Sometimes I have an idea rattling around in my head that I want to share but I can’t find the right words – then I hear a song that brings it all into focus perfectly. “The Heart of The Matter” by Don Henley is a CLASSIC post-breakup song (although this post really isn’t about breakups per se) but the line “I’ve been tryin’ to get down, to the heart of the matter. But my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter. But I think it’s about forgiveness. Forgiveness” just gets me every time.
There are some people in my life that I don’t talk to anymore because we’ve just drifted apart (see: We Don’t Talk Anymore) then there are people who I have consciously chosen to walk away from. Sometimes it’s because I recognize they are not contributing to my life in a positive way. Have you ever dreaded seeing a friend but not known why? Maybe they’re self-absorbed, maybe they make you feel bad about yourself by reliving past failures – whatever the reason if you don’t look forward to spending time with someone you’re choosing to spend time with – tune in to those feelings. In some cases a “real talk” conversation of “it feels shitty when you bring up XYZ – cut it out” can totally set the record straight and salvage your relationship. However, other times there is no real talk cure for this feeling of dread.
Sometimes people have consistent shitty behavior and your best course of action is to walk away and stop allowing them to negatively affect you. I saw this on a friend’s Facebook the other day and it made me stop in my scrolling for a full internet minute (which similar to a treadmill or a microwave minute is a lifetime ;)).
I can forgive someone who has wronged me (and for the record forgiveness doesn’t always mean letting them back in your life – sometimes people need to stay gone as Jimmy Wayne says). I can accept an apology and move on with my life. Forgive but not forget is how the saying goes, right? Well, ironically I have the worst memory when it comes to people who have wronged me. I will forget something awful someone did to me (thankfully for me I have a series of elephants with LONG memories in my life that don’t let me get hurt twice by the same person!).
However, what about the times when you don’t receive an apology? How do you move past the hurt and forgive then? Where’s the good in forgiving someone who isn’t sorry? I was trying to find a good quote to explain my thoughts on this but I came up short. I guess the way I see it is at the end of the day you have two choices:
- You can choose to hold on to the anger and resentment you have over the situation where you never received an apology.
- You can decide you’re better off letting it go and moving on with your life.
Sounds simplistic, but I really think it’s true. Life gets better once you say “fuck it, your bad behavior and lack of sympathy are not going to affect my world anymore. Peace out!“.
Now in the spirit of honesty, I have absolutely hurt friends and family in the past. I have been that self-absorbed person, I’ve been so concerned impressing someone new that I’ve neglected people who would do anything for me. I totally get the momentary lapses in judgement – and I try to be more cognizant of it in my relationships now. I try to be the person who remembers things that are important and let’s the people in my life know that I value them. I have been forgiven for things I’ve done without issuing a much deserved apology – and I believe in paying that karma forward.
From the same song:
There are people in your life
Who’ve come and gone
They let you down
You know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby
‘Cause life goes on
You keep carryin’ that anger
It’ll eat you up inside baby
Let go of that anger, accept an apology you never received (or did receive but maybe left you feeling unfulfilled!). Accept it and move on with your life. Not for them but because you deserve peace. ❤