Everyone makes mistakes, it’s part of the reality of being human, but sometimes people cling to their rightness. I was friends with someone many years ago who could never say he was sorry. In his view, he was never wrong about anything, and if ever I went to him with a question or concern or disappointment about something that had transpired between us, he would tell me it was my own negativity and/or lack of gratitude. Needless to say, the friendship did not stand the test of time. In order to be close to people, you have to be willing to allow them access to your interior world. You have to be willing to stand there, with all your flaws and all your beauty, and hold the gaze. And when you do not show up the way you want to or mean to, you have to be able to own it and say, “I’m so sorry, I blew it” That way, you give the other person the chance to look you in the eye and say, “It’s okay. I see you for who you are, I understand you have some pain. I forgive you.” Then, you know you have a true friend.
Sometimes people reject parts of themselves. There are few things more painful than an inability to accept something essential about yourself. If you want to be at peace, I really don’t know any other way, than to face those places within you that are still raw; those places where you still have some healing to do. Anything you push beneath the surface will rise up to bite you in the a$$, again and again until you reckon with it. You’ll repeat the same patterns in all your close relationships, at work, as you’re driving in traffic. If you have rage, it will erupt, if you have shame, you’ll find yourself pushing people away, not because you want to, but because you can’t stand to have them get close enough to see what you really are. Not that your perception is accurate, because shame will cloud your ability to see yourself clearly, but you’ll believe you’re unworthy at your core, and that will seep out in more self-destructive ways than you can count, until you face it and deal with it head-on.
Anyway, my point is, sometimes people have a construct they’ve built to cope with their pain or their heartbreak or their disappointment or their rage or their feelings of being on the outside looking in. Maybe in order to live with themselves, they’ve had to make “the way things are” someone else’s fault, or they’ve decided the world at large is unfair, and most people can’t be trusted. So when you approach someone in that state and you ask them to be accountable for something they’ve done, they simply cannot do it, because their whole life philosophy hinges on this idea that they are always right, or that bad things always happen to them.
The thing is, when you dig your heels in and point fingers, you give your power away. You make your unhappiness someone else’s fault. It’s no different than hinging your happiness on external events, like, “I’ll be happy when I lose ten pounds, or drive a different car, or have a bigger house, or meet the right person…” Happiness becomes something you chase, instead of something you dig to find within you. That’s the only place it can exist, after all. Your happiness cannot lie in someone else, or in some future event. It has to be unearthed, and you may have noticed you cannot dig and point at the same time.
I’m not saying awful, heartbreaking things don’t happen, because they certainly do. Sometimes people are careless or self-absorbed or lost to themselves, or nine million other things, but it’s always in our power to decide how we’re going to respond to what it is we’re given. We can’t control circumstances. We can’t manage another person’s path. The only true power we have lies in facing ourselves, and making the world within us a peaceful place to be. That takes enormous strength and courage, but it also gives you your power back.
Wishing that for you, and sending you love,