To the 1.3 million long-term unemployed:
Who today must feel…
Scared? Angry? Frustrated. . .
Both in your search and your lack of support in a society where the recession is still very real, but more real is that the world of ‘work’ as you knew it is, likely, changed forever.
After the anger and the panic, what is the feeling of your current moment on Earth?
Bereft? Abandoned? Desperate?
Long-term unemployed is not a resume builder of a term.
I know that and you know that.
It is not a category to which anyone wants to belong.
I, too, know that. Everyone, with a job or not, feels that.
It is the purgatory of career and job, a gross fun-house of reflecting mirrors which distort one’s self-image into all kinds of shapes, most of them negative and a lot of them downright freakish. I know that; it’s a horrible place to be.
It feels to be a category that is the anethema of success, or even of ‘doing okay’ on this life-journey.
And so the sand grows quick as the sinking feeling of your heart and soul grows again burdened with this newest insult of continued support as you seek work cut-off by a population of unfeeling, insensitive politicians who neither feel your pain nor want to face those of us ‘unemployed’ in the statistical sense of ‘productivity in the economy’. While they, of course, collect bonuses for their action and inaction. It’s everything unjust and unfair to be subject to these puppeteers of the American promise.
Meanwhile, the media loves tossing souls into this ‘there but for the grace of God go the rest of us…” story.
But this is your life, your real life, not a ‘story of the moment. It is your visceral experience and your journey, and thus you can make it have the ending you desire.
We’ve all been there, most of us over and over. Starting over and over, But I know that does not help how you feel at this moment.
So instead I offer this encouragement:
Just for a moment, believe You, just as you are in this moment, have everything you need to be the best You in this day.
Just for a moment feel like it’s going to be okay, this journey of yours, no matter how spooky the corridor at the moment.
Because if you are here, you clearly — clearly — have a Work, a Task, and a Purpose yet to accomplish.
Feeling that, in this moment, will allow today to begin anew, not ‘yet again’.
Your ‘job’ as you knew it may be gone and never come back like it was before.
Your ‘old way of being’ — however satisfying or unsatisfying your job and work was before you found yourself among the ranks of ‘long-term unemployed’ — will have to change. Probably it already has.
Your new way, the one that begins today, starts with your feeling, believing, and taking action as if you have a task at hand.
And you do.
You have an accomplishment to undertake. Starting today.
No, it’s not to find a job.
Your task and your accomplishment is to Create Your Own Work.
Create from your experience, breathe, strength (you have a lot it if you’ve been ‘searching’ for these last challenging years), joined with your unique talents the work you — and only you — are here to do.
What great thing would You — only you — like to accomplish today and tomorrow in your life? Not long term, just today and tomorrow.
So often we get stuck trying to find the proverbial shoe that fits; lots of ‘advice’ out there talks of ‘retooling’ and reconfiguring and retraining. Lots of ‘re-‘ as in ‘do it again’, as if the first time wasn’t enough. We all know it was.
What if, just for a moment, you instead see what great Work is pushing to come out from inside you.
What do you see that needs to be done that you, specifically you, have all the talents, care and energy to do just where you are in this moment of Now?
What of You can Be, just in this moment, creating your form to fill rather than looking for the right size box in which to pour oneself?
It’s subtle: You create your box, your work, your form in this world —
as opposed to looking for a box of someone else’s making to fill.
A long time ago, my daughters struggled with their difference in this world: We all do at some point (or many) in our lives. They were and are highly intelligent girls, deeply heart-felt, with vision and dreams, a sense of story and purpose, all facets that simply didn’t fit the squares and circles of your average public school.
I told them then, as I tell you now: Don’t chip away at the facets of you to squeeze into the square or circles that are ‘acceptable’, or to fit the Norm, whatever that is, or the fickle slots of a job-market. You are diamonds, with facets that sparkle. That which doesn’t fit, and maybe even has a flaw in it, is what makes you who you are. You are here to sparkle and shine, as only you can, with all your facets.
Here are a couple of soul-reminders from my book:
When I was 8 or 9, I loved to _________________________________
I believed my magical powers were ____________________________ and that I was (and am) here to do this magic in the world: _____________________________________________
When we feel bereft (I know this feeling well), sometimes the only way through it is to invoke Magic, and remember what endless possibility again feels like.
After all, you’ve been practicing and succeeding at the magic needed for survival for these past years of job-search, making ends meet, getting through each day.
You can do this:
Create your own work; do the work only you can do here, in this time and moment on Earth.
I believe you not only can, but that this is what you are here to do.
With blessings on your New Year, creating your new form in this world.