As we bustled through the airport, it seemed my sister and I couldn’t walk five meters without bumping into someone and/or their luggage. Albeit irritating, it felt like a real-life version of Mario Kart and I was having quite a bit of fun with the dodging and swerving. But when I looked over, I could see the grimace on my sister’s face indicating she was about to blow.
A young woman, about our age, was coming full speed ahead with her eyes glued to her phone and her duffle mounted haphazardly over her shoulder. As she approached us, she made no effort to clear the diagonally jutting duffle out of my sister’s way and of course, the inevitable happened, iceberg met ship.
My sister turned, glared, and got ready to enragedly call her out on her inconsideration, but the girl kept on moving at her original pace, never looking back. She probably knew that, had she stuck around, things could’ve heated up to a point that she wasn’t really willing to deal with.
So for the next 20 minutes, my sister fumed at me instead and I kept wondering how things would be different if she implemented this one strategy for inner peace.
Accepting an apology she never received.
Apologies have their place in the world. They serve as an incredibly effective tool for closure, healing, mediation, and possibly restoration of what once was. But when we don’t receive an apology that we expect, we go nuts.
It eats us alive and we might even start to obsess about that imaginary apology, thinking about how much we deserve it, how wrong the other person was, how justified we feel for suffering because of it.
But the only thing that you are doing is making it more difficult on yourself. Holding a grudge sucks the life and soul out of you, wasting more mental energy than you can imagine.
So on your path to inner peace, remember that you can never control another person’s actions. You can guide your fellow humans in the right direction, but should never pin an expectation that will make you suffer in the end.
The path to inner peace is unnecessarily difficult when you consistently expect an apology from others then blame them for your suffering when you don’t receive it. You can choose forgiveness and freedom now. And yes, it’s on you.
As for the girl with the duffle, she probably hasn’t thought another second about what happened. After all, life moves on. So shouldn’t you?
Kimberly Lucht is a life coach that helps millennials create a life in which they thrive. Click here to get her free weekly tips on how to live your best life.