones who’ve used you as a stepping stone along the way. The love of these people, their support, their offers, their counsel – shifts your thinking and lights that path you thought was lost. In the days that follow, you find your pain being soothed by kindness. Thankful for those who rally around you, giving you the compassion you need, assuring you about the impact you’ve had in their careers and in their lives.

Those words save you.

They make you stronger, give you the fullness of heart that you need. And when you lift your head up from alI that sorrow, you find that nothing around you has really changed. That your suffering can’t even compare to the plight of others. The sadness, isolation, the loss of loved ones or jobs – you don’t have any of that. You have a hurt ego and wounded pride. Perhaps you’ve also lost confidence in those you trusted the most. But you probably shouldn’t have trusted them in the first place. It’s a dog eat dog world, where have you been all this time?

But the kind people. They remind that your job, your position, doesn’t define who you are. That you are the sum of many parts – that the mark you’ve made, the relationships you’ve cultivated, the trust you’ve gained, and the lives that have enriched you – those are the things that matter.

Cry, they said. Take your time to be angry. And cry with all your heart. There is a sacredness in tears, someone once said (Jude to Anna?). Those tears are the lessons you take to heart. Dance in those tears, channel that energy into the strength to keep on going. And when the time comes, you will make the right choice.

And so, for you out there, whose hope gets diminished by things you can’t control, look around you. Although the sun sets, it also rises. Ours is a life of opposites. A constant give and get. Give in to this one. It will open many other doors for you. Things will always end up the way they’re supposed to. That’s just what life is all about.

All those words, those gracious, encouraging words. They will be your light.

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