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Second Chances


Ever make a mistake? If you’re human, the answer is yes. It’s easy to forgive some mistakes: forgetting to take the trash to the curb on garbage day or unload the dishwasher when you’ve been asked three times. Those mistakes are annoying to others but usually you can fix it/do it and life goes on. But some mistakes aren’t easy to fix – if they even can be fixed – and they hang over our heads, sometimes forever. We may want to fix them. We may wish we could erase them but they’re there, they happened and all we can do is move on. If the mistake was our fault, we may need to beg forgiveness from those we harmed. Even if the mistake was not our fault, we may need to acknowledge our own part in the mistake and how we could have handled things better. Either way, we feel the consequences of that mistake and they may be severe.

My daughter is a recovering addict. Coming up on three years sober, she’s really turned her life around. She’s had to fight like hell to get where she’s at. Paying off collections agencies, dealing with legal charges, balancing work responsibilities with treatment requirements. I’ve watched her do it all. More importantly, I’ve watched her restore her relationships with our family. We had stopped trusting her while she used us and betrayed us. We had reached the point of not wanting her in our lives when she stole my car. We could have kicked her out of our lives and been fully justified but we didn’t, we gave her a second chance.

I’ve shared my struggles with mental illness and now I need a second chance. I’ve decided I want to go back to work. I have a varied job history. I was a stay at home mom for 20 years and due to various reasons, my job history after that has gaps. I studied Human Resources. I know that’s a red flag to an employer but I'm still going to try. Here’s what I’ve discovered: I can’t control the second chance. I may want a second chance. I may need a second chance but that second chance isn’t up to me.

I have a lot to offer an employer. I’m worth a second chance but I’m not going to sit around waiting for that second chance doing nothing. There are two things I can do 1) continue to work on myself, developing my skills, writing, and volunteering 2) relax, knowing that after I’ve done all I can do, it’s out of my hands. I’ll get that second chance but it may take some time.

It was so worth giving my daughter a second chance. We restored our relationship and got to watch this amazing young woman turn her life around. We got to build a relationship that was healthy and mutually satisfying instead of frustrating and one-way. We benefited from giving that second chance. Her employers gave her a second chance, hiring her back on after she had been living on the streets. They now have a solid employee who performs above standards.

Are you waiting for a second chance? Maybe a spouse was betrayed but you desperately want to make it up to him or her. Maybe a mistake was made at a job and ended with dismissal and now you have to look for a job with a firing on your record. Maybe a car accident or legal issues hang over your head and you’ll be paying the consequences for awhile. Whatever it is, don’t give up. That second chance is out there but it may not be dropped in your lap. Work on yourself so when it comes you are primed and prepared. If you were at fault seek forgiveness and correct the mistake. Be patient with yourself while you wait for it. Don’t give up hope. Second chances are out there.

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