Worth That Weight

mistakesA few months ago, I was sitting in the kitchen with my husband, John, trying not to check Facebook.

I check Facebook too much. Whether it’s to look at my news feed or to read what someone REALLY thinks about John Mayer and Katy Perry dating again, it’s a total crutch for me. John knows this and if he sees me looking down at my phone, he’s always like, “Really? Facebook? Again?” So I try to be very stealthy about the whole thing.

So I was sitting there, trying to read my news feed in stealth mode when I got a message. I get very excited about Facebook messages. I don’t know why but I think it has something to do with not having a very exciting life.

Anyway, I opened the message and was a little confused.

Me: Honey?

John: Yeah.

Me: What’s an amend letter?

John: No idea.

Me: Does this have something to do with the steps? (I was thinking of AA)

John: No idea.

The message I got was from an old friend in college. He asked in just a few sentences if he could have my address because he wanted to send me an amend letter.

I had never heard the term “amend letter” and still don’t know if it’s a common one. I sent him my address and told him that he didn’t need to write me an amend letter – that he and I were good. That there was nothing that needed fixing.

But I realized that while in my mind, nothing needed fixing, that perhaps this was more for him.

A week or so later, I received a letter in the mail, apologizing for something I had truly long forgiven. In my mind, it was so long ago and I genuinely thought he and I made up at some point in college.

So to be standing in my kitchen, holding a letter, apologizing for something that happened almost 15 years before left me confused.

And a little bit raw.

The incident itself came back to me and I replayed it in my mind. It didn’t bring back a lot of pain as some of the past can do. But yeah, at the time I remember being terribly sad and confused. Words were exchanged that hurt. I lost a friend.

Yes. It sucked.

I took my old friend’s letter and put it away. Wondering when I had let the pain go at some point, but also wondering why he had held onto regret for that long. If I had known that he felt so bad about it, I would have reached out to him myself to give him that comfort and to make sure he knew I was ok.

I appreciate his letter and hope it gave him some peace because when I hear his name, I don’t associate it to the days when things went wrong, but to when things were right. To what a great guy he was, to how motivated he was. IS.

That he was my friend at some point in my life.

15 years feels like a long time for an apology. But in many ways, there was no better time. This was when he was ready to give it and the stars aligned somewho and I was ready to accept it.

The funny thing is, for most of the crappy or hurtful things in our lives, the ones that really take us for a loop and dump us ungracefully on our ass somewhere, we may never get the closure that he and I got with that letter.

We might want it. We might hope for it. Heck we might even dream about it.

It may come. It might not.

We may also never get a chance to apologize for regret. Just like my friend gave me the gift of an apology, I gave him the gift of my acceptance. Life doesn’t always package itself that neatly. Apologies aren’t always accepted, no matter how genuine they are.

Here’s the thing though.

Regret? It’s a terribly heavy thing to bear. It can weigh you down. It can turn your life dark. It can change you if you really, really let it.

You know this. As you are reading this, I bet you can think of something you regret. Of someone you feel like you wronged. At the same time, you might also be looking for resolution to something that never closed.  In in its wake, perhaps never healed. Perhaps you are hoping still for an apology.

So here’s what you do. Write down your regrets. Not the ones that are like, “Gosh, I really should have shared my lollipop with Susie Piscitielli in third grade.”

Susie has moved on. She is old enough to buy lots of lollipops by now.

Write the stuff that has truly felt like a weight on you. The kind where, when you think of it, you start to feel uncomfortable and it feels like someone is holding your heart a little tighter.

Can you change anything on that list? Can you apologize to someone today and make that weight a little lighter? Can you maybe accept the fact that you might not receive acceptance?

If you can. Just do it. Go on and throw that weight off of you for crying out loud, because it is making you sink a little more every day you hold it.

If you can’t change it?

LET. IT. GO.

Seriously. You have to move forward.

As for waiting for an apology or hoping for closure on something.

At some point, you just have to acknowledge this simple fact.

That’s NOT your weight to bear. Let it go. Let THEM keep it.

Control what you can. What you can control is yourself. You have NO control over what someone else chooses to “grant” you. If an apology comes later, and you have it in you to accept it and grant the person your empathy, please do it. But don’t live your life waiting in the shadows of your grief, hoping that it will come.

It might.

But it might not.

Remember this. It’s NOT YOUR WEIGHT ANYMORE.

I say this to you as if I don’t say it to myself. I am trying to lessen the weight every day. Of regrets. Of hurt. And it’s not easy to look at everything and say, “I can (or can’t) control this part of what I think I need to make me happy.

In my friend writing me that letter of apology for wrongs that I didn’t even know needed to be made right, I learned a valuable lesson.

I am so grateful for his apology. But I am so glad that I have not been sitting around freaking waiting for it for 15 years.

Cast off the weight. Just live.

Love,

Kiran

P.S. Dear friends, I have a favor to ask. If you haven’t already, would you like Simply Om on Facebook? It’s a fair trade jewelry marketplace to bring awareness and assistance to women around the world. Every piece tells a story, every purchase helps another woman tell hers. Would love your support!

18 Responses to Worth That Weight

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    I like to think I live my life with no regrets.
    I feel that every decision I made, every turn in the road I took, every person I took the time to get to know, and those I chose not to give more time (or myself to), were choices well made at the time, that has led me to where I should be today.
    I hope that the people I’ve crossed paths with, feel the same. So that they may live with no regrets, or the need for apologies or closure. That they’ve moved on, as surely as I have.
    I’m glad you received that letter, because even though you didn’t wait for it, it gifted you something. I’m glad.
    Alison recently posted…A Google Nexus 7 Tablet? Yes, Please!My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      I’m glad too. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I am grateful.

