I have written about forgiveness many times before. What I haven’t spoken of before now is when you never get the apology that you deserve. What I have come to find out is that once you have done the inner work to forgive that person, you really don’t need their apology. However, with that realization came an understanding that someone doesn’t apologize to you, by default you get a different perspective about that person. This then poses something else that you must work through in order lead a happy and well balanced life. Allow me to explain.
It is true that what people say and do to you is more of a reflection of who they are, than it is a reflection of you. So then it become also true that when someone does not apologize for their faulty behavior hoping that you don’t notice, this is then a reflection of their character. Especially if you yourself have apologized for your fair share in the demise. A person not apologizing for their wrong doing can be because of a few different factors, they may lack courage to express the sentiment. Alternatively, one must consider that a person who doesn’t apologize for their faulty actions may actually believe that their actions weren’t faulty in the first place. In which case, it isn’t their lack of courage that prohibits personal responsibility, it’s their lack of self-awareness. In both instances, we have absolutely no control. So to hold ourselves in this place of waiting for an apology makes absolutely no sense and prohibits us from living our best life.
It really hasn’t been until very recently that I have been able to actually understand the saying forgiveness means accepting the apology that you never get. But I have been forced into the position of examining my feelings around it, as I am at the tail end of the forgiveness process that I wrote about last year. It has taken me all of this time to fully forgive those that hurt me, and while I do forgive them, there is this residual crappy feeling that pops up from time to time. I realized that I am over here awaiting apologies from these people who displayed atrocious behavior that directly impacted my life. I wait for it not to complete the forgiveness cycle, but to see whether or not they will ever be trust worthy. For if I apologize for my hand in things, and then learn from it by changing my behavior, and the other person just sits on their ass and doesn’t reciprocate, or worse, comes up with a ton of reasons why they feel justified in not apologizing for their behavior, then they just showed me who they really are. Therefore, it generally behooves me to believe them when they show their true nature. I can be friendly to them, but we will never be friends. They may be around my life, but they will never be in my life. Because make no mistake about it, forgiveness does not equal the gaining or the regaining of trust. I can be civil and not trust you as far as I can throw you. Forgiveness and trust do not go hand in hand, and in fact they shouldn’t. It is more than ok to forgive someone but not trust them again with anything. It is also acceptable to forgive someone but not associate with them anymore. Forgiveness doesn’t mean they get to be your best buddy and the keeper of your deepest secrets. Forgiveness just means that you are releasing yourself from the matter and only taking the lessons with you while you leave the pain and the resentment behind.
I have come to understand that the crappy feeling is my wishing that they would apologize to me. But when I got honest with myself, I had to ask myself what would actually happen if they did apologize? For a few there would really be no change. I would never trust them anyway. I have learned that liars and drama queens just cost too much. Since this conclusion has come to me, I am no longer hurt by the apology that I haven’t gotten. Instead I just take good mental notes that these are not the kind of people to trust my passwords, or my emotions to.
Someone not apologizing to you ultimately is that person’s problem. Maybe they don’t know how, maybe they can’t see their wrong doing, or maybe they’re just skerrd. None of the above is something that you can change aside from being a good example. The final component to forgiveness is being able to carry on without ever having the other person say that they are sorry for what they have done to you. Once we stop worrying about these people in ability to express remorse, for whatever reason, other people whom we can trust and love with all of our heart come forth out of the shadows that we were trying to bring light to. You don’t need a person’s apology to move forward in life, there are too many variables involved to wait around for it before you proceed into the life of your dreams. Maybe one day they will make it all up to you. Maybe one day they will apologize after they have enough life experiences under their belt. My question is, why wait for that? Release yourself and remember to apologize when you need to. Let those that can’t accept personal responsibility help to remind you of what that looks like so you don’t do it to others. In the end, we all end up in the same place. It’s how we live on either side of the dash that counts. Someone not apologizing for their actions, and us responding by holding our own life hostage is the greater atrocity.
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