Thursday, August 30, 2012

Choice and change

It took me a long time to learn that I didn't have to fight every battle and take on every injustice I faced in the workplace. (And I have to be honest and admit that for an Enneagram 8, that was pretty difficult! We always want to make the world a better place for everyone, and doesn't that mean fighting injustice wherever we find it??!!)

Recently a client admitted to me that she was so much more aware these days of office dysfunction and problems. She also knew that awareness doesn't always need to lead to action. She simply could not take on everything and be the office caretaker or rescuer. It takes too much energy and, generally, it isn't effective anyway.

My client had to choose what she would overlook and/or leave to others—and what she would choose to address or try to change. And once she chose to overlook some things, she needed to find practices that could help her truly let go of them. She has mantras she repeats to herself when she is tempted to jump into a situation. For example: "I will live out of my own container of love and compassion, regardless of others' actions." Sometimes she just needs to take a five-minute walk away from her desk to step back from a situation. You'll find your own methods.

The same is true in relationships, isn't it? We need to pick our battles, to put it in warfare terms that are commonly used. It's a good thing to remember in the workplace and at home—and in organizations and groups to which we belong.

Save your energy for that which you really can change. Don't spend it on the rest. It will only wear you down and make you angry and resentful—not a good place to live!

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