Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Putting Choices Into Perspective

Jeans, boots, sweatshirt and jacket and still I shiver in the crisp early morning air. But the beauty is undeniable as I watch the mist hover over the pond and the geese swim unaware that I evade their territory. I rub my eyes which are still swollen from the crying that I did yesterday. Lifting my camera I snap the photo so serene and reflect on the past few weeks.

My sons are 19 and 18 are pursuing their own life; they don't need their mom very much any more. And last week I found out that my four legged friend died. And then there is the fact that I am forty years old and still single and not wanting to be. And herein enters my work dilemma.

Working in the aviation industry has never been easy. Sometimes I wonder how much of the stuff I put up with is the same stuff that others put up with in other career fields. In fact, I am saddened by the way people treat others because I guess I am na├»ve in feeling that people really aren’t as bad as what they eventually reveal themselves to be.

The past few weeks my chest has been hurting, my head has been splitting from headaches, rest escapes me even though I sleep and I have been more short tempered and irritable. For a company to work people thirteen days on with only one day off (ten hour days) before the schedule repeats itself for six months or longer is a recipe for disaster.

Then you add in the work environment – the cursing, the sexual innuendoes, the feeling of never measuring up to invisible standards – and you become an outcast if you did not participate in this kind of behavior. I don’t mind being an outcast; I have felt this way for almost all of my life.

But what I want to challenge people on is what good is it to bully people just because of their choice of lifestyle. I choose to not curse; I choose not to flirt or accept flirtation from other people in the work environment who is married or who is attached to someone. But in this field of aviation where I choose to have honor and respect for others it comes across as coldness and creates separateness. I work in a team environment but at the same time try to avoid those who like and create drama. But I found that those people went behind my back anyway and invented drama and told lies.

One person in particular, who was my team lead, was going to go to my church with his girlfriend and their two kids. The very next day he was the one who sent me to the office to be fired.  Why? If you are going to be my enemy, why pretend to be my friend? Lies were told and expounded on but the fact remained that I couldn’t stop this form of bullying from occurring nor the results of these lies. It wasn’t enough for these certain people for me to come to my job, mind my own business and do my job as well as I could. Some have told me they thought others were threatened by me – but I don’t understand that. I know I am not the smartest person when it comes to troubleshooting or the work we are doing but I do know that I am a quick learner.
 
There are some people, though, that truly became my friends within this company. And on Halloween night, while others were having good times with their friends and family, costumes and candy; I was surrounded by some of those friends as well. We talked, we laughed, they let me cry and by the end of the night one conclusion came: Only one day would I allow myself to dwell in the negativity of self pity and the injustice that had been done.

Oh, what a difference a day can make. I took a walk this morning and I had no headache, no chest pains, and I felt stress being lifted. It came clear to me that I had been missing from life was those moments to reflect on what truly was important. I know what is important in life but it got lost in the schedule of a business that is out to use people to keep the bottom line in the billions, regardless of the impact on the individuals.

I had been praying and had others praying about my job situation and the reality is, I wanted the prayers to be answered in the form of a direct hire position; instead those prayers were answered by getting me fired.

How do you view this? As a blessing or a trial?

Me? Well, I am okay with this really. It is a bit scary because for the first time in fourteen years I am unemployed, and my bank account is slim; but as I took my walk this morning and had my talk with Jesus I thought about everything that I had been through in my past and realized this problem really is minute compared to going through a miscarriage, a two year divorce proceeding, ten years of dealing with a difficult ex and raising my two sons.

One good thing about the aviation industry is that the jobs are out there; unfortunately that means moving again which I don’t really want to do because I have a church home that I adore and friends that I am getting to know and to love.

Choosing perspective can make or break your day; sometimes it makes or breaks your moment. Last night I was broken because I was choosing a self destructive perspective. This morning, I am choosing a perspective that has long been in practice by many persons before me: trusting that God knows where I am at and loves me more than I will ever know. Because I choose to believe that God is love and God is truth and He shall honor my stand for honor and truth. Not because of who I am but because of who HE is.

The people who schemed to get me fired, whatever their underlying motives or intentions were, they have their reward today as they laugh, joke and make me the gossip of the day; but me, I just look towards the heavens and say Thank You God for getting me out of there and Here I am, send me on to wherever you want me. And to go a bit further in perspective, I choose to pray blessings for those people; I pray that they are able to prosper in their work and in their family life. I choose to pray for an eye opening event that will let them know about Grace. Because what I am talking about right now is Grace and that if I hadn’t been shown grace, then I am not able to extend grace. And because they have done what they have done, then I make the assumption that they haven’t EVER been extended grace in their life. And that is saddening.

What good is it if you only extend grace and love and mercy to those whom you love? For that is the easy part. I challenge you to practice extending grace, love and mercy to those who hate and persecute you for who you choose to be. And it has to be practiced because it does not come naturally.

My circumstances haven’t changed. I am still single. I am still dealing with the empty nest and the recent death of my four legged critter. I am still out of a job. But what puts this smile on my face today and joy in my heart is my choice to have a different perspective.

What about you? What are you dealing with right now? What are your choices in the situation? What is your perspective?

Choose for yourself on this day whom you are going to serve. For me, I choose to serve the Lord…regardless of what may or may not come in form of tribulations or in blessings.

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