Sunday, July 25, 2010

Daily Reminder # 57

Sometimes the fog just doesn't want to lift. I ran into a Soul lesson I'm still struggling to learn a couple of days ago. I get daily mailings from Neale Donald Walsh - the guy who wrote Conversations with God, a collection of books that I highly recommend.

Yesterday's included the old "love means never having to say you're sorry" quote from Love Story and then went on to say this:

Erich Segal said that and he was right.

God loves you, and that is why you never have to say

you're "sorry" to God. If you love someone, relieve

them of the need to apologize to you for anything.

The need for an apology is the signal of a person

who is mistaken about him-or-herself.

You cannot be damaged by another, you only imagine

that you can. It is all in your head. It is all in your

thought about it. Go back to love and give up

your need to forgive others for anything.

Well, this is a tough one for me. I like to think I'm good at forgiveness by and large, but I have lost a couple of really important friendships because the other person wouldn't acknowledge that they had hurt me. I didn't need them to be wrong. But I did - I really did - need/want them to be sorry. I don't know if I'm evolved enough yet to not still want that.I always thought that one of the most mis-understood, mis-used New Age teachings is the idea that we are all "responsible" for our own feelings. While I agree with that in principle, I found that too many people turned that into "never having to say they were sorry." Since I was responsible for my feelings, they had no responsibility for having hurt them. I wound up in situations where I could probably have forgiven the original hurt, but I couldn't get past the fact that the other person wasn't willing to acknowledge having hurt me. I think I'm still not.

Maybe this is because as a child my emotions (if they weren't happy) were condemned. When I first started therapy, I quite literally had to learn what my feelings were. I couldn't identify them. Maybe that's why, once I was allowed to have feelings, I really felt a need for people to acknowledge them when they hurt me. I didn't want them to feel guilty. Just to say, "I'm sorry I that what I did hurt you. It wasn't my intention." I still don't get why that's so hard to do. If we step on someone's foot, most of us have no trouble apologizing, but step on feelings and we want to blame the person we've hurt. I know it's all about guilt and anger and stuff like that. but I don't get it. It just seems goofy to me. It seems unkind and unloving.

I know that this "what God wants you to know" message is a good one for me to ponder. I don't know that I'll ever learn it. Luckily nobody has hurt my feelings lately, so I haven't been tested, but I suspect I still have a road to walk to learn the kind of acceptance that doesn't want an apology when I get my feelings hurt. Good spiritual food for me to chew on, though.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • forgiveness
  • apologies
  • personal growth (or the idea of it)
  • rain
  • movies
  • Neale Donald Walsh


1 comment:

Argent said...

I have to say I've always had a problem with "love means never having to say you're sorry." I think people who don't say sorry are generally not that nice. I daresay in the context of the film it means something like "love means never doing something to another person that you'd have to apologise for", but this is highly unrealistic. You're right about the stepping on feet/feelings thing. I don't know why it's so hard to apologise for that - fear of rejection, maybe? Dunno. I'm mulling over the whole idea of forgiveness at the moment as I want to do a speech about it at toastmasters sometime. I do knwo that we need to do it for ourselves, to set ourselves free, not necessarily for the other person.