Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

this-too-shall-passMaybe it was my new header photo, taken in Jamaica by one of my students, that inspired me to recall the Bob Marley song, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright. The lyrics popped into my mind yesterday while I sat at the kitchen table paying bills. Outside, dark clouds covered the sky and nearly two feet of snow covered the ground. I should have been depressed, but I felt hopeful.

For a long time, I’ve felt rather hopeless and stuck. I won’t bore you as to why, but suffice to say that if there is a purgatory on earth, it seemed I was in it. Then on this dreary day, hope and Bob Marley’s lyrics filled me. The sense that I was reaching the end of a dark period has been slowly infiltrating my psyche of late, and in that moment I felt the light at the end of the tunnel beckoning me. I am embracing this light with open arms and resolve that I am worthy of it. This last is important because if we don’t feel worthy of something, we are far less likely to get it.

We all go through mini, and sometimes extended, purgatories, stuck and dark periods from which we can’t seem to escape. Maybe they are needed to process trauma or grief. Maybe they are an incubation period for new growth. Maybe they exist so we can appreciate the beauty of life when the light returns.

If you’re feeling stuck and/or hopeless right now, take heart: This, too, shall pass. The light will return in your life and everything will be all right. If you don’t believe me, take Bob Marley’s word for it.

How can anyone not feel happy listening to this song? Thank you, Mr. Marley, for sharing your beautiful spirit with the world through your music.

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When One Door Closes, There’s Always the Window

In a recent attempt to take back my life, I applied for a part-time job that would have marked somewhat of a career change for me. Though it was still in the field of higher education, it was in publicity and marketing, which would have been a shift from the direct student service I’ve provided for the past 16 years. Last week, I found out that I didn’t get the job.

I won’t bother agonizing over why or why not. I know I had relevant creative experience and the writing skills to do the job. I feel confident that the interview went well. The bottom line is that, clearly, they felt someone else was a better fit and candidate. The trouble is that now I’m back to square one.

I admit that while the creative nature of the position appealed to me, the bigger draw was that it was part-time with full benefits, a rarity nowadays. I wanted so much to be able to slow down the pace of life, to have time to tend to my long-neglected, well, everything. Plus, I have this little dream of opening a small business next year, which seems impossible as long as I’m giving 10 hours a day, five days a week, to my current job.

It’s tough when you have a vision for how you want your life to be, but you just don’t know how to get there. Obstacles seem to keep blocking the path and you can’t find a way around them. The result is the frustrating feeling of being stuck.

Someone suggested that perhaps this perceived stuckness is a dormant phase, which sometimes happens and is necessary, for reasons we cannot see at the time.  During this phase it’s critical to have faith, to keep hanging in there while our psyches, spirits, and minds process, absorb, and transform in preparation for the next phase of our life.

As for not getting the job, it’s said that when one door closes, another opens. Sometimes, though, we need to remain in the room for a while. Doing so requires faith, patience, and the ability to trust that our lives are unfolding exactly as they are meant. This is especially critical when it feels like the four walls are closing in and suffocating us.

On the other hand, there’s always the window. I’ve been known to climb out a few in my time.