There Isn’t Always Forgiveness

There are two things we all have in common; we’ve been hurt and we’ve hurt other people. It’s a vicious cycle hurt people, hurt others.

One thing I am finding that isn’t so common are people brave enough to seek forgiveness and people willing to forgive. In all my years of dealing with people, I find it rare for people to apologize and even more rare for people to accept.

These days everyone has too much pride and too many walls. People rather diss each other and walk away from situations and decade long friendships, instead of being the bigger person and trying to squash the issue.

That’s probably because when people try to reach out to others, people just shut off, shut down and cut people off, regardless of what they’ve been through together. Shoot even families cut each other off and scandalize each other these days.

Everyone seems to have a short fuse and no tolerance. Gone are the days of turning the other cheek and compromise. Now people hold grudges and will replace their mothers, best friends and significant others with anyone willing to fill the space, that hasn’t injured their feelings. 

I don’t advocate putting up with blatant disrespect or keeping people in your life you know don’t have your best interest at heart. I’m just saying it seems like everyone is too quick to sever ties with the people in their lives. I’m sure you can think of a few disagreements that could have been fixed if they weren’t handled with hard hearts and indifference.

I can’t even lie; I used to be the exact same way. When people hurt me, I found it hard to forgive, especially because for a long time, I felt that most people came into my life for all the wrong reasons.

After a few close friends, family and yes boyfriends, hurt me, I pretty much drew the line on everybody. I stopped giving second chances and because of that sabotaged potential good friendships and relationships over some hurt feelings. 

That went on for years and I found myself pretty much isolated after a while. My attitude didn’t change until I was the one in the hot seat, after unintentionally hurting someone I really cared about. I try my best not to hurt people but honestly, it’s unavoidable. It took me a long time to realize that you won’t make it through life without stepping on a few people’s toes.

It took me even longer to say the words I’m sorry, especially because it wasn’t something that was practiced in my household. Me and my family would get into epic throw downs, not talk for a few days, then pick up right were we left off. Everything pretty much gets swept under the table, so imagine my dismay when other people weren’t willing to do it that way.

Learning to say I’m sorry from a sincere place was torture at first, but over time I’ve learned how much healing can come out of owning up to your screw ups, not just for the other person but for yourself too.

Walking around with all that pride and self-righteousness can be a real burden, not to mention make you a really unattractive person. No one wants to be close to someone that feels like they never do anything wrong. Apologizing may not always feel good, but it does lighten the burden of being perfect and knock down the list of people who have something to hold against you.

Here’s the part that gets tricky and has caused a few blows to my ego. Just because you admit to your failures and ask for forgiveness doesn’t mean that you will find it. Yeah you’ve taken the higher road and that should be appreciated, but that isn’t always the case.

I’ve found this especially true in times where I’ve shut down and walked away from people because I was unstable emotionally and mentally. I had a bad a habit of disappearing on people when I was in a dark place and that wasn’t something that a lot of people understood or accepted, especially when they felt like I should of been able to lean on them.

Regardless of the reason you have to make an apology, it’s hard to accept after working up the nerve to do so; the other person may reject you. It doesn’t feel good, but I still encourage doing it anyways.

I find not only do you become more accountable for your actions; you become much more self-aware, which makes you start to pay attention to what you are doing and how you deal with others, before bridges are burned.

Although I encourage everyone to kick their pride and hard hearts and put themselves in someone else’s shoes, knowing at some point they may too hurt someone and need forgiveness, therefore they should treat others the way they want to be treated and be more compassionate and willing to accept apologies; that’s just not the world we live in.

Even though it is going to cut something fierce and your ego is going to take a blow, being able to ask for forgiveness and accept when someone rejects your apology, is a testament to your character.  

Their inability to forgive is something they are going to have to work through in their own time, you can only do the right thing. They may want nothing to do with you, but they can never tell anybody that you weren’t the bigger person and that you didn’t own up to your mistakes.

You can’t change how others react to you, but you can change how you react to others. If you’ve ever been slighted by someone’s inability to forgive, when the roles are reversed, don’t feign ignorance. Instead extend to someone else the generosity that you were denied… offer forgiveness.