It’s my birth month now. Each year, as my birthday approaches, I take stock. It’s sort of my New Year’s type of reflection, or a year in review. Without champagne, or attempting to stay up until midnight at the end. 🙂 I like to think about what I’ve done well, what I’d like to do better, lessons I want to keep fresh in my mind. With 28 days until my own #thisis40 moment, I may be sharing 28 days of strange reflections and lessons with all of you here.
For today, it’s those darn apologies.
I read a quote many moons ago that said “Life is easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.” Robert Brault said that one, and it stuck with me.
We are all supposed to forgive, right? But how do you get there when you find yourself waiting for that apology?
I have what I’ve called a “negative ego.” I am quick to apologize, because I usually think I’ve messed up. I’m a far cry from where I used to be on this subject, but I still have a ways to go to improve. I don’t jump on top of a hasty apology these days, but now I notice the moments I am waiting/hoping/expecting someone else to apologize to me. It’s a new step.
I’ve also learned that apologies are a lot like love – if it’s not just given to you, it’s not the real thing.
People in the world will wrong us (and we will wrong them). We have to let go and move on anyway. So, how the hell do you do that? Look, you can know that you are absolutely in the right of a situation, but that doesn’t mean anyone else will be on that page with you. And what does it matter? If YOU know that you’re doing your own best, according to what you know is right, then it’s not up to anyone else to affirm that.
If you don’t wait for others to give you affirmation, you don’t need their apologies either.
If you don’t establish boundaries, and then grow bitter and resentful when people take advantage or walk all over you, where should you really be directing your anger? It’s not anyone else you need to be concerned with here – it’s just your own boundaries. Of course, once you establish and begin enforcing those boundaries, you’ll learn a great deal about who is actually in your life in a loving and kind way! It can be a shock, sometimes.
If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, you don’t need their apologies – you need to walk away.
And the past? No one reaches full-fledged, #thisis40 adulthood without a past that can try to schlep along like an albatross around the neck. (Sorry, Coleridge, I’m pretty sure that was NOT how you intended that to be used.) Easy doesn’t make strong. Easy doesn’t make depth. Life is work and joy and struggle and love and pain all roiled together in a mess. Siblings fight, families fall out, people hurt each other. Holding your breath for those apologies is the same as relegating yourself to a life in that past.
Just step into the now.
I accept those apologies I’ve never received, because I’ve come to terms with myself.
That might not be universally helpful, but it’s something I’ve been learning, and will continue to learn.
Happy #Monday, and blessings to you all…