Today I cried at work.
It’s not typical that tears well up at my desk, but these past few days have been an exception due to tragic events taking place in Israel right now.
And yet…in the world of business, there’s often an unspoken rule that emotions, especially those of sadness and fear, should be hidden away. It’s as if we’ve been conditioned to accept anger and joy as permissible emotions in the workplace, but sadness and fear have been deemed uncomfortable for others. So the “professional” thing to do is to lock them away.
Yet, as I navigate the complexities of this moment, fear and sadness have become constants. I anticipate they will remain. For a while.
Today, however, I’m choosing to embrace them in a different light.
Today, I’m choosing to coexist with sadness and fear while continuing to pursue my job – work I truly cherish.
It’s almost as if I’ve needed permission, not only from others but from myself, to embrace this coexistence. Perhaps you can relate.
This job, the impact I believe I have on the world every day, holds profound potential to shape a world founded in love rather than hatred.
Helping people find fulfillment. More joy and happiness. I’m determined to keep doing that. Shining light where there’s darkness.
Trauma, it appears, is a familiar path to many of us. It’s a journey we’ve embarked upon, are navigating presently, or will undertake at some point in our lives. I hope that collectively, we can acknowledge that life can be incredibly messy, heartbreakingly heavy, and yet astoundingly beautiful and light – all at the same time. It’s a “both and” existence.
We each carry our own burdens, some days heavier than others. Often, we hide them. We can’t discern the weight that may be burdening a colleague during a Zoom call or in the office. We might not realize that someone typing away at their desk is also grappling with a heavy heart. And when we engage in discussions about projects and goals, we might not recognize the hidden burdens others carry beneath the surface.
Yes, business must persist, and we must carry on. It’s a “both and” situation.
But let’s not forget as we go about professional lives that we aren’t human doings; we’re human beings. Let’s strive to create a space where both our work and our emotions can coexist. Let us understand that we’re all walking different paths, and our burdens may shift in weight but never truly disappear.
As we navigate these times of uncertainty and turmoil, let us not forget the power of empathy, the strength of human connection, and the importance of being present for one another. In a world where emotions can be seen as a weakness, let’s remember that our shared humanity is a strength that can bridge gaps and carry us through even the most challenging of times.
It starts with you. Check in. Human to human. There’s no right way to do it. But do it.