Separating The Cog From The Wheel: Giving Your Heart A Chance To Breath

Just A Cog In The Wheel

We need self-compassion for the cycle of being led around, often unwillingly, by work and life responsibilities.  There is an old saying that good subordinate workers are like cogs in the wheel, working almost automatically and with conformity for the betterment of the company/wheel.  In this way, the company can move at a brisk and successful pace.  In all this hurry and conformity, we sometimes find that we are trampling on our needs, and say things to friends like, “I work so much that I don’t even recognize myself anymore.”

Work Conformity

You are still in there for sure, but it is a widely known psychological fact that if there is enough pressure and work requirements that you will conform to the work environment, and take on the characteristics that guarantees you safety and success.  All work environments are not made equal, but for the most part, if you work for others, you will need to assimilate to the conditions, which means putting some of your treasured personality and individual goals on the back burner.

There is nothing wrong with working in a team mentality in pursuit of a greater goal.  It is admirable, so long as the goal ensures well-being for others.  However, it is no less important to pay attention to our core values, and the self-development required to reach our long-term goals.  I meet with many people, who tell me they have had the same dreams since they were young, but have felt stuck in the grind of their current jobs.  Some of these jobs have lasted 10-20 years.  10-20 years is a long time to not make any room for your hopes and dreams.

Nourishing Our Heart With Renewed Vigor For Our Dreams

The stress of acknowledging the conflict between a secure paycheck and a more risky, but fulfilling venture is a burden that most of us carry.  So, sometimes our role as cogs causes us stress, and we need a release.  During these times, you must come back to the heart with 7 simple words: How can I be kind to myself? 

Even if you do not have the time to pursue one of your dreams, go to some place where people are pursuing a similar dream, so you can get some of that joy vicariously or sign up for a class that might bring you closer to your goal.  A waterfall starts with a single drop of water, and look what becomes of that.  Baby steps are not just for babies.  They are also our way, according to Attachment Theory, of slowly extending our safe zone by testing the waters of the unknown.

Go test those waters!  Your heart is worth saving and nourishing.  If you continue feeling like you are living a heart smothering life, you will eventually become resentful at work, and may actually act out in a way that gets you fired any way.  We don’t want that!

Self-Compassion For the Anxiety Caused By Following Our Dreams

Going back to your heart and giving yourself an opportunity to dream again may be a little scary, so use your self-compassion phrases.  May I be safe.  May I be free.  May I be kind to myself.  My I accept myself just as I am.  May I give myself permission to take care of my heart, when I can.  The dream will actually give you something to look forward to, and will begin to help you feel less encumbered by your work responsibilities.  Your heart is also quick to reward you, and you know how much we love rewards!

Always Go To The Heart

So, next time you are feeling like a cog in the wheel, and work has got you down, go to the heart.  See what it needs.  Recall your dreams, and goals.  Make time to watch in person or on line someone that is pursuing this dream to encourage yourself, but also to get the good feelings that come along with a shared passion. 

Then, if you can, take a small step towards this dream like signing up for a class or working as an apprentice somewhere.  No matter what, never ever forget to get back to your self-compassion practice.  Work, dreams, these are all hard things that require our compassion and kindness.  However, with self-compassion at are disposal, all things are possible.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.   Day 146.  In The Books.