Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sadness and Courage

When I started this blog, I was resolved not to write much about me, but to write about the courage, trials and tribulations of my clients. I am breaking that rule just into the first month of this blog.  There have been events in my life related to friendships and the practice of law that have brought me sadness.  Things are changing in an organization in which I have been heavily involved for a long time.  For all I know, these changes could be wonderful and all this worry and sadness is for naught.  However, the changes have made me profoundly sad.

It occurs to me that I need to look at these changes in perspective.  I represent people with life-threatening illnesses and injuries, people who have their livelihoods stolen from them in a moment.  I represent people whose real fears are that they cannot go on or that they will not have the resources to provide support for their family members.  My clients have been faced with these challenges and they squarely face them and prevail.  They fight and maintain their dignity during the most trying times.  They have real courage.  Perhaps,  courage consists of facing frightening challenges and not giving up.  Also, it takes courage to place things in their proper perspective.  A histrionic person repels me.  I admire my clients who deal with their problems with quiet dignity and reflection and it is they whom I hope to emulate.

So why am I so sad when my problems are so relatively minor?  I am in an organization which I love and I love many of the people in the organization.  With this shake up, my place in the organization is different.  Of course, the truth is that this shakeup isn't about me.  Ego is such a destructive force.  I am scared because I have depended on folks in the organization for my support.  I share basic beliefs about life, politics, and the practice of law with these people, most of whom are such wonderful people.  I have learned so much about the practice of law and about myself from this organization.  I am a better person and a better lawyer, but things are changing.  This change scares me because I don't know where it will lead.  I am worried I will or have lost dear friends.  I worry that the creativity and spontaneity that sparked this group will be extinguished.  Only time will tell.

One of the advantages of being a partner in my own law firm is that I cannot be fired.  I am not rejected, since I am one of the owners.  I am sure I am in this position by design.  I don't like having someone else having the power to determine my fate.  Perhaps this is just an issue of feeling helpless because I don't have the power in this situation.  How ego-centric is that?

Only time will tell what will happen with this organization.  But I can learn from this now.  Many of my clients have held jobs for many, many years and made their work part of their identity before they were terminated from their jobs.  My injured and ill clients have little or no control of their physical destiny.  I have family members with health problems, and they must go on. This is a lesson in patience and courage, and, dare I say it, trust, trust that things will work out some way and I will deal with it even if it is not the way I want things to work out.  I need to live in the moment.  I have no control over the past or the future.  All I have is now.  I think I will go gaze out the window at the vivdly colored trees.  They are here now and if I don't look at them now, I might miss them.

1 comment:

  1. Lynne:

    Thank you for your willingness to share how you feel with all of us.

    Change is part of the stream of life. It will occur and is occurring even now. How we react to those changes is the telling thing, I think. You have chosen to react to change in an honest, positive way and, thus, you really touch my heart. You are a special, splendid person, kiddo. Please know that I am a B-I-G Lynne fan and am there for you with whatever support I can provide.

    Although I don't usually quote opposing SEC coaches, there's an old Bear Bryant quote which I've often recollected during periods of change in my own life and it seems appropriate here. Bear said: "It ain't the size of the dog in a fight that matters. It the size of the fight in the dog."

    Sometimes the bravest thing we can do during periods of change is just stop and be honest about how we are feeling. As you had the courage to do that, I did not want to let the moment pass without making sure you knew that your candor was heard and deeply felt. I mean that, Lynne.

    And prayer is that we can all move forward together with respect, compassion and understanding as we evolve into the next phases of both our individual and organizational lives.

    Call me anytime, kiddo.