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Pain yet hope inside. Thursday March 27, 2014

I wrote this when I was Chief Executive of a local council back in the early 90s and was fast losing the will to live with such duplicitous behaviour and self and political service rather than public service.

It was also when my depressive bouts started - age 38...I am now 60 and still susceptible.

I put my life on hold
As the air around grew cold,
I went inside to hide
But I lost my peace and pride.

I lost my way in life
As I dealt with stressful strife,
Other people's problems not mine
Plus a porous and poisonous grapevine.

I went in search of spirit
But there was no breath left in it,
It was my direction I had to find
To leave this pain so far behind.

Someone has to make a stand
And get back to those shaking hands,
This sign of trust and honesty
For a culture which will save the day.

No paper signed in triplicate
No contract clause to squeeze and fit,
No doing you down immorally
We need to find integrity.

So when my blackness then befell
I mostly could then always tell,
That it would touch me from inside
Of how we live in a world with pride.

So if you wish sustainable success
It's not about the push and press,
But trusting in yourself and staff
And making sure you have a laugh.

Only then will all your friends and foes
Clearly see the way to go,
Is open and honest with respect
It is only then you can 'collect'.

The happiness you search inside
The one that's never found outside,
The one we never clearly see
Until you find what's inside 'me'.

We I believe need to 'inscape' (inward journey) more (individuals, organisations and communities) and 'escape' (outward distraction) less.

A Moodscope member.

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platonic-intimacy Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 7:17am

Les, thank you for this, it really touched me and affirmed something I too am struggling to hold onto at the moment, which is sticking to my inner values whilst dealing with others who just exploit and take....
At 60, with a lot of life lived, it sometimes feel as if compassion burnout has happened and knowing others are pulling through is inspiring.
Be well!

Adam Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 7:26am

Thanks Les, that was a powerful piece of poetry.

Mary Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 8:44am

Brilliant observation; that we need to inscape more and escape less. Spot on as usual.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 9:35am

I feel touched & inspired for a bigger & more authentic journey in, to be the one who comes back to the trust, the people, the hands. I too left my job in the health service, 14 years ago & the journey has been broad & deep, to re-understand who I am & how I honestly enjoy leading, or following. Thank you. This is really thoughtful & inspiring writing.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 9:45am

Thank you Les. I went through a similar crisis as a CEO aged 41, and I found your poem touching and insightful. I wish you ever more joyful self-discovery.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 10:53am

Thanks Les. I worked in local government for 6 years until last year when I was made redundant. I couldn't believe how badly I was treated - not only did they take away my livelihood but bullied, harassed and undermined me for my last year of employment, making me extremely unwell. I was appalled that rather than work for the good of the community some local authority employees (ab)use their position for self advancement and bullying. Your poem expresses my experiences all too well and it is refreshing to hear that not all senior management staff are like this. I'm now trying to pull myself out of the pit and move on from this experience.

Julia Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 11:36am

I identify with the poem so much. The 2 lines " ... a porous and poisonous grapevine" and " .....doing you down immorally" are particularly relevant to my experience working in a Scottish University. One would think that working in academia would allow freedom of thought and expression but oh no, if your face didn't fit, you were dragged in the mire and left there totally unsupported. You were right Les, someone has to make a stand.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 12:26pm

Hi Les and all who read this. I live in Boston MA and there was a 9 alarm fire. Two firefighters passed away, 18 hurt. One of the men has 3 children under 10, the other hero a Marine Vet, single. yesterday I turned 62 and only one person, my son called-my fiance completely 'forgot'! Both episodes hurt me greatly in 2 different ways but both hurt personally.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 27th 2014 @ 7:33pm

Great post!

Driven by greed and fear many don't see (or wilfully ignore) the hurt they cause others and often theirselves...because it's just business.

People need to be brave and stand up for what they's the only way they will be truly happy anyway so why not!

Anonymous Fri, Mar 28th 2014 @ 2:40am

An exceptional poem with such wisdom. We need to truly see ourselves first .I wonder if it would be ok to post on Facebook? I think others would appreciate this.

Tere Fri, Mar 28th 2014 @ 8:45am

I must point out that government service and academia aren't the only places where people trod over other people. I was a paralegal for 30 years. Lawyers are just awful, at least most of them that I worked for. My husband has a law degree -- I noticed that he was a miserable, miserable human being (he never wanted to be a lawyer, but his parents pushed and pushed) and I made him stop by threatening to divorce him if he renewed his bar dues. However, this meant that he stayed home being a house husband to our children, while I continued being miserable doing the same thing. It was by far the best job for someone who dropped out of high school (I had gone to night school and actually graduated ahead of my class, but it still sounds better, to me, that I dropped out and made good anyway). In fact, it was the last lawyer I worked for that pushed me over the edge into mental health disability. I believe that a lot of lawyers get their power by mistreating those of us LUCKY enough not to go to law school, and then they play games with each other, forgetting that people's lives are at stake. The really sad part? My poor husband would hear about how awful my work was, how many hours I had to work a week to get my job done (for the clients the lawyers I didn't care about). I listened to so many sad stories and couldn't help at all but listen . . . and it just plain wore me out spit me out as used and that was it. If I have your permission, may I print out your poem and place it on my "just for me" board that I have over my sewing machine? I sew for enjoyment (now) and that is the place where I'm happiest of all the depression I cannot dig myself out of, no matter how I try. If you say no, I'll understand, but your words are powerful and touched me deeply. Thank you, either way.

Anonymous Fri, Mar 28th 2014 @ 11:53am

Les. Thank you so much! I am a pubic servant here in the US. I know whereof you speak! And that so eloquently!
I am in a severe depression now with lots of trauma being triggered by the ganging up the politically-minded bureaucrats can do. I trust I will find a way out to be of service soon. Thanks for the reminder today that I have kindred souls across the pond and beyond to stand with me.

Les Fri, Mar 28th 2014 @ 4:03pm

Please feel free to place my poem anywhere you want to.......the 'universe' gave it to me - so the more it is given back, the better.
Facebook is not something I another medium is great.

Les Fri, Mar 28th 2014 @ 4:09pm

Hi Tere
As the reply above - please feel free to print out and use in anyway that helps you or others.....
Yes - I believe the Law, which has to lessen the EQ to carry out an IQ job is for sure a challenged profession.
I will feel privileged to - as it were - sit where you feel happiest.
Good luck to you, your husband and family.
Slainte Mhah (good health)

Les Fri, Mar 28th 2014 @ 4:13pm

Please believe you can find a new path to follow.....and it may well be 'The Road Less Travelled'.......yet more and more people are finding that 'other way'.........what you can see and believe - you can achieve.

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