When you hurt someone's feelings and you have done everything you can think of to accept responsibility and make amends with no success; what does one do? Should one keep trying and trying? Or should we accept that waiting insistently in front of a tightly closed door is unfair to all of the open doors?! Does one keep on trying or does one let it go?
One school of thought is that you can't pry someone's heart open. You can't fight for something that is not on offer. When the door you knock on remains shut; take a step back, respect their decision and re-assemble your life without them. Accept that you are fallible and accept the consequence. Learn your lessons and do better. Forgive yourself and wish them well ... CLOSED!
Another school of thought is that if one loves the wronged party, we could be open to their rejection of our apologies. We could accept their rejection gracefully yet continue to seek ways to uplift them. We remain hopeful that one day, some arbitrary day; they will recognise our sincerity. Do what you can to make it better! The connection, the history along with your efforts would allow them to recognise your remorse. Give them all the time they need.
Be cautious however; if the consequence of your action is a form of punishment or abuse from the other party then leaving yourself open in these situations is not healthy. Punishment and abuse are not ingredients that encompass a healthy relationship.
In either scenario, there is a great responsibility on the person who wronged the other to deal with the impact of the situation. Is it fair to implore the injured party to make it easier? What responsibility falls to the injured party? If someone refuses to forgive another, is it a reflection of them? Should the capacity to forgive depend on the gravity of the wrong? Should the increased opportunity for transformation and growth determine whether one chooses to forgive or not?
Forgiveness is an act of love, mercy, and grace. It is not because the person deserves to be forgiven. It doesn't mean we will put ourselves back into a harmful situation or that we suddenly accept or approve of the person's continued wrong behaviour. It simply means we release them from the wrong they committed against us. We release ourselves from the feelings of resentment or vengeance.
The beauty of either way is that closure is achieved. Closure lets you leave the beautiful love or friendship that you shared as the wonderful gift it was intended to be. It gives the opportunity to either give more love or to move on with a blessing. It is a healing in itself.
Overall we are all human. We are unique so there will never be a specific approach to seeking forgiveness and assuaging the hurt we have caused others. We can create and choose our own way.
In Love - Always
Some notes are from the Greater Good Magazine.