I marched in for my annual review so sure I was going to be the salesperson of the year! After all, I’d sold more than anyone else AND reminded myself (in that all high and mighty kind of a way) that I was just one of three women selling amongst 300 men. Snort! Imagine my surprise when my boss, along with his boss, looked at me and said, “Give us your laptop and your company car keys. You’re fired! We don’t have any room for a prima donna in this organization!” Shocked, I stumbled out the front door and into a season of darkness that would last a long, long time.
Meanwhile at Fubar Corp …
Tenacious Todd was being blown over by the winds of despair and darkness, when he remembered that the key to surviving any painful situation – or pruning – is to bloom where you are planted.
What can you do?
It’s been 17+ years since I was fired from that job and every day upon awakening, I am thankful they discarded me out the front door like I was the trash, because I probably never would have left on my own. Stumbling around in the darkness for the next year, desperate to support my family, I was forced to recreate myself and found some skillsets, such as writing and public speaking, that I wouldn’t have discovered had I stayed in the role I was so comfortable in.
Spring is right around the corner and now is the time that we prune the plants so that they can grow to their fullest potential during the summer months. In much the same fashion, our life is full of different seasons. There are those lovely growing seasons where you make progress and everything seems to go your way. Often we think, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great if this beautiful season lasted forever!” But let’s be truthful. If you stayed in that season of growth without any storms to blow you around every once in a while, you would never grow stronger and become all that you are intended to be. No plant grows to its fullest potential unless it is pruned; it just wouldn’t be healthy. We all have times when we feel like everything in our lives is being cut back: you’re laid off; you’re suffering from an addiction; you lost your biggest client. It’s easy to ask, “Why me?”
When those adverse conditions appear, instead of working against you, they can work for you. Just ask Tenacious Todd. When Todd was 14, he broke his arm in a backyard football game and found out he had Stage IV cancer. He quickly had his right shoulder and arm amputated. He experienced a pruning – both literally and figuratively, that would forever change and define his life. Instead of allowing that disappointment to work against him, he made it work for him. An avid musician, he learned how to play his keyboard with his left hand and today tours the country playing with the Christian band, Apologetix. He allowed his pruning to lead him into a season of new growth, new opportunities, and new friendships.
It’s okay if you are in a slow growth season right now or even taking steps backwards on occasion. Don’t settle for that and most importantly don’t be discouraged by it. Think about it this way: you are being pruned so you can bloom and blossom; so you can grow to heights you never imagined. I know I have. I sincerely doubt there would be a Wendywoman had I not been discarded, made to feel like a piece of trash (BTW, the company did the right thing getting rid of me because I was a brat). Remind yourself that at some point, you will move on to another season. How quickly really depends on you.
A challenge to my blog readers…
If, on the heels of spring, your life feels dull and overgrown, don’t wait for someone else to prune you. Instead, find your personal pruners and start clipping back on those things that stunt your blooming season. Enlist the ear (and manpower) of a trusted friend to help you rake through the remnants so that your new growth can emerge. I know you have beautiful petals underneath all that muck, dust yourself off, turn your face to the sun and sprout! Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch me on Facebook (Wendywoman) to let me know how you are doing.