The Consequences Of A False/Enforced Apology

Learning to say ‘sorry’ genuinely takes courage, guts, ounces of humility, and also a high degree of morality and ethics. It’s one of the Soul Lessons that each Soul will learn at different levels during each incarnation, and one that is responsible for lingering inflated egos. We often see people make public apologies to save face or a reputation, but how genuine are they? Are they forced, or made because it confers advantages (for example to have a lawsuit dropped)? Spiritually, it tows a fine line between what is legal and what is moral. What is legal isn’t always moral, and what is moral isn’t necessarily enforced legally.

Recently a couple of issues have been in the headlines that reminded of how conflicted humanity is in regards to morality. Sean Spicer (the current spokesman for the White House) made an error of judgment in comparing Assad to Hitler, claiming Hitler did not murder innocents using chemical weapons that insulted a whole sector of society, implying Hitler wasn’t evil. Within 24 hours, Spice made a public apology, while the Jewish community called for his resignation. He said sorry, but in his position as the official spokesperson for POTUS he should not have said what he did—it wasn’t illegal, but was incorrect and morally offensive. While he did apologize, one must question the inappropriate use of the language, and consider that the apology was enforced to prevent further embarrassment to the administration, which seems to apologize to the world on a weekly basis at present.

The issue with United Airlines is a little more complex and is a prime example of what is considered legal, isn’t always morally acceptable. The issue revolves around flight UA3411 from Chicago to Louisville on 9 April 2017, which had allegedly been oversold, whereupon four crew members appeared at the gate after all passengers had boarded, and requested seats. The poor management decision was made to remove four passengers who had already boarded the plane in order for the staff to fly for work the next day. No volunteers came forward and four passengers were selected randomly (according to reports). However, one refused and ended up being pulled out of his seat and then dragged with blood on his face off the plane.

The small print on an airline ticket doesn’t automatically guarantee you a seat on a plane, and some may say that the company had a right to remove the passenger, but not by physical force which caused an injury. The problems escalated as video clips were posted online, so people could see the actual incident and exchange, which was exaggerated by airline staff, yet the CEO of United Airlines made a thinly disguised apology, placing the blame on the actions of the passenger. This coupled with the internal letter to all staff saying he stood behind the actions of the staff, and felt that procedures had been followed, led to people cutting up their frequent flyer and credit cards.

What the company failed to do is to genuinely apologize to the passenger and admit their wrong doings, the public could see that. While one can argue whether the airline had a right to refuse the passenger the flight, no one can dispute it is illegal and morally wrong to use excessive force that causes actual bodily harm to someone who is not a threat (a 69 year old senior versus three airport security guards). Police are generally careful with protestors who take part in sit ins, and can remove them as long as they do not physically harm them in the process. In this case, the passenger aboard UA3411 ended up with a broken nose, a cut lip, and the loss of two teeth. An apology was necessary, and came only after the company shares fell, and the public declared they would not use the airline again, three days later.

If the CEO (and his team) had made a genuine apology immediately, the damage limitation would have less severe, because when you acknowledge a mistake, you either apologize, or you don’t accept blame. This is an important Soul Lesson for all—that you must be humble and make an apology when you have made a mistake. Too many try to blame others or make excuses, so why is making an apology so hard? First, you need to learn humility and it’s a challenge with the ego to be able to hold your hand up, or come forward and say that you were wrong or made a mistake. When people ask who is responsible for something, very few come forward unprompted to take responsibility. Usually there is some threat, or an investigation to persuade those responsible to come forward. Humans in general don’t like to accept blame or admit to a mistake, because that is associated with failure, and no one wishes to look like a loser. Yet, failure is how one learns and grows. It’s realizing that you have made a mistake that is the lesson, rather than covering it up, or finding some loophole to apportion blame elsewhere.

I find Older and Ancient Souls are more likely to readily admit to errors than Young Souls, who struggle to accept that they could have been wrong. No one likes to admit to mistakes as that makes them look weak and as a failure, but that is a physical realm concept. Those who are able to apologize and recognize errors without resentment or grudges are those who have learned their Soul Lesson, and thus evolve. Of course there maybe times where there is someone else to blame, which is why parents apologize on behalf of their child if they misbehave, as it is their role to guide. Bosses apologize on behalf of their company, therefore, those in positions of responsibility must learn to apologize for others, not to let them off the hook, but to then guide them and teach them the errors they made if they don’t understand why.

The crux is as your Soul becomes older, it tends to say less, therefore fewer apologies need to be made. An Old Soul can appear boring as they opt not to share an opinion or without realizing, they choose to remain silent, but this is because they know it’s not their place to comment or think  very carefully before they speak. It is the Young Soul or Mature Soul in the early stages that struggle with swallowing their pride to apologize, because they can’t differentiate between the societal physical laws and the moral laws that are universal in time and place. A wise Soul will know when man-made laws (that can adapt and change over time) are not applicable, and when an eternal moral law supersedes that.

