A teacher and advocate in the field of spiritual growth was fired after making ill-considered comments to a coworker. While acknowledging his own role in the crisis, he was, nevertheless devastated by it. He wrote to me and, subsequently, gave his permission to reprint our correspondence. (Scroll down to the last two posts.)
What follows below is an abridged version of a lengthy letter that he wrote in reply to my first email to him. Tomorrow you’ll read my response to this letter. In the meantime, notice the richness of images as he describes his new job; it’s a symbolic goldmine. Were you in a position to analyze this waking dream, what do you think the metaphoric meanings might be?
Your email is a life-line to me, thank you. Yeah, I understand what you mean. I was unhappy and desperately wanted change, but I was hoping that it would be a rational transition from good to better, not the abrupt "get the hell out of here, you're fired' scenario.
The thing was, that like I said, my whole identity was wrapped up in it. I wrote books, was interviewed for podcasts, and people wrote articles about what I did. But as much as I tried, I could not keep the ego out of it...and I was burning out or was burnt out.
I will tell you what job I have now, and see if it means anything to you...
After I got fired, I put out over fifty resumes and the only one to call me back was my local, hometown grocery store. My wife already works there...so do two of my daughters. So, it is actually very cool...to go to work and see my family there every day. I was always too busy or preoccupied to spend too much time with my older daughters...now I see them every day.
But, this is my job. I am now working in the Meat Department as a Perishable Foods Rep. That means, all day long...I take inventory of what is missing on the meat shelves...and then run to the back and find, label, wrap, prepare...whatever it is...and then rush it back out to the front to restock the shelves. And at night, everyone else goes home, and I stay late to clean the entire meat market. I hose it all down with a power washer, and wash all the blood, fat, meat, and filth down the drain. I take the table saws apart, clean them in detail, clean all the trays the meat cutters have used, clean the meat grinder, and so forth...
And before I go home, I have to call a 'manager on duty' and he comes back there and inspects every inch of the meat market to make sure I didn't miss anything and that the place is sanitary. If I didn't miss anything...I can clock out and go home.
This job is so far from what I used to do... it does...very much...seem like a DREAM.
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