Here is a very personal story about facing a fear head on.
On 21st December 2012 (the day the world was scheduled to end), I suffered a huge shock when the job I had was no more. The details are not relevant, however my reaction is. My self-esteem was knocked for well over a year, I felt betrayed and I shrunk away from an industry that I loved.
In hindsight it was a blessing. It meant no more running back and forth to the UK every couple of months and I could finally settle into family life with my wonderful husband and step-daughter.
The thought of being back in the UK a year and half later filled me with excitement. Primarily a family trip, it was also an opportunity to catch up with a few friends as well as attend my best friends wedding. So why did I feel a sense of dread by the time I got to Paddington Station in London? When I checked in with myself I discovered I was in fear of bumping into someone I knew from my old work days. Anyone who knows me would find this strange as I am very sociable and adore people, however this was my experience.
I headed off to Worcester on the train, met my beautiful mum and got myself set for 10 days of family time. The next morning I awoke with a headache and sickness that I know was due to the shock from the previous day. This moved on thankfully, so I enjoyed a stunning visit with wonderful quality experiences. I even managed to squeeze a talk on how to deal with stress at Vigornia Rotary Club. By the time I was due to come back to London I was well rested, my head was sorted and I was no longer in fear. If I bumped into people I knew, I would cope with it.
What happened next surprised me. I met an old colleague on my first morning in the city. This friend has always been kind to me, although we hadn’t chatted in a very long time. I found myself saying that I would like to meet my ex boss for a cup of tea and she gently encouraged me. So I dropped him a text and half an hour later there we were. We chatted as if we had only seen each other the day before; back to the banter, the ideas flowed and the laughter ensued. The reality was that I had missed him, his family and all that I had helped build over the 4 years that we had worked together. Will we get back what we had? Probably not, but maybe just something new.
This was an immense healing experience for me. I read a few days ago a wonderful quote which said, “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology that you never got”. We can wait forever expecting the other person to apologise for what you perceive they did and what we need to remember is that there are always at least 3 sides to a story. Their side, your side and the real side. The stress and bitterness I had been carrying since the incident back in 2012 disappeared and has been replaced by a sense of calm and happiness.
Does this mean I want everyone back in my life from those days? No it doesn’t. Not everyone is supposed to walk the journey with me, and I always have the choice as to who I wish to spend my time with.
Forgiveness is key here. The only person who suffers when we can’t forgive another is ourself. That other person has no idea. Was the experience the end of my world? Certainly not. I have grown from it and am now about to embark on an awesome new project which encompasses all my skills and my self-esteem is well and truly back.