It’s been a while. My computer seems to have gotten over whatever ‘cough’ it was suffering from, causing the dreaded blue screen. So, I’ll run with it while I have the chance.
Just a quick update on the challenge I mentioned, back in February…I wound up having a meeting with the HR manager and District manager, regarding what was going on (at their request). I was threatened a couple of times by the HR manager, who said “You know, we don’t have to give you full time hours…” Threatening to take away my hours, because I was making a stand and encouraging other employees to do the same. The problem facing all employees, was management was forcing us, for years, to “work off” our overtime. I did some research and discovered that it was/is illegal for the company to do so, turning our “overtime” hours into “comp-time”, without the benefit of receiving the extra pay normally associated with working overtime. I was originally happy to take a longer lunch, get off early, etc. because I believed our company wasn’t seeing the normal sales that it was used to seeing, also believing it was only temporary. I was happy to help out then. Long story short, after the meeting, a note was posted on the employee board, stating that we could occasionally be expected to work a few minutes past our normal shift, but anything over 10 minutes needed to be approved by management. Also, “if there isn’t anything to do, then please clock out early.” That’s it. Nothing is being said about taking a longer lunch to make up for the overtime our monthly mandatory meetings would create, and nothing is being required of us, to work off ANY overtime incurred during the normal work related instances. I see this as a great victory. The employees won! Yippee!!
The cool thing about this particular scenario, is that 5 years ago I wouldn’t have ever considered stepping on any toes, or even asking questions that might seem offensive to a company I work for. In this case, it was needed and SOMEONE needed to say something. It all began with asking questions. I had questions being brought to me by other employees, and I decided to get to the bottom of the legalities surrounding this particular scenario. The rest just happened…
Yes, I have somewhere I’m going with all of this.
The journey of healing is all about changing, rebuilding, growing and becoming stronger in our own skin. It’s about rebuilding our emotional selves as well as our psychological selves. It’s nothing short of living with growing pangs, which are extremely painful in every definition of the word, even when you begin the journey with a predefined direction and goal. Usually the direction isn’t exactly clear, other than knowing its “there”. Though you live with it for a time, you will still see growth and strength in your life. It’ll still hurt, but don’t let that stop you.
One of the first lessons I learned, early on, was how to recognize my own internal voice, as opposed to the monster’s voice. In doing so, i recognized my not-so-healthy views of myself and was able to begin to change that. It also allowed me to recognize abusive tendencies in others, and gave me the strength to be able to stand up for myself. Setting and implementing personal boundaries, was the most important part of the lesson.
If someone would have said, “3 years from now, you’ll be stronger than you have ever been. You’ll have confidence, strength and peace of mind..” I would have called B.S. I would have asked what they were smoking, and never considered believing them. All I saw in the beginning of my journey, was a timid, scared shell. I was someone who wouldn’t stand up for herself, for fear of offending another. I was someone who’s wants, wishes and feelings were never important. I didn’t see their importance, because that would mean I was full of myself, arrogant and awful toward others. If I asked for something I needed, which I believed created some small hardship (minuscule) for another, I would be buried by horrendous guilt. It all started with my own voice.
I learned that every boundary that I would stand firm in, or allow to become shaky, began with my own voice. What I said to myself, or accepted FOR myself, became reality. I used to hear others speak of something like this, and always thought it was hogwash. “speak wealth into existence”, etc. The fact is, though there are imbalances in this type of belief, there are also truths in it.
Your voice is that which alerts you to problems or successes. It’s the beginning of every new step you will ever take, or every healing from pain, in your life. It’s the beginning of strength or failure. Smiles or depression. You see, it’s your OWN choice…your voice. You choose what gets in, and out. You choose what to believe or shake off. You choose where your life will go, and what you will accept FOR your life. It begins with your own voice.
There are so many who are in the beginning of this same journey. They are belittling themselves, calling themselves such horrible things. They are agreeing with their abuser, who took such huge steps to insure his/her success by psychologically raping their victim, calling it “love”. The first step is the most crucial to finding your own wellness. Learning what are his lies (or anyone else’s, throughout your life), and replace those lies with your own needs, wants, beliefs, and truths. If you wake up one morning and think, “I look hideous!” please recognize, that’s a LIE! If you are wanting that promotion at work, and your instant thought is, “I’m not good enough..I’ll never be hired for that”. Recognize that as a lie too. Instead, tell yourself you deserve better. You deserve to talk to yourself more positively. Then, step out and do what you need to do, to try for that job, promotion, or happier self. To start seeing the end of the tunnel of depression and self-loathing, begins with hearing your OWN voice. Not that voice from hurtful people, toward you. Speak out in defense of YOU. If you don’t like something, say so. If someone offends you, say so. If the day is beautiful, say so. If it’s wrong or right, say so.
No more fear. No more lies to yourselves. Make a pact with your emotional and psychological selves, to never speak or think another cruel word to yourself again. The next step is to move your feet and accept that better life, which was already yours for the taking. Does that mean you will become rich? Perhaps, but probably not. Happier? Most definitely!