Have you ever noticed how many excuses you make for things? Or that other people make for things?
I caught myself doing it recently and had to stop and take a look at what exactly was going on. Why was I excusing, defending even, something that caused me discomfort? We all tell white lies to be polite and kind; it is accepted and quite honestly expected. That said, the truth is a very sharp weapon most of the time and when wielded by someone in a snit fit it will wound and even scar instead of illuminate. And excusing something negative is basically saying it was OK to do to you.
If you fell in love and the person you loved suddenly said, I am done. I don’t want you anymore, lose my number. Would you excuse them? Would you say well they were influenced by their family, their friends, or the religious beliefs? That it wasn’t really them saying those things to me.
By excusing them you say you deserved that treatment. Now don’t get me wrong it takes two people to wreck a relationship, and we are responsible for our part in it. That said, there is no need to own their part as well and getting angry about being treated poorly is healthy. Our sense of self-worth plays the dominate role at these times.
Am I worth respecting? Am I worth honesty and kindness? By excusing someone’s cruel behavior you tell yourself that no, you aren’t worth it. Your truth is that you don’t feel worthy of reciprocal kindness and love.
When you treat someone poorly or cruelly, do you justify it? Chalk it off as they are over reacting? Excuse it because they clearly misunderstood you? Basically treating them poorly then making them responsible for it as well? Becoming someone who is trapped in ego armor?
What if instead of excusing someone you explained it? For those of you that have looked around at my site or read my free report on how to Fight Self Deception, Disease, Shame and Disillusionment you know that I am a rape survivor. I spoke of my rape right after it happened to my mother and was basically told to shut up, that it happened to women all the time. I should get over myself. What I heard was I wasn’t worthy of compassion and that meant I must have deserved what happened to me.
It took me five years to wade through that screwed up message and realize what a load of crap had been dumped on me right after a terrible violation. During that time I kept excusing my mom for her comments, she was just teaching me to be a strong woman. She was being truthful; it does happen to so many women and even men, it had happened to her. I excused the man that did it; I clearly didn’t deserve his respect of my saying ‘no’. He was just so in love with me he couldn’t control himself. Yea that was it.
BULLSHIT. I will repeat that – BULLSHIT. There is no excuse. There is an honest explanation. My mom has her history of survival and she speaks to me from that place. Loving me as best as she can within her own abilities. The man that said he loved me and acted out in such a fashion, made a choice. He saw something he wanted; had been told no, got drunk and took it. That is one completely unhealthy definition of love and entirely unacceptable to me.
I can look at the explanation rationally and see that so many circumstances come together to create these moments. I can also allow myself to feel the truth, my truth which is that I deserved better from both of them. It took me five years to get angry and find my way to clarity with these events. That by excusing their behaviors I was denying myself healing and growth past the events. Excusing them and owning their responsibility for their choices was holding me back from healing. I had to accept my part in the incident, my choices surrounding it but I sure as hell don’t need to accept ownership for their parts in it. It was the easy course of action for sure; people that love you always tell you the truth and do what is right for you don’t they?
That would be a resounding NO. People, no matter how they feel about you, react based upon their own baggage, history and perceptions of the world around them. I do it, you do it, we all do it. That is the explanation. We all make choices that go badly; it is normal, natural and part of our learning journey. Ownership of that choice is what allows you to heal and grow. Excusing that choice will always hold you back, trapped in a moment of pain. From that place of pain you will continue to hurt yourself and others.
When is it time to simply and humbly say “I apologize for my behavior towards you”? No matter if the ‘you’ in question is a friend, lover, child, sibling, stranger or yourself. Are you ready to stop excusing others? Are you ready to stop excusing yourself? Are you ready to live your life and make your choices and let the rest of the world do the same?
Samantha Martin is known as The Truth Revolutionary because she works with people to uncover their personal truth. Personal truth is a discovery which frees people to live up to their full potential and find new joy in their life and relationships. You can register for her Free Report “Fight Self-Deception, Dis-ease, Shame and Disillusionment: Become a Truth Revolutionary”, or sign up for a free consultation, read her blogs and find out more about Samantha at www.truthrevolutionary.com.