The Mechanics of Foregiveness

I put in my notice yesterday morning and by noon today the whole office knew. I knew that people would talk, because that’s what happened when Dad died. 

When Dad died, I told my manager in order to explain my abrupt absence. I told no one else because I wasn’t sure if I wanted anyone else to know. By the time I came back, it was clear that my co-workers knew. I felt betrayed. Then I forgave my co-workers for spreading this close, sensitive news about the heart of my life, but the hurt I felt at my manager’s decision to tell people remained. 

I’m trying to learn to be quicker to forgive, but I erroneously assumed that forgiveness would just dissolve hurt. It doesn’t. I still feel hurt that I didn’t get to make that decision, that if I tell my manager something I just have to assume that she’ll tell everyone else. I feel hurt that I didn’t get to have dialogues that deepened working relationships. I feel wary of the people who surround me, which was a large factor in my decision to leave. 

What we say to and about each other matters. 

I have been trying to find one selfless reason that could explain my manager’s actions. I can’t. Dad’s death was not her news to tell, and just because she didn’t say it maliciously does not cancel out the fact that she should not have said it at all.

I’m tired of hearing excuses for her actions. I know that she’s a nice person. I know she didn’t mean anything. The reflexive defense of the thoughtless action allows us all to be absolved, but it ignores the reality of the person who is called on to do the absolving. 

I forgive her for mindlessly creating more hurt where an abundance already existed, as I know countless others have forgiven me. And now that the numbness of loss is finally beginning to recede, I can buoy myself with all the love that surrounds me and let hurt begin to sink.

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