Sunday, May 14, 2017

Walking With My Friends

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.
(Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

It was the most amazing spiritual ride for me yet. Professionally I was doing quite well, yet, due to some immense cost pressures and an ongoing power struggle in the firm I was working for, my boss wanted to push me out. Never mind my spiritual path, the ego came out with a vengeance: why me? How could they? Am I perhaps not that good after all? Who is behind it? These were all burning questions running through my head.

In a way I was prepared for it. Just one year earlier I had suffered one of my worst professional attacks when a case I was making seemed hopeless for a while, and for a few weeks it seemed that nearly everyone was disagreeing with me, even though in the end this case worked out spectacularly right. What I learned during that painful time was that it is ok to go home at night and cry, and scream and be depressed, but when you go to work the next day you go there with your head held high and with a smile on your face and let yourself be carried by the energy of the moment, knowing deep down inside that you are experiencing the best of times during the worst of times.

This struggle was deeper because it involved people and not investment positions. It could have been a "war of good and evil" that I once had experienced earlier in my career. It didn't end so well and it took me years to recover from it. As I was approaching the prime of my career I had no time to waste, so I decided to be a lot smarter this time, I had to rely on my spiritual wisdom instead. The resolution of the struggle was simple, and very similar to the experience from the year earlier. I simply disassociated from the screaming voice in my head without repressing the emotions that needed to be experienced. I just let the subconscious programs run without getting personally involved. The observer was mostly in control, just like the year before.

My strategy was simple, I distinguished in my head my friends from the friends who needed a temporary time-out. I also ruthlessly used my support system to express my sour sentiment without causing too much damage in the real world. My wife did a lot of the heavy lifting, as did my spiritual friend Su Zhen. I also reached out to a few work colleagues, knowing that they could handle the situation quite well. I remember saying to one of my confidants, "thank you for being an emotional buffer!" She smiled knowingly. Yet in all that, cruel as it sounds, it was just a good cop, bad cop routine. While I was expressing my emotions, my thoughts were already moving on to the next thing. The observer was in charge, the ego did just its thing. Don't get me wrong though, my body and my soul took a beating in this, and quite symbolically, on one of my business trips I felt violently sick which rarely happens to me.

My astrologer had predicted that I would be lucky this year. She added, summing my situation up perhaps best, "you have an incredible support system!" Yes, I am blessed, but you know what, every spiritual traveler is. We accumulate enormous amounts of good karma and it comes back to us in the form of the people we surround ourselves with. So when you find yourself walking through the dark tunnel let the ego say whatever it needs to and let the emotions bubble to the surface just as they have to. The WAY generously grants us the opportunities to let go of what is bubbling to the surface while still putting us in a position to honor our spiritual mission. All we have to do is to hold tight to the giants who walk right next to us. They will lead us straight to the light.

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