Thursday, March 03, 2005

It Really Is All About Love

Forgiveness seems to have been a theme in my life lately, and I can't stop thinking about Jezzy's comments to my last post.

I don't know about other people, but I cannot "will" myself to forgive. It's a complex process that involves aspects of me that I am not even aware of. But this much I know is true: In the end, anger means nothing.

About 12 years ago, I reported to a director who didn't like me. Two of my peers escalated some issues to his boss, and my director always suspected that I was the one to rat on him. He called me in his office one day and said, "Always remember my dear, tit for tat." And in that moment I made the (not so wise) decision to not tattle on his two other managers. In retrospect, it wasn't a smart move on my part. Despite being the highest level performer on this team, I never received an Exceptional performance review. (He knew that this rating was my goal, and he refused to give it to me. Instead, he created a new rating called Above Average+. It had never been used in the company's history.) I was the only sales manager to not receive stock options. The two peers who made the complaints did. When he met my now-husband at an engagement party thrown by my office-mates, all he said to him was, "You're a brave man." The list goes on and on. The angst that I suffered was incessant. My anger and resentment over the "unfairness" of the situation rampaged through my body...for years.

I eventually left the company. Later, I received a phone call that my former director was dead. He had fallen off a cliff by a popular restaurant. It was a freak accident.

Believe it or not, I had carried the anger and resentment with me up until that moment. Then, when I learned that he was gone, the anger drained out of me. Much like water going down the drain. And in that moment I realized the futility of it all.

Don't get me wrong. I walk around Huffy all of the time. But I have felt the inner-destruction of anger and I have realized that it ultimately results in nothing.

I am amazed to be saying this, but I do think it's true: Life really is about love. It is what endures. It is what we're left with at the very end of the story.