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Getting Fired, Laid Off, How to help yourself.

November 24th, 2007 · No Comments

Getting Fired or laid off, sucks, to coin a word. After such an event, you are swamped with an ocean of emotions. At the same time, there are things that you need to do to keep going and it is very difficult. Three weeks ago, my husband was given a pink slip invitation to a new chapter in our lives. I don’t know why. I am told that we have a new administration and he is bringing in his own team. We are new enough to this area, and I was hoping that my husband would be still considered “new blood” and part of the new team. Nope.

Some things had happened and I knew something was afoot. And yet, when the day came with the proclamation, I was still devastated. I was actually a recipient of being “fired” or permanently “laid off” about 10 years ago. Can you believe a nurse being laid off for lack of work? Yep. I worked for an independent medical equipment and IV (intravenous) company. We only had about 10% of the local market. The other player, the local hospital, had about 85% of the market. It was felt that we would never have more than 10%, so our department was closed. I knew that it was coming. My partner and I went out to lunch and reminisced about all the good times we had. After lunch….. “Would you step into my office please.” Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated.

Both of these experiences where similar. First, I had that “sinking feeling” in my chest and gut. Then I became very confused and remained in that state for some time. Confusion could also be unfocused. This last time it manifested in the following ways. I seem to develop a medical condition called “CRS“. That is translated as “can’t remember s–t.” I would forget appointments or even where I put my calendar for that matter. I was forgetting procedures at home and at work. I tend to be ADD, and it has been much worse; starting 10 projects and forgetting that I did that. Man, is that frustrating.

Also I was experiencing a great deal of FEAR. Well, that’s not a surprise, when the bread winner is out of work. That sort of hits you low in the gut. “What are we going to do?” “Will he be able to find new work soon?” “How are we going to make it financially?” “What about the house?” “What about the 2 kids in college?” What about ______?” Fill in the blank. My part time salary will only go so far.

I was angry! Angry at the company and angry at the husband, angry at____? We moved here from the east coast several years ago for this position. I like it here. I love my house. I have the best house I have ever lived it. It is 110 year old, stone house with curved doors and arched transoms. We don’t have a big yard, but we have a very nice yard with many garden spots for meditating or reading or entertaining. I had hoped that we would be here until retirement, about 6-8 years from now. Change in plans!

This is a life changing event, no matter why it happens. We have a new chapter started. What it is going to look like, I have no idea. We can create a lovely new chapter, but I have to get my emotions under control. I say “we” can create, because it is a “we” project. You might think that we are at the whims of the business world. Maybe yes, maybe no. My husband and I are dreaming up the type of position that my husband would like and the house/community we would like to live in. The mind can not distinguish between something vividly imagined and reality. Did you know that most every successful business person, athlete, entertainer’s use positive pre-play. Why not. Oh, you don’t know what I mean. Well, here is an example. They took a high school basketball team, tested their free throws accuracy and divided them in half. One half practiced free throws for an hour. The other half practiced free throws in their mind for a half an hour and on the court for a half an hour. They did this for a season. At the end of the season, they tested both half’s for free throw accuracy. They where about the same. Then there was summer break. When fall came, the two groups where tested again. The interesting thing is, the group that practice free throws in their mind was much more accurate than the group that had physically, practiced the free throws. It was thought that during the summer break, the students who had done the mental practice, had continued to practice. The results show it. So we are vividly dreaming of the new opportunity.

Emotions. I have no control over my husband’s emotions. I do have control over mine. If I can take care of myself, it will help my husband to take care of himself. I practice “witnessing“. That means, there is a part of me that is in the experience and part of me is watching. I “watch” as if I where a camera in the corner of the room. I “watch” each event and each emotion as it occurs. I may be at work and then aware of say “grief” flooding me. I have learned that all emotions come and go, flow and ebb. I have also learned that I can experience the emotion without having to “do” anything. When I don’t fight the emotion, I can watch it build, flow then ebb away, just like a wave. also, I have very good friends with whom I can process some of my stuff. It helps me clarify the issues and emotions. If you are in the same situation and are experiencing difficulty, see a counselor. “FEAR” is an acronym for “false evidence appearing real”, or “face everything and recover” they both work. Fear is a warning that something is amiss. In this situation, I might feel that my security is totally controlled by the employer. The truth is, my “security” in within me. I have the stuff of survival within me. I may trade time for money with an employer. Make no mistake about it, I am responsible for my security. I don’t know what is down the road, but I know we will land on our feet.

The confusion is like a state of “shock”. It can whip you around if you are not careful. I have done these things to help myself during this time. First, I witness without judgement. I give myself a break. Then I am choosing to not engage in negative thinking. I don’t know about you, but I can create all sorts of “drama’s” in my mind. I don’t want more drama to happen. Every time I have a negative thought or drama start, I stop. I think about something else. I sing. I listen to uplifting tapes and CD’s. I know that I do not have the luxury to play in that sandbox. So I am choosing not too. I developed quite a headache. That was an invitation to slow down, as if I didn’t get the hint. I needed to take naps most every day for about 2 weeks. I am lucky in that my work is flexible and I was able to take the time I needed and finished my notes in the evenings. I took a break from some of the activities I am in this fall. I have a practice of grounding and getting centered. I sometimes “forget” to do it. I am doing this every day, right now. When I practice my grounding meditation, I get more into my body and therefore much more attentive and focused. I use Rescue Remedy in my water. It is a Bach Flower remedy for trauma. It works on the subtle energy levels, smoothing out the field or aura. When that is smooth and coherent, I am calmer and more focused. I also use Young Living Essential Oils (YLO) of Valor on my wrist to ground, Harmony on my solar plexus for harmony, Joy on my heart for the experience of Joy, and White Angelica on my neck and whole body to connect to the Angels, Guides and Agencies that work with me and make straight my path. You can link here http://marypat-fitzgibbons.younglivingworld.com/ for information and to purchase the oils or talk to a distributor near you.

My husband is doing the things he needs to do. He is working with an outplacement firm. He has updated his resume and is getting it out among his niche market and network. My husband has the ability to always see the positive, which has helped me over the years. The last time he was laid off, he started a newsletter to all his friends called “On the Road Again”. I do think of Willie Nelson’s song and it does seem to be our theme song this fall. My husband as friends and business contacts all over the country. He meets people and maintains contact over the years. He doesn’t burn bridges, even with past employers. You never know when you will need their contacts. He is also doing house therapy. There is nothing like removing 10 layers of paint and wall paper to clear your mind, release frustration and get the kitchen up graded and ready for sale.

I am helping him to dream the new job and living opportunity that awaits us. I don’t know what this process is going to look like. It could be long and arduous or short and sweet. I am rooting for the latter. I do know that we have a better chance to attract the dream job/live by keeping a good attitude every day. Do I slip sometimes, you bet. But I get back on track as soon as I can. I have friends that can help me, and I use them. Will this road be smooth, probably not. Life isn’t smooth. But Life Works. I trust that this will work. It will work for me and it will for you.

Blessing to us all, on this journey of life. All the fun, follies, foibles, we are getting better and better. You know the saying, “We plan, God laughs!”. I guess I need to laugh and watch the new plan unfold.

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