Yesterday, I handed in my letter of resignation from my position as a church choir director. I had held that position for just over six years. It was not an easy decision for me to make but, in the end, it was necessary.
Today, I’m feeling a lot of things – tired, weepy, afraid, lost, sick to my stomach, drained. And, in those feelings I recognize what is happening. Over the last few months, I have been fighting an internal war with myself and, in resigning, I’m second guessing myself and wondering if I have won — I feel like promising to ‘do better’. Old place, old beliefs.
Just over a year ago, I made a very important decision. I chose mySelf – my large ‘S’ self. I chose to begin to live my life as I need it to be. I chose to let go of old beliefs, values, and attitudes. And in choosing ME, I changed. I am still changing – transforming into the totality of mySelf. And in changing, I have come to realize that those with whom I have had to work are unable to process the difference. They are unable to adjust to mySelf. They want to continue to deal with the small ‘s’ self of me that they have always known. The more that I have changed and become authentic, the more I have dealt with people from that vantage point, the more they have strived to rein me in – to pull me back, to keep me small. They have worked to manipulate me into accepting what they want. In doing this, they have been dealing with me from a place which is dishonest. My recognition of that dichotomy where my zenith is viewed as their nadir is what has been at the base of my internal war.
In the end, it was not important to me who decided that I should meet, yet again, with a member of the church board. It was also not important to me what their expectations might have been regarding the disposition of things at the end of the meeting. For the last six years, I have learned a lot about myself in working with the church choir; it has been good journey. And, I know that they have learned a lot in working with me. For the last six years, the church has had access to my talents, skills and abilities. I know what my talents, skills and abilities are. While I have always, in all ways, willingly contributed and shared my gifts, I have come to the undeniable realization that no one, other than me, has any claim on my time – which IS my life.As I mentioned to a board member at our last meeting, my life is now taking a more awakened path to personal growth. As that board member noted to me in a recent email, time seems to be becoming an ‘issue’ for those who decide for the Church. In truth, this really has nothing to do with time, at all; it has everything to do with how I am choosing to live my life in respect, integrity and generosity of spirit for and of mySelf and, hence, those people in my life. I know that I do not have to prove myself to anyone AND I know that I no longer need measure up to the expectations of others.
At this juncture, my experience has been one of being required to measure up to expectations which fluctuate. I have felt that I am constantly being judged and measured against a set or criteria unknown to me and that I am being found wanting. If that were not the case, I would – over the last 4 months – not have experienced mySelf, as the recipient of repetitive, often hurtful and time-wasting meetings, questions, and emails. I choose to stay in integrity with mySelf, no longer defaulting to the notion that I am not performing the terms of my position which I helped develop, or that there are ‘screw-ups’ which, if there were any ‘screw-ups’, are not – and never were – mine.
Knowing MY truth, I submitted my letter of resignation. At that point, I told the board member that I was done. There was nothing more I felt I needed to say. There was nothing that I needed to hear. In truth, I have finally made the choice to leave physically. I know that I had left energetically long before August 5th.
I’ve started to realize that it all has to do with being dishonest. For me to stay would have been dishonest to mySelf. I might have stayed out of habit, for the honorarium [which my brother-in-law calls a polite way of naming ‘slave labour’], or the sense of connection which I have felt with some of the members of the choir and the congregation. But what comes along with that? In staying, I would be the ‘good and faithful servant’. I would try to make nice and play nicely in the sandbox with everyone. I would not be the one to rock the boat or disturb the status quo. But, in staying, I would deny mySelf; I would continue to feel judged; I would continue to feel used and abused; I would have to live my life to measure up to someone else’s expectations; I would have to bury my hurt very deep down. And in burying it, I would slowly collapse into myself. I would lose mySelf.
In choosing to leave, I have ‘fired them’. I have chosen mySelf. I have chosen to let go of the connections which I thought I had as I know that the foundation of my experience in this position is abusive to me. I have chosen not to tolerate the intolerable because I know that I have outgrown and moved forward from old beliefs. I am moving into the energy and flow that is ME. I have chosen to free myself from the small but well known space inside an old bottle [past way of being]. I no longer fit the small space [the small mindedness] of a life for which the church is only a metaphor. I cannot fit inside it anymore. It is simply not big enough. My unique, whole, and essential-to-my-world Self will no longer be reined in. I know that I AM the Supreme Sovereign of my life flowing on the breath of my own being.
This has been my experience, in my context. I choose to finish this piece with a poem which I wrote many years ago. While the impetus for writing it had nothing to do with a ‘job’, it had and still has everything to do with connection. At the time, I just didn’t know that it had to do with MY connection to MySelf.
In the universe of life
Our soul’s spheres
Through the joy of sharing.
The moment is lost.
Why must emotional intimacy
Be social taboo?
For now my zenith
In your nadir.
We are destined
To round out our day
The moment in lost.