– by Dawn D. Mitchell
Have you ever encountered a supervisor, manager or co-worker whose sole strategy for professional advancement was to claw his/her way to the top by ANY means necessary? Observing their maniacal rise to domination, fueled by their toxic daily dose of lying, cheating, manipulation, and deception makes most in their proximity cringe. When whisperings in the corporate corridors reveal that this person has (yet again) received a promotion, bonus, or won the coveted President’s Award, one wonders for a moment how these dark tactics (seemingly) result in advancement so often.
From a distance, it is easy to try to dissect the dilemma and then move on to the next issue of the day, but what happens when YOU are the casualty of one of these workplace tyrants? How do you move forward spiritually, especially when it results in a professional setback that affects your future, family, and career?
At The Corporate Couch, I serve many professionals who encounter this kind of betrayal from a coworker, supervisor or boss, on the job, which sometimes leads to job loss for my clients. When this occurs, unforgiveness and bitterness often take root and cause spiritual and emotional turmoil for months, and sometimes even years. This condition not only blocks opportunities for future advancement (on an energetic level), but affects physical health and well-being, and perpetuates a negative cycle of hopelessness which creeps into every area of life. Sometimes people refer to this state as being “stuck”.
So what can be done to heal the mind, heart, and spirit when this kind of bludgeoning occurs on the workplace battlefield? Plenty. The truth is that as a believer in God, you have a tremendous amount of power. But the way THIS power is wielded defies worldly logic.
Best-selling author and spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson, advises that when a betrayal or grievance occurs, then we should “pray for the happiness and well-being” of the person who we perceive has caused the grievance for a period of thirty days. (Let me be clear, this is NOT to say that we should be doormats and forfeit following the proper channels to protect ourselves against bullies and abusers. On the contrary! However, this article is meant to specifically address how to keep the root of bitterness from contaminating the spirit when we encounter such circumstances.) Although it may be unfathomable to consider prayer for the offender, she purports that it is easier to do this than to hold on to the anger and bitterness from the situation. But is this really true? Yes. In fact, it is critical to reclaiming peace.
I have personally witnessed the benefits of this method within a toxic workplace environment and now coach my clients to do the same in order to release the negative energy and get “unstuck”. I share part one of my story below.
Many years ago, I worked with a woman named “Kris” who had a reputation in the company for being a sinister, evil, malicious, and sneaky troublemaker. It didn’t help that she was in management, and regularly used her high level position to intimidate subordinates through manipulation. She was a bully. Issues seemed to ensue with whomever she would deal with. Needless to say, no one liked working for or with her.
After being assigned to assist Kris on a project, I witnessed her blatantly lying on a colleague. She forged documents, manufactured conversations, and created false reports based on these lies – which not only resulted in the defamation of my colleagues’ character, but resulted in her termination as well. Kris had no shame and even gloated about her “accomplishment” of getting this person fired. I made the decision to speak up on behalf of my colleague, even if it meant losing my job, which ignited a scandal of epic proportions. (Image via Pixabay)
I allowed my already high level of disdain for Kris to evolve into hate. I couldn’t stomach the sight of her, or the mere mention of her name. My hatred began to affect my sleeping patterns as I was having nightmares, which involved her. The anxiety and stress obviously adversely affected my health as well. At the time, I did not have a way to manage my anger and it began to consume me. I considered myself a spiritual person, and knew feeling like this was not right or healthy for me. So, by default, I did the only thing I could think of…I began to pray.
“…I did the only thing I could think of…I began to pray.”
I was used to doing my Daily Spiritual Practice (DSP) – prayer, meditation, inspirational reading – in the early morning hours before getting ready for work. As I would pray, I would say: God, you already know how I feel about Kris. Help me. Amen. I did this every morning. As the weeks passed, I gradually got brutally honest with God about how I was feeling; “she is the devil”, “how could you let her…”, “someone needs to …” were just a few introductory phrases that would kick off my conversations with God about Kris. It turned out to be the release I needed.
Continued: Part 2 of “Treacherous, Toxic & Two-Faced: Protecting Your Spirit from Workplace Sabotage”
This post was written by author and speaker Dawn D. Mitchell.