On Humility and Apologies, Part Two

Sunday, April 12, 2015 / 3:09 PM

"And if it means I don't get an apology for something I feel entitled to (let's be honest--are any of us really "entitled" to an apology from someone else? We might believe we deserve an apology, but an apology--at least a genuine one--is not ours to demand from someone else.), then that's OK."

When I wrote that in last week's blog post, I wasn't thinking about the apology I've long thought I "deserved." Maybe "deserved" isn't the right word for it; it's more like: the apology I want. There's a difference between the two.

You can want apologies from a lot of people for various things, ranging from the small indiscretions to the big mistakes. But you can't always get what you want, and at some point, I think we have to learn to be OK with that.

There's this Wreck This Journal page that asks you to tear the page out and lose it--toss it, let it blow away, give it away, whatever--and then walk away and accept the loss. Now imagine doing that with your anger: remove the anger from your heart, abandon it it, and accept that you might not get the apology you want.

So...remove the thing in your life causing you pain, and learn to not hold onto the past. This doesn't mean to flee at the first sign of trouble or hardships, but learn when you're being taken advantage of, taken for granted, intentionally used as a punching bag over and over. Learn that you won't get the apology from the stranger who shoved you on the sidewalk. Learn that you won't get the apology from someone you once loved who broke your heart and never looked back, even though you want it. You may never get that apology from the boy who left you half-passed out at a subway stop at 2 a.m. and, when later asked why he didn't stay, said it was because he was tired and didn't want to be out later than it already was.

I think the one apology I really want in my life is one that I will never, ever get. I've only just realized that this past week. And rather than hang around and wait for it to maybe one day happen, and rather than letting myself get sucked back into a world where I lived with blinders on, I'm choosing to accept the loss and move forward. There are too many cups of coffee to drink, pies to (attempt to) bake, and sunrises to see to be stuck in the past.

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