In the case of United Airlines it was apparent to the majority that you cannot injure and force a passenger off the plane and say it was within the guidelines. As such those guidelines have been altered, and it’s been an expensive lesson. I believe that the company felt obliged to make an actual apology (after several days, and the second public statement) due to pressure from the media and public, and is a prime example of how not to apologize. If one has to think about it, then it isn’t a genuine apology, and that will still generate adverse karma. Perhaps they did see the error of their ways, but as a large company with plenty of experience and access to high level legal advice, they acted poorly and have looked like amateurs.

Naturally, at times it can take time to realize one has made an error, as stubbornness and arrogance are traits many struggle with. What a Soul will learn is that owning up to a mistake and apologizing is not a sign of weakness, but is one of maturity and integrity. To be able to say that you have learned from something negative means your Soul has evolved, but those who refuse to apologize or accept moral wrongdoing will be stuck on their path until they do. It’s not just pride, but learning the ability to know right from wrong, despite the possible negative outcome. Saying sorry is hard, but to do it with genuine intent and to understand why is part of the Soul Growth. Learn from the errors of others, and don’t wait until you have to say sorry; make the conscious choice to do so as soon as you realize the mistake, for that is when the Soul acknowledges a lesson learnt, and is part of the evolving Soul Expedition.

 

Why Closure Is a Lesson For All Souls

Death is a means of closure, or so we may think, but is it really? Whether it’s finding closure on a betrayal, a relationship separation, an argument between friends, or a family feud—Souls of all ages will encounter lessons of closure at some point in their incarnation. It’s never easy, and how do you know if and when you have closure? Is closure forgiveness or does it require more? What if it’s guilt? Is it more than forgiving yourself, and what if you can’t?

I was recently reminded of this when an old best friend’s mother died, and as lovely as she was, she never seemed to have had closure on her divorce, or the issues with her daughter. On occasions she would act irrationally, but in hindsight it was a means to protect herself, and to assert her position to prevent her feeling the pain of the divorce. At times when we have been wronged, it is hard to find that strength to forgive and get closure. While divorce is a means toward closure, it’s only a legal matter and the emotional issues can linger for decades. Former spouses still end up in games of tit for tat, or find ways to punish one another when an opportunity arises subconsciously. That hinders actual closure.

These days with social media and the internet, people tend to think if they delete a profile or unfriend someone on Facebook then that gives them closure. Often it doesn’t as the resentment remains, or people delete things as a quick fix because they don’t like something or wish to face it. A friend of mine has a habit of deleting everything they don’t like in attempt to have closure, however, you can’t have true closure through escape. Pretending something never happened or that has been erased doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. Rather than closure, it’s more of a denial.

Some people who are terminally ill may feel a need to get closure on things before they leave, while others (usually younger souls) may not feel they have to. But what about those who are still alive and who weren’t able to get closure from someone who has transitioned? That is where reincarnation comes in, and whatever transpired will reoccur in the next incarnation so the issue can be resolved and closure can be achieved.

Family feuds are one the issues that binds people together when death occurs. There is an unspoken obligation to inform other family members (even if they have never spoken to one another) when someone has died. However, while people do consider blood to be thicker and a bond, more families live far away, lose contact, and barely know one another except for a shared surname and ancestors. How does one get closure on family matters when there is no communication? Perhaps that’s a reason why more Souls tend to reincarnate together because closure wasn’t achieved on all sides?

For many that have loved and lost, learning to accept closure on a failed relationship is both painful, and also leads to a feeling of failure. The burning of letters, deleting their texts, and throwing out their possessions maybe acts of closure, but often they are done in anger to try and remove the presence of that person. Some move on quickly to another relationship on the rebound to compensate for those feelings, but unless they have had closure it may lead to the same situation again. There is no magic time frame or formula for closure to be achieved, because it’s only possible when each Soul is ready to accept what has happened without resentment or anger. In real life that can stretch to years, and emotions aren’t things you can always control or be rational about.

Even when friendships drift apart or end due to disagreements, it’s hard to accept that someone you have known no longer will be in or wishes to be a part of your life. In a sense it’s rejection and loss, and closure can be hard because deep down we hope rifts can be mended. While that hope remains, the Soul doesn’t want or seek closure, even though it maybe inevitable. I like to think of friends as those who care about you unconditionally, and there will be fallouts and arguments, but that is natural. Choosing to end a friendship (a true one) is as major as a relationship, because one chooses friends unlike family members, and that loss can be greater when there is no justifiable reason.

