Transformation at Work In A High Pressure Job
by Ariana Ray, Registered Child Protection Social Worker
I can remember the way I used to work where I got the commonly known ‘Friday high- Sunday crash’ and feeling the dread of having to go back to work on a Monday morning.
It was always a very physical feeling I tried to push down by eating and drinking. It produced many thoughts about not being able to cope, not being good enough and feeling as empty as a black hole in space. My body would go into anxiety. I was owned by it.
I would spend all weekend frantically trying to catch up, run the kids everywhere, have rows with the kids, yelling a lot and at the end of the day falling asleep in front of the TV after drinking too much beer on Friday and Saturday nights.
I’d roll up for work on Mondays with my stomach feeling as heavy as if I’d eaten stones. It was not a great state to be in and must have affected everyone I met. I would be grumpy and generally foul until I’d had my fourth cup of tea, and even then I’d be eating biscuits with the tea, to deaden how I was feeling, and didn’t want to feel.
I used to yell a lot in those days. I’d go into work and be angry at my boss, believe I was a victim, held grudges against people, feel misery, loneliness and hurt daily, and all the while felt I was the champion of children whilst living like this.
I worked as a child protection social worker, working with families with extreme problems and extreme abuse of children. I had been abused myself as a child and knew what it felt like to live with abuse being ‘normal’. I recall reading a book written about a child who had been abused and had been rescued from his abuse, it made me even more mad, for no one rescued me.
I felt well justified in being angry, not just at my boss, but at the world and at God. I lived on anger. I was angry with abusive parents and agencies I worked with for not providing enough support to these families. I ate a lot in work, everyone ate a lot. Our desks would be full of food that we grazed on all day long. This way of living was killing me. I was getting sick and living misery.
But things changed for me, I switched tracks. The trajectory I had been on was not looking good. My GP had told me that I was set to be a diabetic and due to my weight and joint problems, to be in a wheelchair by the time I was 60. I made choices that changed that projection.
As I started to change how I lived I could see that this ‘loved-up me’ had the potential to change my life. The more I treated myself with loving tenderness, the more I realised that it is my connection to my own sacredness and my own Divinity within that was my way of living. There’s no middle man needed for this, just my connection to me and living that and taking it deeper each day. This has transformed my life.
Whether I am at work or not each day is different and yet the same with nothing dull or boring because each day is filled with me loving me and learning how to love me more and more, how could that be dull? It’s delicious.
The results on my life have been huge, I’ve lost 44kg in weight, my health transformed, I take care of myself and am fit and vital. I also let go of so many hurts, drama’s and issues, so much so that my life and my body are unrecognisable to the me I was.
This has influenced how I work today, I treat myself each day with the same loving care as the next and take that with me into everything I do. I feel that learning is a huge thing for me, learning to see everything that is holding me back from going deeper with this love.
My job is not a 9-5, it never has been, I work long hours and no matter how carefully you plan, you never know what crisis is going to happen next. Social Work is a high pressure high risk field, we deal with children and families under pressure, but how I work today is very different to how I used to work.
Attending sessions, workshops and healing courses, I started letting go of all the hurts that had kept me locked in misery. It was a step by step process, but I would not stop and would not give up. I could feel so strongly that this way of living was true. I came to realise that if I loved me everyday, I could take me wherever I go.
He gets up in the morning knowing the impact he is having with his every movement. Like ripples in a pool, his every movement is important, the responsibility goes to that level and beyond. The way Serge Benhayon lives provided me with a role model that it was actually possible to live with this level of responsibility and supported me to live in a more loving and nurturing way too. I was inspired to feel that I could live my life the same way, with the same degree of responsibility.
Of course the protection of children is paramount at all times and that remains the same, it’s how I am with families that has changed, as now I am able to help support people to develop greater skills to support and change their parenting. My experience has shown me that working with a loving equality supports transformations in how children are cared for.
Outside of my complex day job, I volunteer for 7 different on-going international projects, I lead a very full life, engaged in my local and international community, being aware of the local issues and the issues the world has on a wider scale.
My working day mostly starts at 3.30am and finishes at 8pm, I am more vital and energetic today at 62 years of age than I have ever been. Work does not feel like ‘work’, it’s life, it’s another opportunity to be all of me, to engage with people, to listen and to be open to what is going on for everyone.
I people-watch a lot, observing interactions and behaviours and find it revelatory as I have found with my growing awareness of myself I can read people like a book.
Weekends are just life too, there’s little difference between weekdays and non weekdays, each day is the same but with different settings and different people to interact with and each day is an opportunity for more awareness, more clarity and a deeper relationship with myself and the Divinity within me.