Val-Kilmer-BatmanNearly four years ago I was fired. Officially I resigned, but in truth I was fired.

In the following months, I didn’t have the traditional hands-on help. I had no online community of support, for that seemed rather pointless since my friends were all business acquaintances who either knew or who hear of my demise. I did however, have two close friends who guided me through the ensuing hell and provided a way to start anew. I am truly forever grateful for their kindness.

Over the course of the following years, my then boss went on to bigger and better things. As for me, I took baby steps, struggled with my new identity, a fear others would learn on my old identity, and sporadic high and lows of relearning to trust myself. It’s been hard, but I survived the walk and came out on the other end of the fire.

Currently working for the government in Vermont is no great thing, especially during the upcoming winter months.  Like a squirrel burrowed for winter, I have an ample supply of chips, homemade bread, Diet Pepsi and a television remote that can change channels at 2.5 per second. Since I haven’t figured out how to watch two screens at once, speed is important when watching two programs simultaneously.

Imagine my surprise when receiving an email from my former boss, seeking advice because he is no longer employed. In truth, a part of me didn’t want to forgive while another part wanted to gloat in the moment and laugh.

However, it’s important to note that nearly four years ago, I wronged him. And I know he suffered because it. No, he didn’t directly tell me about it, but I am positive I destroyed him. And secretly, as my life nears its end, I have been looking for reconciliation.

Thus, I was at the proverbial crossroad: the moment of choice. The moment came watching the New England Patriots game. There was no heavenly light, not Christmas angel. It was an innocuous quote from one of the Batman Forever (Val Kilmer) movies:

… I’m both Bruce Wayne and Batman, not because I have to be, now, because I choose to be.”

I am a Buddhist. And as a Buddhist, I get to decide who I choose to be. I could choose to be in love. Or I could choose to be in hate. And at that moment, I knew that all I wanted to do was simply love this man – a man who had given me my professional life and who had taught me so much about who I wanted to be.  And before I die, if possible, I wanted to close this pain and forge whatever time together as friends.

Whatever religion you are, as Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Islamist, etc., we can choose to be humane and live in love.

Choose who you wish to be.

~ In Love, The Unknown Buddhist ~