A while back, a journalist witnessed me displaying a small lack of integrity. Now, I see his name everywhere and can't get over my shame and anger about what happened. How can I move past this?
It was several years ago. A journalist was shadowing a project I was running and witnessed a momentary lapse in my judgment/integrity. It was a relatively small event, and could have been interpreted by an observer as either completely fine or a bit shady, but ultimately, he saw what happened and judged it in the worst possible way. He almost wrote an article about it, but my manager stepped in and nothing was published. I was hurt and embarrassed. I naively thought that the reporter would only say the most positive things, because our project was so exciting and had such positive impact. I was embarrassed that my manager even found out about it and heard this outsider describe my actions in such a way. I was furious that he could have written something that would have had a negative impact on my career, all because he was looking for an interesting story instead of celebrating the awesome work he was witnessing.
This isn't even something I would be thinking about now...except that since then, this journalist has had a very successful career. I see articles he's written every few years pop up in newspapers and my facebook feed, and every time I see his name, I feel that double twinge of anger and shame. In the past year, he's been doing incredibly well. He's been published in bigger papers, and the book he wrote is coming out. I feel like I can't read something interesting without seeing his name, and feeling awful about what happened.
I want to get over this...I know these feelings are not really worth it. The book this guy wrote could very well be great, and I don't want my engagement with it to be limited by this negative association.
I know that all of us have done things we're embarrassed of, and it can be hard to get past them. This question
has been helpful, and a good start, but I'm still struggling with this feeling of lack of integrity, and the way I keep having this guy's name pop up randomly while I read (otherwise very interesting) articles online. The logic of the situation (it was so long ago, I was young, it wasn't a big deal, probably no one remembers) isn't helping, maybe because this is so deeply rooted in my own values and emotions. I'm thinking doing
something could make this better - stuff like writing him a letter and then throwing it out, or something like that...What else is there, some ritual or mantra that I could do or say, or any other ideas you have, that could help me get past this?