There I was, alone in my apartment with the nearly unpacked cardboard box I had been summarily handed to clean out my work space the day I was fired and was holding the company mug that changes color when filled with a hot liquid when two thoughts crossed my mind.  One was how much damage it would cause if I threw the mug against the living room wall and the other is:

After The Cardboard Box Is Unpacked

If you have just been fired from your job you may have had similar thoughts.  Here are five ways to begin putting one foot in front of the other and begin moving forward again.

1.  Don’t throw the mug anywhere but in the trash.  If you feel like it, throw yourself across your bed and have a good cry.  It’s OK to have a pity-party, so long as it does not last longer than three minutes.

2.  Punch the feathers out of a pillow! You may have every right to be rip-roaring mad about what has happened but be honest with yourself too.  If you messed up one way or another, resist playing the blame game.  Instead, take responsibility for your actions, keep the lesson, let go of the pain and plan to do better next time. Rid your system of the anger and frustration, and let the rest of it go. The only person a grudge ever hurt is the one holding it.  Do not allow a seed of bitterness to take root in your soul.  The Bible says, “Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.    Hebrews 12:14-17 (The Message)

3.  Share the news in as positive a way as possible and then ask yourself this question: What would you do for a family member or friend who just received a pink slip?  You would probably invite them to go and do something to get their mind off their woes. When a friend or relative calls with just such an invitation say, “Yes!” and allow them do likewise for you. It will make you feel better and it will make them feel better too.  Affirmation of your value and worth in the lives of people other than your former colleagues will help take the sting out of rejection, re-build your confidence and shorten the amount of time it takes to bounce-back after being fired.

“There is a time to weep and a time to laugh… a time to mourn and a time to dance…”  Ecclesiastes 3:4

4.  Instead of embracing that “little-lamb-lost” feeling tugging at your heart when you have nowhere to be on Monday morning, look at your calendar.  See all those lovely white spaces?  That is something to celebrate!  Enjoy the break. Take a week or so off and do anything you like at any time of day you like. This could be the perfect opportunity to take that four day cruise to the Bahamas you won at last month’s silent auction. Hit the road for a long overdue visit with an old friend or take the plunge and finally get that haircut you have been thinking about.  Better still, follow through on the advice given by Jesus in Matthew 11: 28-30  “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me… Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  (The Message)

5.  Take a break but remember:  This is not the time for an extended vacation. There comes a time to kick off your bedroom slippers and start thinking “Next!” Get dressed and let the fear of being homeless jettison you out the front door and on to as many job interviews as possible. Don’t give up and don’t allow discouragement to slow you down.  As Dory says in the movie Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming” and trust the promises of God like this one:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

You will be happy to know I not only found and new job, but I also found a job I truly loved!  Next week I will tell you how and will share the secret for you to become an absolutely irresistible interviewee.

Live, love, laugh, and forgive! The world needs you and the unique purpose for which you were created!  Keep calm and choose to bounce-back.

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