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Putting a name to my suffering


A couple months back my mother asked me, "Do you view your time in Malaysia as a failure? For all that you talk about living abroad and what you took away from it, you always seem to end with a lamenting tone." I told her that for all its glories, I did view it as a failure. I wasn't ready to come back home but my work and personal situation didn't allow for me to stay. Not being able to find a new job there made me question my skill set as a professional and value as an employee. While most Americans continue to live in their country of birth, it felt like there were so many people in KL from other places and why couldn't I keep on this path and continue to be one of them? Why did it have to come to an end if I wanted to stay?

The chips' we carry on our shoulder aren't healthy but are part of the experiences we've had, which make us who we are. The insecurities, grudges, resentments, etc. You know, all that "healthy" baggage we carry around with us. I could've told you at any point I was bummed it was over and that I wanted another international experience. What I don't think I could've articulated as well is the emotional root of that desire.

While re-listening to an interview with Tony Robbins, he said, "suffering comes from three mindsets: loss, less and never." Why is it that the simple statements are so profound? When I thought about the negative mindset I hold about my time abroad, it stems from loss and never. I lost my international experience. And there is a fear in me that I will never have another. In moments of clarity, I believe that I can make it happen again. But it is easy to regularly slip back into a negative mindset.

Tony's statement has not removed that particular chip from my shoulder but it has helped me put a name to it, making it more manageable. It helps me understand why I feel this way, to more readily notice when I am in that mindset, acknowledge it and then move back to working to enjoy the here and now, all the while trusting in doing good work and building great relationships to help me reach the things I seek.

Just a reflection from the darker side and how one might deal with it.

Go Forth Boldly


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