Forgiving SomeOne Who Is Not Sorry Is One Of The Hardest Things To Do.
I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who was not sorry.
I often see this quote and when I read it, it resonates strongly.
I have been in quite a few different situations where someone has harmed me and never showed remorse or offered an apology.
I then had to try to work my way through forgiveness alone as holding onto the pain and resentment was hurting me far more than it was hurting him.
To entirely forgive someone who is not sorry and refuses to repent for what he has done can feel like an almost impossible task.
During childhood many of us were taught that when we misbehave and our words or actions hurt or offend someone we should let him know that we are sorry and in return the person we had wronged would usually reply saying It’s ok I forgive you.
However what we weren’t often taught is that it didn’t really matter whether we actually felt sorry or not.
As long as the words were said no one would really notice if it was shallow mutterings with no meaning to it.
In fact, I have heard many children and adults voice the word sorry with anger, attitude and a clear indication that they were not sorry at all.
This may follow with sulking until the entire situation gets swept under a thick, heavy carpet then one day something occurs to trigger it’s reappearance.
It is far easier to forget about an altercation when you aren’t sorry and you aren’t the one suffering.
There are also those apologies that start out with Bu.
The word But negates any offering that comes after it.
As we reach Adulthood we start to realise that there is far more substance to our interactions and dynamics with people than what we were able to understand as children.
Many of us became less naïve particularly as we start to pay greater attention to actions, body language, energy and the various subliminal messages that are hidden within everything people say or do.
When we grow up we comprehend that sorry doesn’t always mean that the person is sorry.
Sometimes people do harm and neither say sorry nor mean it as there isn’t a parent or someone standing behind sharply nudging them to make sure they apologise so that everything can be ok again.
Often the word sorry never appears as not everyone wants to think about their actions and take accountability for what they have done.
In such cases what do we do when someone refuses to apologise as he truly doesn’t feel sorry or he won’t admit he does?
We still feel hurt, offended, angered and disappointed by his behaviour.
When we can’t achieve external peace, we then need to do whatever we can to find inner peace.
Inner peace can be reached through empathy and compassion so that we can forgive the other person as well as ourselves.
Despite how badly we want to hear the word sorry from someone else, the only person we actually have to rationalise and reason with to regain harmony is ourselves.
When we feel hurt by another person and experience suffering it is because we have placed an expectation on him to behave in a way that meets our standards.
It doesn’t matter whether this is a stranger, a family member, a friend or a lover as it all equates to the same.
People hurt, anger and disappoint us because we expect more.
We expect to be treated respectfully and when this doesn’t happen we hope that we will receive an apology to explain why.
This will then settle our emotions and assure us that he was wrong and we were right and that it won’t happen again.
The balance is restored as he has come to his senses and attempted to appease the situation.
Of course this is not always what happens and every situation won’t be dissipated just because of a five letter word.
However that one word can go a long way to rebuilding whatever bridges have been damaged between two or more people.
Neither does that one word mean that the behaviour expressed was excusable and we have to instantly forget the injustice and act as though it never happened.
However when someone opens up to us by being honest, vulnerable, courageous and he accepts that something he did has caused a negative effect then healing and rebuilding can occur far more quickly for all those concerned.
If there is no apology then we can work on healing ourselves, process what has taken place and how we can understand what has caused it.
We have to give ourselves the opportunity to remove any internal tension and hopefully move past it.
We sometimes hear people saying that a certain person doesn’t deserve our forgiveness.
However our forgiveness is more about finding peace within ourselves first and is not beneficial only for the other person.
Until we reach a place of forgiveness within ourselves, our forgiveness won’t be truly given so it is imperative that we take time for deep introspection.
Just because we forgive it doesn’t mean we automatically have to drop all boundaries and allow people to harm us over and over again.
We can forgive someone entirely and still choose not to have a close connection with.
We don’t even need to contact the other person to let him know we have forgiven him.
Reaching a stage of forgiveness is something we go through internally so it is up to us to choose if and how we externalise it.
We can forgive and heal from the trauma and still decide to maintain healthy boundaries if we feel that he is a risk to our emotional, mental and physical health.
Sometimes an apology is empty or is loaded and sincere.
There will also be times when the most significant apology is not the one that is voiced but the one expressed through a visible change in behaviour.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to forgive someone whether he is sorry or not is by remembering this quote,
Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently.
We all make mistakes and when we do the length we are willing to go to make amends is really what counts towards whether our apology is heartfelt or not.
An apology is less about whether someone says the words and more about whether he is truly sorry and how he works on making things better.
Deciding to forgive someone won’t happen the moment we say we are ready because like most things it is not about perfection but progression.
Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
If someone intentionally caused us pain then we are giving him what he wants by holding onto our suffering.
When we don’t work on forgiveness we become emotionally anchored to the pain.
Forgiveness frees us and prevents the betrayal from lingering on affecting not only our past but also our present and future.