The Real Work Of Quitting
After the residual shock wore off from quitting, and those first few days of being jobless passed by, the initial hype and endorphin rush dissipated. I was expecting copious amounts of anxiety and crippling panic attacks. I was prepared for endless tears and hyperventilating. What I wasn’t prepared for was to feel angry, depressed, dissatisfied.
I didn’t anticipate the number of times I would want to quit or a heightened sensitivity to excessive people (and their noise). I couldn’t come to terms with how deeply I wanted to run off into the woods never to be heard from again. Hadn’t I wanted this?
My last hope rested in the launching of the website. “This will take care of all this negative, crazy energy”, I promised myself in vain. As (lack of) luck would have it, nothing changed after the site was launched. It was only then that I realized there were a lot of emotions not only being triggered by this whole experience but they made it clear that they were not going anywhere anytime soon.
All that anger and frustration was really masking a deeper fear and discomfort of existing outside my comfort zone. There was complacency in my apathy toward my life, toward my stressful job, my shitty finances and toward myself. It was painful but all too familiar and therefore safe. I could truthfully have lived there forever, all the while convinced that life had cheated me or been unfairly cruel toward me. When you play the victim card you are granted instant access to unlimited self-pity and don’t ever actually have to show up for life. There’s a bizarre power in undertaking this position and I was secretly very reluctant to let it go.
Like with anything, be it a business, relationship, whatever, we often would rather choose what’s safe versus what’s unknown. We are too loyal to the pain that we have become accustomed to and, the saddest part of all, is that we are so convinced that happiness is truly meant for others but not us. So when we do decide to step into a space of unfamiliarity, every negative feeling is going to rush to the forefront of our minds. It will be a shallow attempt to bully us back into the positions we were previously in. We can choose to retreat accepting, with nothing but love, that we are just not ready yet. Or we can take it as an opportunity to do some serious work!
More than anything, choosing to stay means facing those feelings head on and being okay with them hanging around for a bit. It involves sitting down with them everyday and literally asking them, “why are you here?” and “what do you need from me?” Emotions are purely there to communicate with us what is occurring on a deeper level. By asking these questions aloud I can immediately begin to confront them, resolve them, and diminish them of their power. We repress so much of the things we never dare say aloud and that give emotions and thoughts a lot of power! We make them untouchable like a secret, but the moment we speak to them, they are brought to our immediate conscious minds and stripped of their power. They won’t always go away overnight but we are aware of them – we have the upper hand. This is how one reclaims their freedom and gains equality with their mind. One begins to realize that reality is indeed a construct of the mind and can be altered in its entirety. To shift what is on our external landscape we must shift what is on our internal landscape.
This was the greater lesson to be learned in quitting my job. Everything is connected. No action, and its subsequent reaction, occurs in a vacuum. I was meant to quit my job so that I could have an opportunity to work every belief and emotion that was holding me back from living my life fully. It was the catalyst to elevate me to the next step in my own personal evolution. Clearing out had to be done to make room for all the beautiful things I was calling into my life. This was the real work I needed to embark on.