Andrea visited with “Cruella” often, especially when her inner voice was being critical. Only Cruella did not exist physically anymore in her work life. She had been her dysfunctional manager at a job she held many years ago. Okay, it is time to come clean. I am “Andrea” and this happened to me.
Although I had moved on for a better position and work environment leaving Cruella behind, I continued to be angry about how she had treated me. My heart rate went up as I re-lived some of the critiques that I had experienced; unfair angry tirades that left me feeling unappreciated and doubting myself. Spur of the moment personal attacks. I had replayed the scenes over and over again in my mind. I even saved all of the critical reviews that had been given to me during this time in my life and read them when feeling down. She always picked one staff member to be the target of her angry state and continued to barrage them until they left or were fired. A boss bully. Obviously she had issues.
I gave her power over me long after our relationship had actually ended. By revisiting the dismal scenes I deepened the memories of this situation, strengthening the thoughts and feelings. It was hard to let it all go, so I thought. I gradually moved away from this past, bad work situation that was repeating in my brain. I worked with a great coach and she guided me through letting go. I burned all of the written traces of this person and watched the ashes float away on the wind as a ceremonial act of release. Other times I let the thoughts go by blowing soap bubbles and stating phrases such as, “I release the past and all of the bad energy that was directed towards me”. It may sound corny, but it really did help.
And then I began focusing on what is good in my life and in time came to a place where I actually was able to forgive this person. And then I moved on. I let go and was able to live a more peaceful work-life. And my family and friends were also glad that they did not have to hear any more stories about this long-past event (I am right, aren’t I). It was not easy, but what I learned is that we can choose to hold on to thoughts about past stories and let them intrude on our happiness today, or we can let them go. To quote Martha Beck, “Be who you are right now. Your suffering comes not from events, but from your thoughts about the events”.
And so, I wish you freedom from thoughts about past ills and release of those that you still carry with you so that you can live in what is happening today in both your personal and work-life. If you are carrying some old mental weight around and are ready to release it I can help you. If you are not quite ready, that’s okay too. When the time is right and you are ready it will happen for you too through whatever means you choose. But know that the sooner your actively work on letting go, the sooner you will feel more peace in your day.
My sincere thank you to my very talented friend Jean Calomeni who created Frida Unfettered, the beautiful watercolor featured with this blog. To me Frida represents rising above one’s ills and finding peace and beauty. I especially like Frida’s crown which is made from songbirds! Jean’s artwork can be found at www.snoringdogstudio.com, her blog at http://snoringdogstudio.wordpress.com, and her additional creative thoughts at Twitter: jmcaloartist.