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Michelle Renee Headshot

Anyone Else Need a Life Size Lint Roller?

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Is it just me or is it a perfectly normal reaction to feel punched in the gut as ethical red flags were slapping me upside the head when I walked in on a business owner pocketing employees tip money?

I was thinking back to a job I used to have and recalling this incident in my mind. Call me crazy, or as this person put it "overdramatizing", but it disturbed me. I get that we all make mistakes. We all do stupid stuff sometimes and I admit to having done things in my life that I am not too proud of. I even penned my skeletons out in my first book instead of hiding my scars or holding it in to the point of causing myself to choke to death on my past. I have learned over the years to, as it said in a book I recently fell in love with, Eat, Pray, Love, to speak like you eat as though it is all on the table in front of you. I have been allowing for expression and communication to be an important part of my life on my path to self uncovering, especially since I have chosen instead of a one-way faith, a one-love way of life. I have grown to love a more open approach to living and embracing others from all walks of life. But in that moment, and for three hours after that instant when I felt like an ice pick nailed me in the eye, I wondered if I should have said anything at all. Maybe not confronting this person about their decision to pillage through the tip bin and going on my merry way would be the best possible solution. But I couldn't. Deep down I just could not stomach letting this go. I knew it would eat me alive.

After the words "so, how much was in you know who's tip envelope I saw you stuff in your pocket" rolled off my tongue, I was stripped of my manager role, asked to be a receptionist and asked to work an extra 6 hours per week for the same pay, after which I promptly gave a six week notice. Then I discovered someone else with less managerial skills was hired for a ridiculously large increase in pay over what I made, and when that little tid bit entered into the conversation I had with this person the next business day, I was asked to not return because this person felt "uncomfortable" around me when I was there. Hmmmm...wonder why?

An e mail addressing it all ended with my saying I choose to put God, peace, love and forgiveness at the center and hoped this person could do the same and wished them well. But as a friend pointed out to me today, a person engaging in the type of behavior I walked in on isn't exactly the type of person who is going to stand up tall, shout out the truth of the situation, repent, and want to give me a big fat hug. Nope, this person is more likely to recoil like a Cobra and spit venom every chance they get. She was right. This person completely overlooked every single positive word I had written such as "I still see your good qualities, adore your family, wanted only for you to succeed the entire time I supported you and your business, I am hoping for a fair and amicable resolution", and barfed up all sorts of non-sensible jargon such as "stop making such a big deal over the tip thing and focus your negative energy on someone else". My negative energy? Go figure.

So I am curled up in my bed this morning and instead of taking to my usual posture of prayer on the floor I asked God to snuggle up with me as I wrapped up in a white down comforter for a long heart to heart. This situation, I know for sure, is something that did not happen to me. It happened for me. I became unshackled and free to soar and began to build my own business out of that situation. As scary as our financial situation was for me and my daughter in that moment, I felt nothing but peace and joy and hope and crazy, tingling, goofy love for God and the future and all the possibilities that exist. My prayer was simple: You lead. I follow. I seek You, love You, Trust you, Thank you. I breathed Him in as I whispered I choose You, wrapped my arms around myself in an embrace I have never, ever given to myself knowing that by doing this I was embracing within me... God.

On my way to pick up my daughter an hour later I noticed I had dog hair on my black cotton sweat outfit. Dog hair is something I can't stand, something I just can't have sticking to me because it just makes me feel unclean. As I began to brush it off I realized that some people, some circumstances and situations are like dog hair. We can choose to use a life size lint roller or with a sweeping motion of our hands and hearts watch the unwanted particles of others trying to attached themselves to us fall away and fly right out the window.

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