A huge lie that our culture tells us
When we’ve been wrong we want the person who’s wronged us to apologize. And with that “sorry” we feel better about the situation and often ‘forgive’. But really, the resolution that we think happens only comes because we change our belief around the situation.
It has no effect on us other than changing the way we think about it.
Often, people are hurt by others and believe they need the other person to take accountability for the offense (whatever it may be). People go for YEARS being angry and holding grudges with the thought that they’ll feel better ‘or forgive’ the person once they hear an apology! They carry around the negative emotion for years! How exhausting…
And all because of a belief system.
Try this one belief system on for size. The truth is that they are the same person before and after the apology. The other person has no ability to ‘make’ them feel in any way – the person making them feel angry or resentful or sad (etc) is themselves. Their own thinking about the situation creates the emotion.
The truth is that you don’t need the other person to take responsibility to be ok or whole or complete or repaired or OK. You don’t need to be 'heard'. You don't even need the other person to understand where you’re coming from in order to be happy.
It's a nice thought - but it's not necessary.
"Letting it go" is a phrase that bugs me. It feels too 'magical' and unexplainable. And more often than not, when I hear someone say that they really are saying that they're "stuffing it down." Actually processing through being hurt emotionally (actually getting over something) is changing the way YOU THINK about it – it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the other person and EVERYTHING to do with you.
Isn’t it wonderful that you are in complete control of how you feel?
Isn’t it wonderful that you are stronger and have more power than you think you do?
Thinking causes feeling causes behaviors.
Have a great weekend.
Jed Thorpe, CMHC