When two characters are at odds in a movie or a television, it follows their self-discovery and, at some point, they express their heartfelt feelings and apologize to one another. The music swells, they hug and all is well again. This rarely ever happens in life. Some people are not equipped to express their feelings while others are not equipped to apologize.
It takes a great amount of humility, self-awareness and self-esteem to admit your faults and to apologize to someone who you have wronged. While it makes sense that people should apologize, it goes against our culture as a society. We live in a culture where people prove their faults and apologize for almost nothing. If you actually get an apology, you should consider yourself very lucky.
If you believe someone wronged you and you are waiting for an apology, you could be waiting a very long time. It’s not because you don’t deserve it, but because the person may not even know how to. It’s easier to blame someone else or prove your actions than it is to humble yourself and offer an apology. The problem is not just that they won’t apologize. The problem is that you can’t control their actions.
You can stay stuck because you can’t get past the issue that you have with the person. While you continue to wait and your feelings remain unresolved, you are carrying around the anger and attracting the same situation into your life over and over. You will continue to face it until you can let it go. If you put your ability to let the situation go into the hands of the other person, you will never be free until they apologize.
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boese
So, how do you resolve it? If you can ask for an apology, ask for it. Don’t expect the person to willingly offer it. If you don’t get one, you have to find it within yourself to let it go. You have to figure out what you can live with that will allow you to forgive the person. Generally, someone who cannot apologize is someone who doesn’t want to seem weak or give up control which is a sign of low self-esteem. If nothing else, you can be the mature person in the situation and forgive them. You can also be an example. You can apologize for the part you played in the situation, even if it was holding a grudge. To be very clear, forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to continue to expose yourself to the person. Forgiving is like writing off a debt for your taxes. It’s off the books, but it still happened. And, you wouldn’t continue to extend yourself to someone who owes you a debt. It’s your choice if you want to wipe the slate clean, but it is not required of you.
The easiest way to let go of the need for an apology is to realize that as long as you are waiting for it, you are holding your feelings hostage. You are putting yourself in someone else’s control because as long as they withhold the apology, you can’t move on. If you want to be free, you have to let go of the need to be right. What you will find is that once you let go of the need for the apology and change your focus that you will allow happiness to flow into your life.
Are you stuck waiting for someone to apologize? Can you forgive that person today and move on with your life? If you can’t speak to the person, will you write a letter to the person expressing your feelings and let the issue go? Let’s talk about it. Share in comments.