      I do have regrets. But I try to learn from them so I don’t repeat it again. For that reason, I still feel better off for having at least learned something.

      XO

  • Shell says:

    This is beautiful.

    I probably hold on much more to things I’d done to someone else than the things that were done to me. B/c I feel bad. But after so much time, it’s just time to let go of it all.
    Shell recently posted…Nexus 7 Tablet Giveaway with FamiliarMy Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Thank you, Shell.

      I can see that. You are a very loving soul, and I think forgiveness is part of your core. I am the same way – I will forgive others quickly. Myself?

      Not so much.

      XO.

  • Poppy
    Twitter:
    says:

    This post is really timely for me Kiran. Taking your advice.
    Poppy recently posted…Amazing Body Transformation: Woman Loses 70 lbs at 40My Profile

  • Jennifer says:

    I 100% support this. I’ve lived with a lot of regret about the relationship I had with my dad. When I wrote about it last year and let it go out into the universe, I felt lighter. And happier. And forgiven even though he is no longer with us. Regret can make you bitter if you keep it in for too long. Just let it go.
    Jennifer recently posted…Momma’s Cooking: Baked Potato Salad and Snapple Half and HalfMy Profile

  • Greta says:

    I think one good thing about having mommy brain is that I can’t remember any regrets I might have. Heh. But, I know that I’ve done things wrong in the past and hurt people. And vice versa. But you’re right….there are things I can’t control, and I don’t need that poison inside.
    Greta recently posted…Project 365 (Week 26)My Profile

  • Ilene
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love this post. I love how you are able to look back at your friend now and see and think of only the good memories, despite him holding onto an incident that wasn’t so good. Forgiveness is one of those topics that will forever be blogworthy for me. I’m toying on thoughts with it myself right now and beginning to truly understand that when we forgive, we do much more than create peace around a certain person or incident. When we forgive, we unchain a little piece of our soul. Doors fly open. xo
    Ilene recently posted…Ordinary WorldMy Profile

  • Leigh Ann
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love this, Kiran. I do have a few regrets that I feel like I have kind of let go of, but I lament the fact that they resulted in some lost or faded friendships.
    Leigh Ann recently posted…Austin products you needMy Profile

  • Snehal Naik says:

    I do have some regrets, Kiran. The ones that emerged from me trusting conditions external to me so that things could be in favor of everyone. But I realized that I have been used emotionally time and again by others to feed their egos. It is really difficult to live with regret, because you stop growing in life. But recently I decided to work on it and have been making things work according to what I think is good for me.

    Thank you for the lovely post!
    Snehal Naik recently posted…Short Story – Being right or wrongMy Profile

  • Lady Jennie says:

    I have liked Simply Om (of course). :-)

    I would be grateful to get an apology, not because I necessarily hang on to regret for a long time, but because it showed the person trusted me enough to give it and then was finally free … even if it took a long time to do it.

    I’m sure nothing in your personality gave him cause to think you wouldn’t accept it, but he might have just grown in that time and seen it as something necessary to do.
    Lady Jennie recently posted…Life in the Trenches – Chapter 26My Profile

  • dixya
    Twitter:
    says:

    I had not really thought about it for so long – I do have regrets and apologies I owe to..sometimes it just feels easier to just let it go but like you said, I am sure it will feel so much better.
    dixya recently posted…Oyster Mushroom & Cabbage Potsticker | Vegetarian’s DelightMy Profile

  • Ashley
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is simply amazing. It can be so hard to let things go. That’s something that I continue to try to struggle with on both ends- feeling badly and also waiting for them to feel badly. What a great perspective on it all…
    Ashley recently posted…I can be a really bad friendMy Profile

  • MomWithaDot says:

    Wonderful post!

    In my case, not regrets, but just memories? I wonder if I’m too fond of memories many years old which is why I’m not making good enough new experiences…….? Hope that makes sense….
    MomWithaDot recently posted…A Breakup & An affairMy Profile

  • Christine says:

    This is a beautiful post Kiran. I think that I probably hold on to a lot more than I should – regret, guilt, etc. I’m getting better though. In the past year or two, I’ve been working on letting things go, to understand and realize the things that I have control over and those that I don’t, and to just trust the universe a bit more. Letting go of those emotions really feels good.
    Christine recently posted…All About PieMy Profile

  • Angela says:

    Kiran, Thank you for this post, I have learned after many years of mistakes, learned to surround myself with positive people who are supportive and kind. Trying hard to let go of the hurt and feelings of betrayal from so called friends, haven’t been as fortunate as you to receive an amend letter, what a lovely gift your friend gave you. I am trying to live my life so I won’ t have regret and treat those around me with respect and kindness. I guess that’s all we can expect from ourselves try and be the best person we can be, I love your words “cast off the weight. Just live”

  • I can relate to your friend. I’ve done some things like ten years ago that I still regret to this day. I don’t know. Maybe it’s human nature.
    Lynell Bumpas recently posted…https://www.facebook.com/thetrinitycodeMy Profile

  • Get Smart says:

    You’re fired! Secretary! Get me someone who has the balls to frame these two unknown assholes, so that eventually their work will be blocked on YouTube! And I need fifty more classic cars!
    Get Smart recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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