June 6, 2022
We’ve all had heartbreak in our lives concerning a breakup. Losing a job is one of those breakups. It’s disheartening. It can be very stressful and upsetting. We replay in our minds the past and how we could have done things differently. However, it’s not always our doing that the loss occurred. For example, a new boss comes in and wants to “clean house” and you’re part of the cleaning process. Or the company decides to downsize, and your ticket is punched.
Once we’re fired, reality sets in. We ask ourselves, “Where will I go from here? Will I find another job? Will I like the job? Will I get paid enough to support myself and my family? Can I survive until I find the next job?”
When your loss occurred, you came across a question that Marcus had asked himself. He stated, “Learn to ask of all actions, ‘Why are they doing that?’ Starting with your own.” That “Starting with your own” hit you hard. After thinking a while, you realized it was time to rebuild yourself, and what better time than when you hit rock bottom. You began to self-examine yourself in order to gain self-control over yourself.
As you continued to read the writings of Marcus, Seneca, and Epictetus, you learned that preparedness was one of their central themes. Marcus wrote, “Begin each day by telling yourself today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness”. The technique is Negative Visualization—one frequently used by the ancient Stoics. It requires visualizing all potential negative outcomes in your life BEFORE they happen. The technique has allowed you to keep your promise to yourself of never being caught off-guard again.
So, now you keep your resume updated so you can immediately apply for another position whenever needed. And you’ve learned to live below your means and save money for that next rainy day. Quoting Marcus, you’ve learned that “loss is nothing else than change”.
You realize your loss may seem like the end of the world in the beginning, but know that if you have the patience that better things are to come, that God has a plan for you, and that you can get through it. Sometimes you don’t see it at first, but you know it will eventually come to light. “HE does have a greater plan for me”, you say. That plan was for me to change and become more prepared. You used the lesson you learned from that ‘horrible experience’ to your advantage.
And as you reflect you realize that the loss was the best thing to ever happen to you. Because now you have resilience. Life knocked you down a few pegs, but you got back up and have been climbing those steps to the top ever since. You keep reaching for the stars. And as you reflect, you say to yourself, “No one company or individual has ever had, nor ever will have, my whole life under their control again.”
So, your words of inspiration to yourself are quite empowering — “Never give up. Be prepared. Better things are coming my way. God’s plan does work if I am obedient and learn. I’ll eventually see the good —just be patience. For the only direction for me is the Stars!“
Now using My S-T-O-I-C STORYTELLING method:
(S) The job is letting me go.
(T) “Loss is nothing else than change. But the universal nature delights in change and in obedience to her all things are now done well, and from eternity have been done in like form, and will be such until time without end.” Marcus Aurelius
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Book of Jeremiah
(O) I realized that nature was making this decision – a decision over which I had no control.
(I) Because God’s plan is for all things to do well, I’ll now wait with excitement and anticipation to see what He has in store for me.
(C) I am building patience as I await what opportunity comes to me next.
The Stoicess’ Secret?
A Loss is Your Path to Reach the Stars
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