Moving On

By Jeremy Gulley

This week I was reminded of a situation where I was wrong. Twelve or so years ago I left a company the wrong way. I had worked at this organization for seven or eight years, and was leaving so that I could make more money and better support my growing family.

I gave two months notice, but then I found out some things the company was doing that I didn’t agree with and I called them on it. When I didn’t get a satisfactory explanation from my direct supervisor, I went to the president of the company and was told to mind my own business. So I wrote a letter and sent it to everyone involved with the company, and called out the wrong doers. I had decided to never go back, obviously, and left hurt and bitter.

However, last week I thought it would be nice to return there part time, or as needed, because it seemed like something I would enjoy doing again. To be honest, I completely forgot about the events from over a decade ago until Friday, when at 4:30 (when the offices close) I received a form email saying “thanks but no thanks.” I thought it was interesting, especially since I had talked with the head of HR and was encouraged to apply. Getting a form letter is difficult, but when it’s from someone you know it’s worse. I was hurt. Again.

But then I remembered what had happened before the turn of the millennium and my shock turned into a mix of remorse and pride.

I felt remorse because I have burned a bridge. I feel guilty that I conducted myself in such a shameful and selfish manner, and I regret that it happened. I should not have acted the way I did, and I am still working to get over the humiliation that comes from remembering my actions. Even though I thought I was right and justified at the time, I should have known better.

However, I didn’t. It happened and I can’t take that back.

But my remorse is coated with a layer of pride. The children’s pastor at my church preached on Sunday. He spoke on forgiveness and grace, and encouraged us to forgive those who have done us wrong, and to forgive ourselves for hurting other people.

As I listened, I realized that for over a decade I have lived with forgiveness for the company that I felt betrayed me. I moved on and have completely forgiven them for the hurt they caused me. They, however, have not. I do understand that companies have to make decisions about their personnel, and that they want to make good decisions in order to do what’s best for their business. I understand that, I do not begrudge them for their decision.

However, I have not been forgiven. I’m also okay with this. Everyone deserves a second chance, but second chances have to be offered. They can not be forced, or they aren’t real. All I can do is make sure that I am offering second (and third and forth . . .) chances to those who have hurt me, and live with the peace of knowing that I do not hold and ill feelings toward anyone. I am comforted that I have forgotten my own mis-steps, and forgiven myself, even if those who I hurt have not forgiven me.


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Posted by admin on Jun 16 2012. Filed under Jeremy Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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