The Empowered Employee

Part 2 – The 3 Gems Hidden In The Depths Of Recovery

In blog 1 of my 3 part recovery series, I wrote about the 10 things that sucked most about recovering from workplace abuse. For part 2, I wanted to write about the space that exists between that very hardship and what ultimately transpires from all of it.

Because there’s something really special hidden there.

It’s in that space that I discovered, looking back, three unexpected gems. I’m hoping that by sharing them, you won’t miss the power they hold to assist in your recovery, too.

Don’t worry, these gems aren’t hard to find. In fact, one of the most fascinating aspects of this discovery is that these gems grow naturally from the symptoms of the trauma we’re experiencing.

So let’s get digging, shall we? Here’s the location of the first gem.

Gem 1 – The Jewel Of The Senses

The Jewel Of The Senses takes form in the place where our physiological senses are the most heightened. This state of hyper-vigilance is often the key source of our crippling discomfort, anxiety and fear. But it was in that state of being that I found both a much-needed sense of connection, and an ability to focus intensely on what was needed to keep moving forward.

Just a walk outside or a look upward provided instant comfort, a sense of deep belonging, and a truth that something bigger than myself existed. While never particularly drawn to the outdoors, suddenly, I was finding myself in-tune with the brilliant colors and smells that existed there. There was this direct link to nature, revealing its awe-inspiring ability to heal.

I was also noticing that every book I read, movie I watched, every song I heard, and story being shared, all spoke to this traumatic event in my life. It was during this time that I studied not only workplace abuse, but philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, forgiveness, and self- care techniques. I can see now how this temporary lens resulted in my ability to work through, process, and understand my event more deeply.

Gem 2 – The Jewel Of Self-Discovery 

The second gem grows slowly throughout our recovery. The making of this beautiful gem starts in the darkest of places: the loss of self, the dismantling of previously held beliefs, and the shattering of our worldview (and our place in it).

And as scary as it was, and as lost as I felt during this time, looking back, I can see how necessary it was for all of those things to be wiped away in order for a new foundation to be built. It was only then, brick by brick, that I was finding a  steadier, stronger, and wiser me.

The talents and dreams left behind in youth were now paving a way for a new future. The need for control faded, and I was learning how to allow the universe to guide what would come next. And finally, self-limiting beliefs were being challenged and, ever so gently, overcome. The voice I lost was returning, and I was sounding more like my myself than ever before.

Gem 3 – The Jewel Of Self-Care

And, finally, the jewel that stays with us for the rest of our lives.

For most targets, I would bet our lives have been one of service. Rarely have we put ourselves above others, whether it was at home, work, or even among strangers.

After facing trauma, however, we are often left with very little choice than to put ourselves first. It’s during this time that I explored, and put into practice, activities that would help me: improve and protect my mental and physical health, prioritize what’s truly important in my life, and make decisions that result in empowerment.

Meditation, writing, learning to say no… being brave enough to say yes! Learning how to set boundaries and be kinder to myself. Choosing positive thoughts, taking a stand while remaining open and flexible…. all of these self-care techniques taught me how to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

The Most Precious Discovery Of All

The most beautiful gems in the world grow in the deepest and darkest places. They require very specific ingredients, high temperatures and intense pressure. An abundance of space and time are also required for the transformation to be complete. 

These are often the conditions we find ourselves in at the depths of our recovery.

So, while you’re there and your body is responding to all you’ve been through, I hope you’ll realize something really beautiful is taking shape. That you’ll connect with nature, continue to study, allow the universe to guide you, and put your recovery first. Because that’s when you’ll become all you’re meant to be in this life… 

And that’s truly the most precious gem of all.

Wherever you are in your career or recovery, I wish you success, peace, and most of all, good health,

Janice XO  

If you’re new to my writing, you can visit me at The Empowered Employee to read more of my blogs and find the resources I found helpful. You can also join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn


  • reply


    Thanks for this article Janice. Behind my pain and rage there has also been a lot of learning and personal growth. You put it into words so well.

    If I could turn back time and get back to the place I was before, it would have been a difficult decision if it meant I had to revert to my old self. I know so much more these days, about life, people, myself, and I appreciate small things a lot more. The new understandings mean so much. It’s almost as life feels more beautiful for having been broken. It’s a feeling I get some days, but there are ups and downs. (I’m still in “repair mode”).

    Best wishes for you and your loved ones. /Z

    May 30, 2020
  • reply

    Graeme Raine

    Excellent messages there to take on board.

    When my psychologist said. “You have given enough through work and charity, you have done enough!” “When are you going to do things for yourself?”

    This really made me think. It was now time for me time.

    I took this on board, bought a caravan, took six months off work no pay and set off on an adventure that took Linda and myself around Australia. The most fantastic time and of course our original contact happed Janice.

    June 1, 2020

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