Letting go of the anger

I have spent way too much time angry in the past year.  Angry with ex-employers, angry with ex-family and friends.  I’m not saying that it wasn’t justified.  In my mind I had every right to be angry with all of them.  I had wrong done to me.   Whether they would ever admit it or not, and whether I deserved some of what I got or not, I was treated shabbily by a lot of people.

My ex-employers breeched my contract, breeched their legal obligations to me as a terminated employee, breeched their own code of conduct which stated that they were to treat people with Honesty, Respect and Professionalism, lied to members about my departure and used deceptive and misleading conduct in hiding their decision from me for at least two months.    There were meetings with people I used to work with where they were told that I had lied about having a three year contract and that in fact my contract had expired.  

People within the industry with whom I had job interviews told me they were told that I couldn’t handle my staff – my answer to them was to ask my staff if they enjoyed working for me, and to look at the awards that the organisation had won over my period of time there and then to ask themselves the question about whether I could handle staff or not.  I have a reasonable idea who was saying these things and I have no respect for that person any more.

For much of the year I felt like I was treated like a dead man by people once close to me.  I was seen and ignored in public places.  People turned away from me rather than acknowledge my existence.  Everything seemed to be a constant battle and none of it was resolved or capable of being resolved.

I was very lucky to be given an opportunity to work in an area I had little experience in and struggled to find my feet for the first few months.   It was only as I got to know my new workmates and started to gain some of the background knowledge that I was missing, that I finally felt like I was making a worthwhile contribution.

And always the anger was boiling away under the surface.   Friends set me adrift, the vindication of my self esteem by excelling in my profession was left behind with the sacking and the self doubts were allowed to creep in.   The good things that were happening were sometimes masked because the anger hid them.

And many people who knew me in my old role were complaining about the direction my old work had taken since I left.  I wrote that off as people telling me what they thought I wanted to hear for a while, but not one single person has said one good thing about it to me since I left.  But hearing those things just fed the anger.  I thought I’d done a good job, and you wonder why, if that was the case, that people not only decide to get rid of you, but do it totally behind your back.  I was warned in January last year that moves were afoot to terminate me but two things made me take the warning with a grain of salt – firstly I had two years to go on my contract, secondly I had the word of a supposed friend that he wouldn’t go behind my back.  I have since told him that if ever anyone asks me if he was a man of his word I would tell them no.   Pity is that it was the second time he had broken his word to me, I should have learnt from the first time.

But I have come to the conclusion that I have to let the anger go because it is wasted.  I can change neither what was said and done, nor can I be responsible for the actions of others.   To take those actions personally is foolish.  If those people had a problem with me then it is their problem and only they can make it right.

So in letting go of the anger let me grab hold of this prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr –

Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

To New Beginnings!


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