I was recently asked by someone how my job was going.
I responded saying, it was not without its challenges but it was going well. He responded: “Well it’s just a job. isn’t it?”
At that point, I did not go deeper into that conversation but the remark lingered on in my mind. I wondered why the person felt compelled to let me know that my job was nothing more than “just a job.” I felt in the end, that it was because he did not have a job and was following a “spiritual life” which disregarded a job as something materialistic and unholy, as is quite common in spiritual organizations—where the only true work is where you are serving the leader or a Guru.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was actually his justification to himself for not having a job. He had struggled at his jobs and now thought they were nothing more than idiotic, materialistic things people do.
He was making himself feel better—and I understood it because I had been there. I used to feel somewhere deep down that I was unhappy at work because I was meant to do something greater. This is the ego’s cunning way of distracting us from the real issues.
As I pondered and reflected on the subject of what my job really does provide for me, I was quite astounded at how I felt about it.
I had struggled with having the “perfect job” and had been frustrated that each job I held always managed to disappoint me in some way or the other. Till a few years ago, I was still out there looking for my perfect vocation. What was it that was preventing me from finding it? Why did I always feel like I was not reaching my highest potential in my jobs?
The answer really was simple: I was seeking the satisfaction from my job that should have come from within me.
I was seeking to fill the hole in my soul with my job and of course it did nothing but disappoint. I had also tried filling that hole with my partner and that had not worked either.
Nothing external can fill that hole. Only we can—with what I call deep inner spiritual work.
Coming back to the job—we spend a lot of our daily lives at work, so the job definitely is and should be a major influencing portion of our life. Here are a few thoughts:
First and foremost, my job was a reflection of my capability to earn a living for myself as well as for my loved ones. It allowed me to take responsibility for myself and take care of my own material needs as well as those of my children. It was the way of the universe to provide me with abundance through which I had access to luxuries like a home, a nice bed, a car and house help, but more simply, it was the reason there was food on my table and for that I was truly grateful for it.
Secondly, it was via my job that I had the chance to truly gauge how well I was doing spiritually.
After all, our work interactions have a way of pushing our buttons like nothing and no one else, except maybe a spouse can! So the problems that I was facing at work were really an opportunity for me to dig deep inside myself and find out what was creating particular situations.
Every physical or emotional difficulty that I overcame at my workplace was a sign of my own spiritual growth. And every time I stumbled, it was to show me where my ego and I still needed some work.
Lastly, my success (or lack thereof) at what I was doing was also a real marker for where all my blocks lay. I believe that everything that is happening around us is a reflection of our inner state of consciousness, so if things are going badly at work where we’re spending most of our waking time, it really is time to do a re-evaluation and a check in to our inner selves.
As I look back, I have done it all: jobs, entrepreneurship, working in a small firm and a big firm. Thankfully, I have also done my inner work on this journey and I realized that when I was most frustrated with my job was when I was most frustrated with myself.
I had a long list of expectations which my job was not meeting—achievement being at the top. If I look back, that was also what I was feeling about myself: a general sense of a lack of achievement.
At this point, it probably is the first time that I feel truly happy at work.
I have not quite achieved the material success that would make others jealous, yet there is hardly a sense of lack or shame in me. I don’t feel lesser than anyone else, and even though I know the risk of losing my job at an time is real, I hardly have a sense of fear.
After all, when one connects to the Source, God, and the Higher Self, not just do we manage to fill the holes in our souls, but we also give the universe permission to provide for us, and all that it naturally wants to!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Jasrin Singh
Editor: Catherine Monkman