The hardest wrongs to right are those whereby questions remain, long after the opportunity to ask them has passed. Forever.
It’s virtually impossible to get over a (perceived) wrong-doing if you never get the opportunity to really, fully understand the other person’s point of view. It can be done, of course, but it takes a really, really long time and lots of soul searching before you feel true forgiveness, and this can only ever be achieved once you can completely comprehend and accept another person’s point of view.
I know I’m not alone in my experience of sleepless nights; rehashing conversations and scenarios in my head, torturing myself with unanswered questions and longing for a different outcome.
This could have arisen from a person excommunicating you by disappearing from your world, or even by disappearing from the world entirely, by doing something really annoying like dying.
The point is – whilst you have the opportunity to put a disagreement to bed, grab it with both hands. If you don’t, you may never get the chance. Then, not only will you find it arduously difficult to forgive that person (and yourself), but you’ll have missed out on gaining a whole new level of understanding and acceptance for another human soul.
Most disagreements and subsequent grudges arise from two things:
- The need to be right
- A mistaken assumption that you understand the other person’s intentions
It’s not easy to relinquish the need for the first in order to gain access to the second, but if you do, you’ll frequently be amazed by how wrong you were about your opponent’s perspective.
Each and every one of us lives inside our own heads. We all believe ourselves to be acting with the best intentions, and we all believe we are right (most of the time).
Once you’ve discovered how many of your own beliefs you’ve been projecting onto the other person, and once you understand all of the million tiny things that have lead the other person to this moment in time, when they said that or they did this. Well, it becomes a hell of a lot easier to talk and you don’t care so much about being right any more.
To help you on your journey to forgiveness and a wonderful future sans regrets, may I respectfully recommend a fantastic book I discovered a couple of years ago, called Difficult Conversations. It’s not a fluffy, Californian self-help book, I assure you, but a practical guide to communicating well with just about anybody, in the hardest situations.
Just promise me – never go to bed on an argument again. You never know if you’ll get the chance to make things right.