Am hoping to post a bit more frequently this week, as I am on a “Week of Guided Prayer”, which is based in Ignatian Spirituality, and led by spritual directors associated with Loyola Hall. I want to keep track of my journey through this…
The WOGP chimes exactly with the date of one of the scariest meetings I have ever had to face. On Thursday, I’ll meet with my line manager, an HR representative and a UCU rep, to be “appraised of communication issues” that the line manager is having with me. This meeting has been attempted before, without the UCU rep., but I got so shaky and upset that I felt I had to leave. I got shaky, not because I cannot accept criticism, but because I got angry with the line manager – and with myself – for not being able to speak out to a line manager whose requests had led to the “issues” she was now raising.
With a lot of support from my ex-Trade Union-rep partner, and from friends and family (my favourite of which made me laugh for the first time since walking away from the meeting, and was from my brother – “she’s a red-head – don’t bother about her” – tongue-in-cheek), I called in a UCU rep, who has gone through the line manager’s actions with me to determine that I have points that are worth making.
So – this week I am going to (albeit vicariously) stand up for myself, possibly for the first time ever (so far as non-family are concerned, anyway). And through the prayer exercises that my spiritual director has suggested, I feel I have heard God telling me “Do not be afraid”. He knows that I am scared. But I’m also remembering how angry I’ve felt when I have tried to be selfless. I am hoping that God will help me to strike a balance in my life this week between doing as others ask – and looking after myself.
Comfortable as it may often feel, as a spiritual director said on Sunday evening when recounting an anecdote of her own, “I was not called to be a doormat”.