I’m not always the best version of myself when I’m feeling anxious or troubled at work. More times than not, I walk around thinking that people are out to get me when, in fact, the opposite is true. People root for me and celebrate my successes.
So, I was both surprised and not surprised to hear from a former colleague of mine who sent an incredibly gracious and thoughtful note.
Received an email today from the famous Laurie R. Took a few moments to read about all you have achieved. You are making quite an impact in the world. Love your passion and brilliance. Wanted to say hello and let you know that I am very impressed and happy for you. Best of success and happiness as you continue to light fires!
You see, the relationship with my colleague didn’t end on the best note. It’s not like we were mortal enemies, but we certainly weren’t friends. And our falling out was stupid. The stakes, which seemed so high at the time, were incredibly small.
That’s why the email was such an act of grace. Out of nowhere, when I least expected it, I’m the benefactor of genuine goodwill and implied forgiveness.
My first thought was, “I don’t deserve it.”
My second thought was, “I don’t know what to do with it. ”
Finally, I remembered that I’m an adult with manners and said thank you. I sent a brief note because sometimes I’m at a loss for words. It was the best I could do at that moment, but it was earnest.
The nice thing about grace is that it doesn’t require you to do a song and dance. It’s given — whether you want it or not — and you get to choose how to respond.
So, what I’ve done over the past week is think about all the people in my life who could use a note like the one I’ve received. And I’ve sent a few. No drama. No speeches. Just a warm and heartfelt hope that life continues to go well for them.
Couldn’t we all use more of that in our lives, right now?