I have a traumatic brain injury and so I am misunderstood quite often. I am sure it happens to everyone. It hurts when someone misunderstands you, but it hurts even more when you apologize and they refuse to accept your apologies.
Why? Of what benefit is it to refuse to acknowledge that a misunderstanding has taken place? Where is the pay off for holding onto that pain? To punish the person who hurt you in your own mind? If it is a misunderstanding, and they have offered correction, why not accept it and move on?
Perhaps it is a matter of ego. Or a need to be in control. But in control of what? Are you not hurting yourself in the process? Mahatma Gandi said, " Nobody can hurt me without my permission." While Eleanore Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." And yet, at that moment, when words are read, or said, it is virtually impossible not to feel the sting of the heart being struck.
And so what does one do when they have either through their own imperfection or through that of the person do when the misunderstanding has gone without forgiveness after an apology has been made?
It is an embarrassing situation, being misunderstood. But even more embarrassing is not being forgiven for being imperfect and making a mistake. Who of us would not like to rewrite the past by seconds, minutes, hours or years? How many of us would have wished we would never have pressed that 'send' button on our phone or computer at least once?
I do not know why an apology over being misunderstood would not be accepted, especially from a disabled person, I mean, that seems like a given, doesn't it? And yet, you would be surprised how often an offense is taken and kept. The reason is beyond my comprehension why someone would want to hold on to that extra baggage.
Eleanor Roosevelt also said, " I know that we will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them." – "My Day," August 13, 1943.
Well, if we do our utmost to correct our misunderstanding and it falls on deaf ears, we have done all we can do, and have no recourse than to get on with our lives as best we can, no matter how difficult it may be from that point on.
It has been my experience that most breakdowns in life are misunderstandings and perceptions of situations and not always the result of the true reality.
And so, I have learned to look at life as a series of lessons. Some days the lessons are inspiring and delightful and other days, the lessons take on a serious and rebuking tone. But we are never too old to learn and we are never too old to became better at communication and forgiveness.