Workplace bullying is just that: bullying. It differs from schoolyard bullying in that the perpetrators have grown up - at least physically - and have developed new skills. They're not as likely to be overt and in-your-face like they were in the schoolyard. They're more likely, especially if they're female, to cloak their bullying as "personal". I just don't like you. If they're even that overt. They're more likely to destroy their target's reputation through backbiting, gossip, slander, etc. - covert measures - than they are to attack the target physically with fists.
They attack the target's soul rather than his/her body.
So, in the aftermath where even years later, recovery still seems like some sort of a pipe dream, a fantasy of my imagination, what brings me joy? What transcends me from the bitter and brutal past memories to a more stable place in my mind? To a place of joy? To a peace where peace rather than turmoil reigns?
I believe that for each person it is something different depending on their passions and interests. Therefore, in this post I speak only for myself.
Flowers, bright colours, my garden - especially the one I planted in memory of my mom after her death two years ago - and photography. All of these bring me joy. And sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can find them all wrapped up in one nice little packet. Literally in the case of the zinnias below which were started in my very own living room window by seed.
The hibiscus pictured above and below has a totally different story and place in Mom's garden. On the first anniversary of her death when I was still in a very difficult place emotionally and missing her terribly, hubby and I went to a garden centre and picked out a few additions to her memorial garden. Mom had never had any hibiscus in her garden so I wasn't really receptive to the idea of introducing this plant in her garden, yet hubby really liked the large bloom. At first I thought this plant had not made it through our hard winter, yet eventually spikes came out of what had been a barren space in the garden. This plant has been a very late bloomer waiting until the very end of September to finally open. Yet, it has been well worth the wait. I can see this huge white circle in the very back of my over 200ft lawn from the kitchen window - and it gladdens my heart. Just the sight of it brings me joy.
This fall hubby had an unexpected three days off in a row, so we took advantage of that opportunity. The objective of the exercise was to promote healing for both of us.
So, I changed item #3 on the list above from camping to familiar places. We chose a town we had been to many times and a motel which was both affordable and familiar as we had stayed there many times before.
It wasn't without it's challenges to be sure. Life never is, but at the same time, this time away doing what brings me joy allowed me to centre my sometimes turbulent emotions - and brought peace.
Even looking at the pictures as I write this post, brings back the feelings of peace I experienced out on the water. Just hubby, myself and God. Oh yes, don't forget the canoe!
What, dear reader, brings you joy? A simple question, yet not really an easy one to answer. So let's rephrase it, if you could do anything at all in the world right now, what would you choose?
Ahhhhh. Now, that's fodder for another post down the line.
See you tomorrow....