Suffer Well

You know, I used to think of myself as an all around ‘A’-student– somebody who excelled at learning. I was always on the Honour Roll in school and I automatically enrolled myself in the ‘advanced’ classes (and did well in them), so it just seemed natural to conclude that I was ‘smart’.

Somebody kick me, will ya?

It’s (finally. ironically.) beginning to dawn on me that I am a painfully slow learner. Yes, I am adept at going through the smoke-and-mirrors ‘book smart’ motions and fooling y’all into thinking I understand something, but when it comes to actually learning things in the life lessons department, I tend to get a big F for Fail/Redo.

Two major things are happening in my life right now: 1. I am heading once again into my least favourite 16 weeks at work. 2. I am (finally) reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth book, after letting it collect dust for months and months on my bookshelf. What I notice is that I tend to go through my weekday mornings full of angst and dread, anxiously thinking about the painfully busy weeks to come. Then I go on lunch and read a few more sections of the Tolle book, where I am reminded (once again) to live in the moment and to live life more lightly (i.e. to not take things so seriously.) I chide myself for losing my way (yet again), and I have a zen moment. I head back to my desk filled with peace, love, and good vibrations. And then everything I’ve ‘learned’ over lunch flies out the door as soon as I get a panicked e-mail from a coworker about something urgent that needed to be done yesterday. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseum…

I am totally appalled by this pattern (although I am getting better at simply laughing at it). I could probably quote you a dozen lines from the book, word for word, but as far as practicing them, actually living them? I can be laughably incompetent. F: Fail/Redo!

The other day, I was blown into a frenzy when somebody let her personal frustrations (totally non-work related) boil over onto me. I started thinking about how much I can’t stand my job during this season and how I should just quit already, leaving everybody scrambling at the busiest time of the year to fill the giant void left by Uber-Skilled, Irreplaceable Me.

Then I caught myself.

‘Whoa, whoa ego’, I chided. ‘Take a pill and give it a rest!’ But I was still unsettled.

I saw Marty after work and told him about my day, of course including the part about the totally unfair and uncalled for way I was treated. (See? Did I learn nothing?!) Marty, (bless his even-keeled heart), figured my anger was probably based on a mixture of the situation and my attitude about the situation, but wisely suggested we call upon our runes and tarot cards to see for sure. (Very smart man.)

So we pulled out our sacred bag of runes and I mightily asked the universe for guidance on my job situation (all the while secretly hoping I would pull the Quit Your Job And Go To Prague rune so I could call it a night). Haha– I am so naive and pathetic sometimes. Guess which rune I drew?

Nauthiz: Constraint, Necessity, Pain

The Book of Runes says that the Nauthiz Rune “represents the obstacles we create for ourselves as well as those we encounter in the world around us”. Ahem. [My ego, offended, said: ‘Totally unrelated to my situation, but whatever.’]

I continued reading:

“‘Don’t take this world personally'”, this Rune is saying… Clearly, there is work to be done on yourself. So take it on with good humor and show perseverance.”

[My ego, bristling, said: ‘This clearly does not apply to my situation, but whatever. I must have accidentally drawn this random Rune by mistake. Obviously, I need to draw a tarot card as well to prove that this Rune was totally and utterly wrong.’]

F: Fail/Redo!

(Truly, I have all the maturity and savvy of an ice cream cone. Also? I’m exaggerating my reactions slightly in this post for comic effect, but I really did reel and bristle a bit when I didn’t draw the “No Worries, You’re On Your Way To Winning The Lottery Anyway So Who Cares About this Work Shit?” rune).

Anyway, yes I decided to draw a tarot card too, to “see if it had any [different] suggestions” for me about my job (read: suggestions that would negate everything the Nauthiz Rune represented). And lo and behold, guess which tarot card I drew?

That's right, "Bondage!"

That's right, "Bondage!"

“This card indicates that you feel tied down to a situation… The truth is that you are free. Feeling this way and living in freedom could be achieved simply: shifting your mind-set or attitude…” Ahem.

So, a double whammy of consistent universal guidance. “Universe to Dana L.: Suck it up and suffer well.” Ah, feels good to have my ass kicked! 🙂

I ‘know’ these things in my (book smart) mind, and they resonate strongly with my yearning spirit and heart, but I’m obviously still learning (without a great success record) to live and practice these tenets in my everyday life, without taking them on as ‘difficult’ tasks or trying to ‘master’ them in any way. One step at a time, yes?

And there we have it: According to the universe, it’s time to live life less seriously and it’s evidently not the time to book my one-way ticket to Prague. Yet…

One response

  1. Hang in there lady – we all go through times like this – and while we cannot always choose what happens to us or what we need to do to put food on the table – the only thing we can control is how we react to them…the whole attitude thing..which I totally struggle with as well.

    I have restarted my gratitude journal to try and focus on the positive in my life – its so hard sometimes…

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