One of the most precious insights I have achieved during the last five years, was that I needed to resign from many of my jobs. By far the most onerous job I had was changing other people. Firstly, I needed to change how my husband treated me and teach him to be respectful. He had to learn how to treat me and others (including himself) with more respect. Then I needed to teach him how to value our marriage and act in accordance with the value he placed on it. Then I needed to teach people to love me and appreciate me and stop taking me for granted. It was tough and the lessons plans never ended – and seldom worked. My job description was clear but the hours were 24/7. My salary was undetermined and progress evaluations were usually dismal. In my opinion I was well qualified for the job with lots of experience (although the truth was that I had shown a low success rate despite my best efforts). My resignations were acrimonious and I spent a huge amount of time re-applying for the same job that I had failed at repeatedly. My working life was hell.
I have finally resigned.
On an almost daily basis we deal with behavior that is problematic to us. People fail to “show up” in dozens of different ways. Bosses treat us disrespectfully, friends and family are negligent, colleagues are unsupportive and acquaintances are dismissive. People fail to return calls and service providers don’t deliver. This behavior amplifies our fears that we are worthless, unimportant and redundant. In the past I would have worried away at it like a dog with a bone. I would have raged or become depressed and disheartened. In my mind I would be spending time with people I like and respect the least.
In the same way that I can now hear what a man tells me on a first date, I can pay attention to what everyone else tells me too. Instead of being pleased that I had been “chosen” to be a friend or business partner I am now the one who does the choosing. I select the people I want and cherish based on their value systems, their conduct, their self respect, the weight of their words and the extent to which they keep their commitments.
I have resigned. I am no longer in the business of teaching people manners if they don’t have or assisting them with integrity they appear to have lost or traded off. I am no longer in the people changing/pleasing business. The only business I am in is my own. The only person I elect to change is myself and the reason is that I want to.