Abandonment Part 2: How to Get to Your Very Best
My Short History of Abandonment
Up and until 1997 I never had an employer who deliberately abandoned me. Mind you I have had a lot of moments of incompetence as probably most people do, but no one ever asked me to leave my job. Then, when I felt I was getting really great results in that my students were changing their lives, our whole department was given our walking papers. It was a bit ironic to experience abandonment because our department promoted concepts of bonding as if we were family. The decision was made to change from a family bonding orientation to a more detached regimen. So while I lost my job, the school also lost students after the firings. It hung on for 10 years, but never regained the numbers.
My next experience with abandonment happened in a very similar manner. When our data was showing very positive growth rates with students and the unity of the staff was on the rise, the ownership of my school decided to end my relationship with it. After that time the school lost about one-third of its population.
My recent experience happened after I had had a whole series of really positive evaluations and remarkable results despite the size of the school in comparison to others. My supervisor made up a bogus assessment of me and then used to say I was incompetent. The data showed very different results. And now just about 8 months after the abandonment, the participation levels by students in the programs I managed are falling.
The reason that I am writing this is because justice is just not all that apparent in the world. We have a large number of leaders who seem to be so threatened by positive results, so overcome with jealousy, that they won’t even take a detached look at the data. Instead of being fair, they feel that people who are competent in their work are going to take away some of their recognition. The more competence that is shown, the more the jealousy takes over. There is not a causal relationship between who advances and how competent they are.
The playing field in the world is marked largely by injustice. Let’s face it. If you grow up in Libya, the freedom to pursue your desired vocation is just not the same as other places. There are a lot of books about finding your passion, etc., and going for it, but injustice is a big factor in shutting a lot of doors. It is undeniable. I am just thinking about what poets went through in the Cultural Revolution in China or any person from the city in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. When injustice is the ruler, the most competent folks are seen as the biggest threats.
This post is not a rant. It is about abandonment. What do you do when the rug is pulled out from under you when you are at your best? When you get abandoned, how do you transform it to thriving?
The first and most important thing to recognize, which is by no means easy to see, is that they are abandoning you, you are not abandoning them. When I feel abandonment, I suffer. When I see it as them abandoning me, they suffer. It is simple. eh? Not so easy I am afraid! The problem emotion is hurt.
If someone abandons you, and then you can see it as their issue, not yours, then it means that some brand new big doors are going to open for you. This is a fact. This is not new agey stuff. Hurt is the emotion that signals new openings. All you have to do is get over the hurt.
So step one is to see that they abandoned you, not the other way around. Step two is the realization that because of the abandonment new doors are going to open for you.
Step three is the BIG ONE. Step three is remembering everything positive about your life and everything positive that has happened in your life. When you invoke positive memories on a grand scale, it releases huge amounts of positive energy in you. The only problem is that if you are stuck in hurt, you cannot get to positive memory. Hurt keeps you stuck in negative memories and freezes the present tense. Letting go of hurt and seeing them as abandoning you, opens up all of your positive past memories. This gives you huge energy. I can honestly look on my firings as them losing me and what I had to offer. It was their loss, not mine. At the moment of the firing I didn’t see it that way. I suffered a loss of energy because I was stuck in hurt and then I lost my memories.
When you remember something in a positive way, then it feels your body with positive feelings. Those feelings then drive you to doing lots of great things. Then the doors open. What happens to the people doing the abandoning and the reason they suffer is that instead of taking the opportunity to get closer to people, they distance themselves from others. The further they are from others, the more they suffer.
But there is a dynamic which I am not too sure about yet, that as long as I am hurt, they don’t have to feel the suffering of their abandonment. As soon as I am detached from the hurt, then they feel it. Strange! Care to comment? Feel free.