Philippians 4 – New International Version (NIV)
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Drama, Drama, Drama
What is your turmoil? Whether it be work, school, relationship, etc. we all have that area in our life that gives us our daily dose of drama. The last month has been a non stop rollercoaster of drama. With twists and turns, ups and downs, I’m pretty sure there was a loop-to-loop in there as well.. Life has been a nonstop rollercoaster of turmoil and I have been seeking out peace.
Constantly people ask me, “How are you so peaceful in your situation?” I know my peace comes from my relationship with God. I remember praying for patience when I was young and people telling me that was the worst thing to ask God for because God would place me in situations that would stretch me in the compacity of needing patience. It is true I feel like on a daily basis I am in a situation that requires an extra amount of patience, but never once have I regretted asking for some extra grace with people. I don’t always have the patience I desire but my ability to have grace in any situation far exceeds my own expectations at times. One area I am still working on I think is the most difficult for most people. Having more grace with myself.
“OW! That was stupid! Pay more attention.. Get it right this time, wow I need to loose more weight. If only I had said this instead when I was talking with so-and-so” These are just some of the daily judgments I speak out against myself. I believe I hold myself to a higher standard and the closer someone is to me the more I let my inner judgments towards myself and them effect my emotions.
Being someone who hates conflict, most of my ‘judgments’ towards others an myself are just thoughts in my head that never leave my mouth. I bottle up my frustrations in an attempt to ‘keep the peace’. I know in my head this is not the healthiest response; however, my heart often tells me to keep quite. I fully believe in taking the time to listen before speaking, but I think to often (we) I forget the second part of that. Listen and then SPEAK..
I was reminded this week that when you are in the middle of conflict if you communicate you give all parties involved the opportunity to make peace. I was working closely with my co-worker… If you want to picture it we make sushi together and 90% of our long day we are standing shoulder to shoulder reaching over and around each other while yelling out table numbers for servers to deliver out masterful creations. When you work with someone this close, fights will happen, people will get upset, and hearts will be exposed. As many of you know I have really been struggling with depression lately due to family circumstances. I write freely here however, I do not speak as freely at work about my situations. I am typically the go to person for everyone and their problems. I listen and give advice when requested, it has been this way most of my life even with strangers. Back on topic…. Recently I have made some new friends and it has sparked a new joy in my heart. When I moved back to Arizona from North Carolina 5 years ago I left a place that I had experienced friendship like never before. Arizona doesn’t always have the friendliest peoples. People are self centered, workaholics who hide inside most days due to weather. I have never had friends my own age or close to my own age while living in Arizona outside of work. The last 2 years I had been working in an office by myself, so working in the restaurant again has greatly improved my emotional state of mind.
This new spark of hope and joy in my life had me laughing and talking with some of my co-workers/ friends while I was not standing next to my sushi partner. This person also struggles with alcohol problems and is not always in the right mind during business hours. Because I was laughing and talking to other people this person became extremely upset to the point where they walked out pissed off during a shift saying they didn’t need to put up with this shit and did not come back until dinner service started. I was not aware that there was a miscommunication between myself and this person. I work in a very small town and false rumors spread like wildfire so I try my best to not say anything to anyone I would regret. Specifically my co-worker because when he is drunk and upset at the same time he can be vindictive and talk about other people, even to the point of making up stuff to ‘get at them’. I have seen evidence of this many times. SO, my co-worker left upset, I finished my work for the lunch service and went on my hour break not giving it as second thought. Just figured he was in a bad mood from something he was personally dealing with. I got a call from my boss while on break that I ignored because I was ‘on break’. My boss took this as a sign that I was also upset… (fyi, not upset just really enjoying my break as I was super happy that day) I got back to work and my boss pulled me outside and asked what my problem was with my co-worker. With a confused look on my face I asked what he was referring to as I had no issues, I was not upset, nor did I have any reason to be. He let me know that he talked with my co-worker who was livid with me because I was talking about him behind his back. It is true I get frustrated with him from time to time and complain to others, but I would never say something to someone else that I would not tell my co-worker to his face. I explained to my boss I had no problems and I didn’t know what my co-worker was referring to. My boss confirmed my co-worker was not in the right state of mind. I took this to heart and started my dinner shift. I quietly worked along side of my co-worker for awhile as I watched his emotions and reactions to the night till I felt it was the right time to confront him.
Kat:*** Are you upset with me?
***: I’m not just upset with you I’m upset at everything in general.
Kat: Are you sure, because it has been brought to my attention that you are angry I am talking about you behind your back?
***: It’s not just you Kat everyone is talking about me. I’m always the one in trouble, I’m always the one called out, I’m always ……
Kat: (inner dialogue- because you do things that cause you to get in trouble) *** I apologize if I said anything to upset you or talk about you in a disrespectful manner. However, I do not believe I have been. I was talking and laughing with people earlier about some texts I was receiving from people and talking about how it made me feel. My world does not revolved around ***(you) and talking crap about you.. I have so much more on my mind than letting little things about work upset me.
Kat: I want to talk with you about this because we work shoulder to shoulder if you are upset with me, I need you to tell me. I don’t want anything to hinder our relationship with each other because of miscommunication. We are together almost every minute of the day, I want it to be a happy time.
***: Thanks Kat it means so much to me that you would talk to me about this and not ignore me or talk behind my back.
We hugged it out and went back to work dancing and singing as we create works of art with food magic.
Ever since this moment I choose to communicate instead of bottle up my frustrations, the whole atmosphere of work has changed. We still aren’t perfect, we still fight, but peace has so flooded the situation that the turmoil I was facing on a daily basis has vanished. It’s like joy and peace of constantly with me at work. No matter what happens I know that it is going to be a great day. The best part is I am noticing a difference in everyone around me as well. Instead of everyone getting pissed off when my co-worker gets too drunk to shop up on time, we all have a little more grace. We are communicated instead of letting one persons actions turn into a night of turmoil. We are collectively letting peace flood our work place and change the atmosphere for the staff and customers.