There is an inherent gift in difficulty. Difficult people can be our greatest spiritual teachers. Sometimes when we have difficulty in our lives, we recoil from it instead of working through it. Even if we have to struggle, we should not shy away from difficulty. Difficult people, events, emotions and instances can become the catalyst for great soul learning.
My friend wants to quit her job. She hates her boss because, well, amongst many other reasons he’s mean, a bully, and misogynistic. Sounds pretty difficult to me, no? But again, with the exception of being abused, difficulty can be good for us. (In moderation!) So, I told her the same thing my spiritual advisor told me many moons ago:
You can quit your job when it’s okay to stay at your job.
The problem she’s having is not only because her boss is an ass but also because of how she’s responding to him. Once she is aware that he’s not her problem, that the solution is spiritual rather than material, then she can leave her job. This makes it more likely that she won’t “find the same boss at her next job.”
After I graduated from grad school, I got a job as a fundraiser. I loved the people with whom I physically worked but our remote boss was a piece of work. She was cruel, demeaning, and a whacko. I wondered how my direct boss put up with her. I soon learned why: She was difficult with work for but was an amazing fundraiser.
I felt my soul was being sucked out every time I had to deal with her so I sought counsel from my advisor:
If I ran from this job without doing the spiritual work needed first, I would find the same boss at my next job. That boss would have a different face and a different name but would still be the same boss!
Here’s the spiritual work I had to do:
- Identify the reasons my boss bothered me so.
- Ask myself if I had any of those same characteristics (Yes, I hated that question!)
- Pray for her to have everything I wanted for myself (keep my psyche intact and my heart from anger).
- Pray to find a new opportunity when I had learned everything my soul needed to learn from this job. (Prayer Coupled with with my feet moving – applying for jobs, knowing I’d get the right one in its time.)
Within a few months, I had secured a new job and was able to leave the first job on good terms. No burned bridges, no drama. I didn’t feel I was “running from” the old job, but rather “going to” the new job.
It’s easy to get caught up in the story of everything that is wrong about a person or a job. We forget the ‘gifts’ a difficult boss may bring us. When we do the spiritual work and our soul is at peace with remaining at the job then we can leave with grace and peace.