Have you ever been fired? Or any of the fun euphemisms corporations use for being fired; let go, downsized, early retirement opportunity, make redundant, constructive dismissal, career transition, re-engineer the staff, relieve of duties, part of a headcount reduction or restructuring? And my personal favorite; discharged. I get a visual of pus oozing from a wound or a bullet from a gun? Not particularly positive imagery.
Have you noticed the similarity in feelings, the similarities in process of being fired, terminated or early retirement opportunity to that of a divorce, separation, the breakdown of a friendship or the death or loved one?
There are of course subtle differences.
When you get fired, you don’t get to keep the furniture. You don’t even get to keep your personal files. If lucky, some HR or caring individual with go through your office space and determine what is personal and what is business, often opening personal items they would never normally touch. Same is true for death or divorce. For this reason I have a pact with a friend to destroy her hard drive. Whatever has she been up to I wonder?
People you have known intimately for years are now strangers. Can you talk and if you converse what will you talk about? With death you at least have the, “I’ve been meaning to contact you.” Fired, divorced, nothing, zip, zero, with seemingly no prospect of progress. Everyone just idles on pretending nothing has changed.
How about the terms the masses use for getting fired; sacked, dumped, bounced out, canned, axed, eighty-sixed, and given the old heave-ho. The same terminology is used when getting or going through a divorced or relationship split. Not cheerful at all.
None of these painful feelings are good, at least not in the moment.
Let’s just spin it around. In all these circumstances, what starts as a bad feeling, like not getting picked for the team, being down in the dumps or giving it your all and it not being good enough almost always end up as the start of a fabulous new relationship, a better life chapter. Only death leaves a lasting void, a limbo dance with grace.
If we are mature about relationships ending with our work, family, our friends and partners we clearly see the positive aspects of those relationships. We take those good feelings, memories and experiences, cherish them and trade them in for something better, something valuable; peace, peace of mind.
We can then take that peace of mind and transmute it into something even greater, a powerful new beginning.
Everyone knows, beginnings are always sweeter than endings.