Shaken and Stirred…

Holidailies 2012“When people show you who they are, believe them.”  I think I need that tattooed on my brain.

I’d say that in general I have pretty good instincts about people, but I have also been known to give some of them the benefit of the doubt far longer than I should and far longer than they deserve.

So, today, when someone who I spent several years making excuses for did something that I knew long ago he was capable of, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.  But, even though as soon as he spoke to me, my gut knew what was coming next, I was still surprised when it happened.  Even after I called him on it and he completely and transparently lied to my face, I was surprised.  I was hurt.  I was angry. And I let it happen.  I didn’t do anything to protect myself.  And that made me even angrier and I turned it in on myself.  This person is no longer a significant presence in my life, he’s barely a blip on the radar anymore and yet I let him shake me up and upset the calm I’ve been cultivating.

In the aftermath, I shared the details with several people who it affected directly (actually, more directly than it affects me in the long run).  They too were outraged and not a bit surprised.   They reaffirmed my feelings and helped me diffuse them, but the episode left me shaking with rage and it took a good couple of hours to calm down and stop reeling from what had happened.  I think the lesson is finally learned.  I only hope I don’t ever have to face it in this particular way again.

Please excuse the vagaries of detail in this post.  It’s done to protect the innocent (as well as the guilty). I’ll just leave the guilty party with some advice:  When your job requires you to be Ethical, you sometimes have to act above simple self-preservation and do the right thing, even if it’s hard to do.  Maybe start with a dictionary and look up the definition of the word ethical, and then read a book or two about how to practice being ethical.  There are hundreds of them in the library down the hall from your office.