When I worked for my not-so-great-boss, I was one of many ingredients that she was using or discarding. I would get thrown in, spiced up, and stirred around by her emotions, decisions and behaviors. I felt like I was being heated up and readied for consumption. I didn’t have much control, and I seemed to fall to the whim of her moods.
When her boss made reference to the fact that we were "oil and water" and that there wasn't a place for me there, I was pissed, and thrilled at the same time. Yes, I was essentially being asked to leave, but I was okay with that. Any day without HER was a good day in my book.
Unfortunately, that thrill vanished soon after I left because I realized that I was still being COOKED even though I wasn't working for her anymore. I was removed from her physically, yet emotionally she still had her grips on me. I was angry, bitter, resentful, and negative. She had stolen my career from me.
A year after I left, I realized something needed to change or else I would lose more of what I loved. I dove into the world of personal development and non-violent communication, which allowed me to see how it wasn't just her, but also me. That a relationship has 200% responsibility, not just 100%, and I had inadvertently taught her how to treat me, while just trying to be a "good employee" and "get the job done."
It was how I responded and reacted to her that mattered. It was who I was BEING in the face of her behavior, and what I was DOING (not much beyond complaining) that continued to exacerbate the situation until I was asked to leave.
You see, in all the time with her, I never decided to move from being COOKED to doing the COOKING. Yes, as my boss, I probably wouldn't have been able to use her as an ingredient, but I could have done much more than I had. As Victor Frankl says, "If you cannot change your circumstances, you must change yourself."
Looking back I know that if I stepped into my personal power and been in alignment with my own values and integrity, rather than merely responding to her, I could have and would have had a very different experience.
It is something that happens to all of us, I believe. Sometimes we are merely ingredients that other people use and potentially abuse. Yet, we all have the possibility to be the COOKS or CHEFS of our lives, if we are brave enough to walk into the unknown.
I like to think that I am mostly being a cook rather than an ingredient these days, though I know that I am an emotional being before a rational one, so I do fall into the pot at times (especially with my children.)
What about you?
Are you being cooked, or doing the cooking?
Choosing the cooking,
Courage. Compassion. Connection.