Navigating life is hard when you have unfinished business with the people you interact with the most. It’s kind of weird when you think about it. Two lives intertwining in various ways, yet the implications can fuse toxic behaviors and interactions that have a long-lasting impact. Although, depending on the relationship and it’s importance in our lives, we ignore the toxic behaviors. As well as those moments that scare us simply because what we know that person to be, and the idea of what they should be, leave us feeling like we “need” them. Simply because they are “supposed” to be here.
The ideals we embrace as it pertains to relationships can be the very reason why we accept the horrible events yet never get over them. Once gaining enough courage and/or strength to walk away, we do so by “cutting” ties, yet not dealing with the mess that has fermented in our spirit. We say we are over it and forgive the person for the experiences had. Yet, most of the time that can only gain healing from the person recognizing their toxic behaviors and apologizing for their way of being.
But what happens when you never receive the apology you need?
What happens when that person refuses to take responsibility for their toxicity, actions, and even inactions? Where do we begin to heal? Where do we start? A lot of the time we go on believing that we should simply ignore them and the traumatic experiences forever. Although not realizing that it is one more bag added to our cart of things we need to sort through. Yet, we continue on and obliviously drag each bag in and out of every relationship, encounter, and even conversation with those we cross paths with.
We don’t realize in those moments of their refusal to apologize and our wanting of an apology, that just like the relationship we shared, they were too toxic to understand and or even be held accountable for their actions. They embodied incapability. Being incapable to communicate effectively, to take responsibility for their actions, or even to understand their own toxicity. Now they are simply incapable of acknowledging the hurt they caused. This is OKAY.
That is a journey they must take and figure out along the way. While we must understand 1) forgiveness isn’t for the other person, and 2) split paths can walk attached. We must forgive them for their actions understanding that they may not ever understand. Forgiveness isn’t the absence of memory or pain, it’s the acceptance of truth and the acknowledgment of experience. That is, healing occurs when we choose to live a life unhindered and of value to ourselves. Choosing oneself is always the best medicine and the greatest apology.
Author: Aja Symone
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