While working with a group we were discussing the stress associated with their jobs. We discussed the role of that emotional intelligence plays in dealing with that stress, and how their glass can become cloudy. The conversation took an interesting turn.
The cloudy glass image helped them identify their current emotional state, but did not address the larger picture.
They were on a journey. They began their careers with hopes, dreams, and a passion to serve. Over the years, the negative or stressful parts of their job, caused a hardness to form. With every subsequent negative event, they would take a step down a long hardened road.
This journey was not overnight. Each step was subtle, and not readily noticeable. Days passed. Weeks passed. Years passed. One day they found themselves becoming so hardened, so far down that road that they were was almost unrecognizable.
“How did we get so far down this road?”
“When did we become so hardened towards the job and the people?”
“How do we get back?”
The trouble with incremental steps is the difficulty noticing the change. They never planned to go so far down that road, to become so hardened. It was just one step. But one step became another, and another, and another. It wasn’t until they looked back years later that they saw the distance they had traveled.
I began to wonder. How many times does this happen to us? A bad event happens, and it hardens us. Then another comes our way. Another disappointment, another failure, another hardship. We begin to walk down that road and the result is a hardness as our hopes and dreams fade.
Where have you walked down this road? How can you begin to take a step back? This group collectively agreed to find their way back. May we all find the strength follow them.