How to Find Forgiveness Without an Apology
Sometimes the ghosts of our forgiven return. When you think you’ve let it all go and forgiven somebody for things they said and/or did, it’s possible for feelings of anger, resentment and frustration to resurface.
The ghosts of our “forgiven” past can appear out of nowhere as a result of an action or comment that re-ignites the experience. When this happens, we feel as if we are living it completely over, especially when a sense of closure was never reached. When you had to find forgiveness on your own without an apology, anger and hurt are more likely to return to haunt you again.
I had this happen recently. Someone from my past showed up to tell me how much they appreciated me for what I brought to their life. When they left, I felt angry and resentful that they could talk about appreciation without acknowledging how much they hurt me. I knew I had come to a place of forgiveness at one time, but I felt in that moment as raw as ever. Why did I need an apology now? Why after ten years, did it’s absence make me mad.
When I cooled down enough to want freedom more than retribution,
I began to ask an important question: what would the apology mean to me? I’d never brought that question into the picture before, but it seemed important now. Why did I feel that I needed the apology? What would his saying “sorry” prove to me now? And then it hit me…Justification.
Generally, the “apology” is what the ego wants/needs to continue feeling affirmed in a situation. The apology, as much as we might feel we need it, is really a way to keep the experience alive. It’s how the ego intends to prove that the other person was Wrong all along, and you were Right…still.
Sometimes when we practice forgiveness, we maintain judgments that linger, even when we have forgiven. Revisiting old wounds doesn’t mean that we haven’t really forgiven a person or circumstances, it just means that we’re human and our egos can flare up and remind us how pissed off we once were.
But if we examine our need for an apology closely,
beyond forgiveness and the idea of “right” and “wrong” is a better place called acceptance. Wanting an apology is, in a sense, wanting the past to be different, and it can’t be. Acceptance doesn’t need anything to be fixed and therefore doesn’t need to have justice. Acceptance takes things as they are. It allows you to say, “I am okay even with the hurt. I can release the other person to have their own experience of awareness, healing and revelation according to their own timeline.”
Sometimes lingering hurt also identifies low self-esteem…as if we deserved to be hurt. Although we think an apology would help, we actually need to heal our disempowering beliefs on our own. With true acceptance, if you assume responsibility to understand yourself, you don’t need the other person to understand you.”
If we stop waiting for an apology and justice, we can find acceptance and forgiveness for thinking that we needed to experience what happened in the first place. We can find personal freedom in acceptance and in letting go. When you accept the past for what it was, without trying to change it, you will feel more empowered to make the choice to expect more for yourself next time. Get committed to your own empowerment! Download your Contract here!
Happy Halloween everyone. I wish everyone a fun and spooky evening…no ghosts allowed!