Last year (2016) seemed like a tough year for me. Little did I know that it was preparing me for the new-year, and my new life in the workplace. In this blog, I will share briefly on my adjustment as a professional teacher, and the lesson (Validation comes from God alone) 2016 has taught me.
The area and community in which I live in is totally different from the one I lived in as an undergraduate. Living with a certain type of people for a long period of time , and getting accustomed to their way of life and their character gives one expectations of what to expect as a norm from everyone. However, it’s not so in the “real world”.
Just like in any other workplace, as a newly appointed staff, I experienced unexpected harsh behavior from one of my colleagues. Apparently she goes around demeaning my character, calling me a snob, and finding fault with everything I say or do. If she finds me talking with someone she would just interfere and call the other person “friend” in an attempt to isolate me. It is also apparent that I am always preoccupying her mind because in the middle of conversations with other colleagues my name never cease to pop out of her lips! I wouldn’t know though how true this is…perhaps the other college who always feels the need to update me about such could be the one fabricating lies. I really wouldn’t know.
That’s what’s puzzling about the whole situation. Why would people display such behavior towards someone they rarely know? The love of Jesus and His Church has filled my heart to an extent that I strive to see the best in every human being. Through His love I learned to be more loving, patient, and kind to those around me and that is what I was expecting from my colleagues. When I learned that it’s not so I was reminded of where I used to be before Christ saved me - in a position of weakness. It has always comforted me to know that no one ever brings down another person from a position of strength. I recalled that the times I gossiped about others, said or done something hurtful to them was always because I was intimidated or threatened by them. Inner turmoil, discontentment, depression, jealousy were all the result of being in a weak position mentally and spiritually. So it helps tremendously in striving to be more gracious and patient towards those who display such character.
The experiences I had in 2016 played a vital role in getting me to this point. I experienced feelings of rejection and misunderstanding in a way I never had before. I was hurt by the constructive criticism and the boundaries set by those around me, I am thankful though that it was from people in the Church because I believe that their core motive was love. Sometimes we can be so childish, so selfish, so demanding failing to truly love or respect other people’s boundaries. We tend to love them based on how they can serve us or fulfill our wishes, call them “good people” yet change our confession as soon as they begin to set protective boundaries. For a time being it was difficult to understand the constant “no’s” from those around me not knowing that those times were preparing me for life in the workplace, where everyone is looking only to their own needs.
Had I not experienced those seemingly difficult times I would be hurt by my colleagues’ behavior towards me. I would probably be running behind them trying to buy friendship! I would have not known what it means to seek validation from God alone. Those times weaned me off of people's approval. If I could not find validation from the Church then I wouldn't want to look for it in the world. The experiences I had in 2016 taught me not to place my identity on other people regardless of who they are. I learned no matter how prominent a leader, the only one to be followed is the Lord. Those experiences taught me to live peaceably with others, loving them regardless of our differences. I view my colleagues from that position and by God’s grace I can kneel and cry out to the Savior on their behalf.
Have you ever experienced difficulties from colleagues in the workplace? How did/ do you handle it? Please share!!