Forgiving is a state of mind, apology is a conversation. Which do you think is more powerful? According to the people who have answered me on this, apologies seem to make you look weak or take your ‘power’ away. I disagree. I think it makes one look very strong. Very trustworthy. I would much rather apologize than wait for someone to come to me so I can forgive them. Humility is the key.
Well, there’s someone in your circle of friends who has wronged you. Now you’ve gotten past that and need to forgive them. Don’t you just love the feeling of power? Most people do, but have you ever considered that you are setting thresholds for yourself in your choices of whom to forgive and not to forgive? Is the forgiveness you need to give due to you drawing lines for others? Think about it. I haven’t needed to forgive anyone for years. People are people. If they offend you, change the scenery.
Haven’t you ever wondered why people seem to insult you often, even though you are sure they don’t mean to?
When I was much younger, I was the center of everything. No, really. The whole universe revolved around me. You don’t remember ? Back in the early ’70s. Think about it, I’ll wait…..
Here’s what I’m saying.
I must ask myself, yep, ask myself, “Why did I need to put people in a place where they owe me an apology?” “I’m really tired of carrying all of these ‘forgives’ around constantly just so that if I run into someone I think I should give one to, I can let them know I have theirs with me. Then I’ll look really cool and they will have new respect for me.”
No, it didn’t work for me and it will fail for you as well.
You have to ask why you need to forgive so often. If you didn’t feel wronged, you wouldn’t have those feelings, right? Think about it. If you didn’t feel insulted, you wouldn’t feel the need to forgive. What makes you think you need to forgive? What makes you think you were insulted? Pride? Ego? My guess is a resounding ‘Yes.’
I read something a year ago or so. It was on someone’s Facebook page, of all places to find a bit of wisdom. I included it in my “Think first, speak second” entry, but I will repeat it here. “‘Self-importance’ is man’s greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow-man. ‘Self-importance’ requires that one spend most of one’s life offended by something or someone.” This is the root of the needless feeling of having to forgive. I think many times that feeling a need to forgive is falsely justified by a feeling of self-importance.
Constantly telling others you forgive them, whether it is the same person, again and again, will certainly cause them to distance themselves from you. Why? Because it means you wear your feelings on your sleeve, out there where they can be slammed at anytime just because they are in plain sight. Grow some skin, learn to forgive before you are insulted.
How do you forgive before you are insulted? By living happily. You are important, but after stripping all of your awards and titles away, you’re just a person like everyone else.
So what’s the hassle?
Knock down your walls, drop that shiny badge on your chest, get rid of the chip on your shoulder. We all have them, but many of us just can’t see past the forest. Some carry the forest on their shoulder without thinking they do.
Well, this isn’t about selfishness. It is in a way, but it’s more about asking yourself some important questions.
I know that when I started considering the welfare of others to be important, I seemed to become insulted less often. When I began to put my own selfish desires aside, I began to realize that whomever I thought I should forgive should actually be apologized to. I’ve spent the last 12 years looking for people I have known in my life and apologizing to them. People I have offended. People whom I thought didn’t see things my way and needed to be dismissed because of that. Girlfriends I dismissed because I was too good for them. Bosses I thought owed me more than a wage. The list goes on and on. My mission has been somewhat successful. The internet has allowed me to fulfill my need to stop thinking everyone needs to apologize to me. I have apologized to everyone I feel I may have wronged, or that I may have had issues with.
When you think someone needs to come to you to be forgiven, think about what walls you have built around your ego that they have knocked down or gotten through. Destroy those walls. Create a path to your heart and you will certainly find that you may need to apologize rather than have the luxury of waiting for those people to come to you.
I choose to apologize to get rid of the burden. There is so much more happiness in apologizing, and much, much less waiting.
You may find that humility will give you more power than you ever realized. It worked for me.
Thanks for looking,