3 Things You Learn When The Bottom Drops Out
I alluded to it all last week, but I can finally talk about it now. I lost my job. It wasn’t just me, though.On Tuesday the 3rd, all of the staff and the CEO of the nonprofit I worked for were let go without warning. It’s been a rough couple of weeks to say the least.
After receiving the news, I went into a state of shock for a few hours. Really a few days. The bottom had dropped out.
I’ve always been impressed with people who prepare for disaster situations. They have to spend their days thinking of absolutely the worst situation possible, and then figure out a plan for that.
For the rest of us, we don’t really know how we’ll react to extreme circumstances until they happen.
Here are 3 things I learned when my bottom dropped out.
- The difference between source and resource. Another way to say this is finding the location of my security and my identity. I immediately went into panic mode about how my wife and I would make it financially. I was so disoriented, I didn’t even have the capacity to realize that there are things like unemployment, or free lance work, or any number of things I could do to help with the transition. Beyond that, I also realized that the company owned my computer and my phone, both of which are a large part of my livelihood. Too large, perhaps. As it turns out, my identity and my security were wrapped up in my career and my technology. I was using them as a source, not as a resource.
- The level of fear I operate from. After coming down from the shock a bit, I started entering a new phase of fear: fear of finding another job. I immediately started making an internal list of my shortcomings. Skills that I haven’t developed. Years of experience that I haven’t accumulated. I’m usually an optimistic person, so this line of thought came as a shock to me. I learned when it comes to personal hardships, I find it easy to have a positive outlook. When it comes to matters that will effect my family, I have a tremendous amount of fear.
- My propensity to think of negative situations as punishment. This is going to sound crazy, but in the first few hours after receiving the bad news, I actually thought, “I’m being punished for something.” Again, I was surprised that I had this thought. Without realizing it, I was accumulating all of the sins I knew about, and searching for ones I didn’t, and trying to figure out which one I was being punished for. It took me a few days, and a good sermon on adversity to realize that hardship doesn’t equal punishment in God’s economy.
On Saturday I was offered a job in a line of work that I am really excited about. I will give a full update as I get settled in, but for now, I feel blessed to be able to find something so quickly. I wasn’t expecting it, and I know it’s not the norm.
What have you learned when your bottom has dropped out?