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Finishing Unfinished Business

In my process of preparing to leave this town, I have thought a lot about the people who were for a while close to me, and are no longer. Today I wrote letters to three of them, and I just put them in the mail. In each case I have moved beyond my own hurt and anger, and was able to simply speak my truth without judgment or regret. It was very satisfying just to write down my thoughts, and to let them know that I still think of them and still care, even if our paths go different directions.

The fourth letter was a thankyou to the healer who gave me the tools to survive my hateful neighbor. I wanted her to know what a big positive difference she made in my life. I wanted to send a gift too, but thought that might be inappropriate in the context, so I only sent thanks and kudos.

The other person who I no longer spend time with who was precious to me has communicated with me recently by email. He asked me what was needed to mend the damage that had been done. I responded that I needed an apology and an open acknowledgement of what happened and that I was hurt by it. He was able to acknowledge my hurt, but unable to be open about what happened, nor to offer the apology I requested.

I am OK without his apology, because using my Nonviolent Communication I was able to identify my own unmet need, and to mourn it. Having finally understood why I was so hurt, and mourned for the thing which I needed but did not get, I can go on. The thing I needed was empathy. An apology, I have learned, can be a form of empathy. By saying that you are sorry that someone experienced pain, you are seeing their pain, and perhaps even seeing the world through their eyes just enough to understand where that pain came from. An apology does not mean that you accept responsibility for their pain. (Except in a court of law.)

I am grateful that I have the tools and the strength to be honest with myself and with these people who touched my heart. I know I touched each of them too. And we each go on our merry way in this unpredictable life.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
b_vainamoinen
Jul. 14th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
I was able to identify my own unmet need, and to mourn it.

That is an interesting notion. I will ponder it.
aughraseye
Jul. 14th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)
You are so right, and you explain it perfectly here. When I am hurt I need the person to meet me there and understand, to feel that pain too so they know they need to stop. I feel sad that that person does it because he is hurt too but at the same time you can't just allow people to continue to hurt you even when it's unintentional.

You are an incredible friend. I really appreciated your invitation for tea and I'm sorry that I didn't call you and am contacting you online instead, because I know it's not as intimate. My life is freaking crazy, as usual. I would love to see you sometime. Maybe you could come see my new place?
liveonearth
Jul. 14th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
Yes. We'll be in touch.
neptunia67
Jul. 14th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Very good... tying up loose ends is a good thing. So is the fact that you're making the very bold move to be the one that ties them. Kudos to YOU.
liveonearth
Jul. 16th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It feels good to find closure. Even if it is just closure within myself. Those to whom I wrote may not feel satisfied with the way things are, but I am. I have a tendency to hang onto people who treat me like dirt, so saying goodbye is progress.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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