Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 15, 2004
Work killing your spirit? Get out!
When we were young we were often asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Some of us had a ready answer, while others would say, "I don't know."
But as we mature and grow older, we are expected to emulate what we wanted to be.
Sometimes, people we idolize, skills and talents we possess and significant events influence this. At other times, parents with strong characters influenced our choice.
Or we pursue our dreams and pull every string to make it happen. We spend year after year preparing for the day that that goal turns into a reality.
We attend university and take courses that will bring us to our goal. We take jobs related to the chosen career we are pursuing and solicit advice from people in that field. We seek expert opinion on how to get there and continue to nurture a host of role models.
Along the way, however, what we have perceived to be the profession that suits us sometimes does not pan out. And no matter how hard we try, there is just no way we are getting to where we wanted to be. Hurdles are everywhere.
Should I resign and decide to take another road? Is it a sign of cowardice or lack of self-respect? What if this is really what God is calling me to do? Should I give up, or continue pursuing it although every sign along the way points to a different direction?
Giving up should not be the first solution.
Such a journey demands not just patience, but a discerning heart and mind. Couple that with prayers as well.
Things do not always automatically fall into place. It is like solving a puzzle or a mathematical equation.
To try and piece together a puzzle, we must fit every single piece together. We have to look at the image in a wide perspective and decide if a certain piece would fit.
If one piece does not work, try another one and another one, until you find the right piece that will bring out the right image of what you are trying to resolve.
In life, you cannot force yourself to be part of something that does not want you, no matter how hard you try.
"Oh it's my boss that's making my job more difficult," we sometimes say.
But have we asked ourselves, "Am I making my job easier for myself and for others? Am I growing in spirit while I'm bemoaning the stressful situation I have placed myself into?"
Al Pacino in the movie Scent of a Woman says, "Unfortunately there is no prosthetic for amputated spirit."
Indeed there is none.
If our spirit is dying slowly while we try to work in the career we think is right for us, we'll end up unhappy and blame others for our misery.
Do not stay in such a situation. It is not cowardice to face the truth that you have made a mistake in choosing a certain career path, in discerning a vocation, in pursuing your call.
If your career choice cannot allow you to be who you are and grow into the best possible person you can be, that alone is a sign you need to get out.
Get out. Take a breath of fresh air. And know as St. Ireneaus taught us, the glory of God is a person, fully human, fully alive.
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