Why are we afraid to make amends?
We are social animals. We need to create ties with other humans. ‘Pack‘ animals that we are, we feel the need to belong. We look to share our feelings, thoughts and ideas with others.
However, this innocent, childlike instinct to be open and expressive is suppressed as we are tutored in the norms of society. Being guarded whilst expressing our emotions for fear of exposing ourselves and our true feelings is encouraged as being wise. For to be open and forthright is to be vulnerable; this is seen as a weakness. In reality, only the strong can dare to be vulnerable. An accomplished scholar can afford to admit his mistakes for he is secure in his accomplishments.
This goes beyond just being exposed; it makes us unforgiving. We are made to understand that those who have ‘wronged‘ us must not be forgiven unless they accept the consequences.
We are conditioned not to expect the same should we be at fault. We don’t take others at face value. Should we transgress, then we do not expect forgiveness without bearing the consequences. Often, we find that the easiest option is to walk away and not turn back, for we are afraid of what we may encounter. We usually expect the consequences to be similar to those which we would have meted out had the roles been reversed.
It is like leaving a spoiled apple in a cupboard, shutting the door and walking away. Not returning to open the cupboard for fear of having to face the worms that would surely be devouring the apple (this is based on our own reaction should we have been the injured party).
This attitude of walking away from a situation or a relationship is often blamed on the ego. This may be true in some circumstances, but often it is the fear of what we may have to face based on our own presumption.
The primal instinct is to go back and face the consequences, (open the cupboard door). Instead of finding worms infesting the apple, we may find fresh fruit awaiting us in the form of forgiveness, love and kindness.
When we toss a lighted matchstick on a bridge and walk away, we assume that the bridge has burned. Maybe it didn’t, because we assumed it was built of wood. That could have been our assumption based on our weakness. Maybe the bridge was built of stone.
Go back, seek the bridges!
Cross the ones of stone, rebuild the burned ones, this time with stone. Time is as precious as it is short. Go back before it is too late!