Closure on issues can take years, and often it’s subconscious as any anger, resentment or pain slowly erodes, or distractions have occurred to prevent any dwelling on the issues. Saying you have had closure and actually feeling you have had closure are very different things. It’s more than letting things go, but having a deeper understanding of why something had to happen, its purpose, and what you have learnt from it (whether good or bad). When you can talk about the incidents that need closure without anger and remorse, then you have true closure.

It takes time (maybe the entire incarnation) because that’s one of the greatest lessons each Soul learns during an incarnation; how to get closure and to know when they have actually achieved it, because they have learnt a Soul Lesson. Some however don’t get closure, and they end an incarnation with outstanding issues. They then have a choice to reincarnate immediately to get closure, or to seek guidance if they don’t feel ready for closure and need time to heal. Even in death, there is no guarantee of closure because Souls are eternal. It’s with this knowledge (or theory for those who struggle with this belief) that encourages me to find closure wherever possible, and it comes with learning to be more understanding and tolerant of others. Another option is prevent the need for closure in the first place, but that’s not always possible, and something that Old and Ancient Souls prefer to do if they can.

Perfection, Frustration, And Alas… Reality

I’ve been watching the world of late; often shaking my head and sighing even though I know it won’t do much good. As a child I strived for perfection, everything had to be just so. Perhaps that’s because as an Old Soul I knew how things ought to be, and got frustrated when they weren’t? Maybe I just wanted some kind of order in my life? Frustration set in from a very early age when those around me wouldn’t comply, but even today my parents will admit I used to tell them what to do, and they did it (I was about 4 or 5 years old).

During my University and school years I witnessed how unfair the ‘system’ was, and struggled with why it was accepted—surely if you spoke up people would listen to logic. Listen they may do, but act they do not. Why? Because they like their job and title and don’t wish to rock the boat, even if something is unfair. Justice, equality, and parity I soon learned is not the way society works, and that is still true to this day. Yes, one can protest and petition, and sometimes that pressure group will get a result, but only after a few have suffered and dedicated their lives to the cause. Results are never guaranteed, and they take time; decades, and even centuries.

I write this because perfection, while it is individual to each of us is interminable, where the bar can be so high, it can never be achieved, humanly that is. I have a high bar, and I accept I cannot reach it at times and it frustrates me. Logically in my mind, there are certain things that are possible, and when they aren’t achieved it perplexes me. One can ponder and look for answers, but as I have gotten older I see perfection as a standard that can give the self closure and an element of joy in achieving what they aimed for, and it should not be for others to judge, or for their gratification.

This is one of the problems society has by imposing standards of perfection that are unrealistic. Some confuse perfection with OCD and it’s not the same, because levels of perfection can change. These days while I still hanker for perfection, when it doesn’t happen I can let it go because it really doesn’t matter; I mean who does it affect and bother really?  In life situations, the variables change moment by moment, and applying the same standard without flexibility isn’t wise or sensible.

The ultimate fact is humanity and humans are imperfect and flawed. Too often I see on some spiritual website someone quoting that the Soul and each being is perfect. I find that misleading, because someone who let’s say has less than honorable thoughts and intents is led to believe that they are ‘perfect’ and their actions and thoughts are okay, and they are not. No one is perfect, because perfection is a state that constantly evolves and never stops. That is why frustration kicks in, because one must be realistic to understand the concept of perfection.

Is frustration a lack of control, or a by-product of seeking perfection? It can be both, because at times we can have the perfect moment, meal, or feeling, but it is transient and can never be frozen and encapsulated and preserved. This is one of the reasons I advocate realistic spirituality, because if you cannot accept that perfection exists merely to challenge, encourage, and to set the Soul standards, then the incarnation will be filled with frustration, which can lead to blockages in the Soul Growth. It took me a while to see and understand this; I lived in a student house with my friends and while it was fun, it seemed perfect and that illusion was shattered. There were some great and perfect moments, but the reality of it all was that people all have differing needs and perceptions of what is perfect and the lesson is to accept that, and to learn to respect and live with those differing perceptions.

I used to get frustrated when people would listen to my logic, agree and then go off and do the opposite. I still do get frustrated, but I’m the only person who suffers. I have to let others figure out what is best for them at times, and I find people don’t always want to listen, they can hear, but don’t actively listen. Perhaps they do and keep those thoughts at the back of their mind just in case, and that’s all one can do. Living in a realistic world is hard work, mainly because people create their own realities and bubbles within it. A world with lots of pockets of bubbles of slightly different realities is not a healthy one, which is why society and humanity is so fractured. While each country has different customs, and laws, one expects that and discovering new cultures can be fascinating and also enlightening, but when there are too many adverse factions, a stable and peaceful reality seems further out of the grasp of humanity.

I watch the news because I do want to see how humanity is reacting to the treatment of others, and how the world is shaping. Instead I see a lot of destruction, and why? Power—it’s all about ego and power and who has more. Power over the people though? Surely world leaders and monarchs are there to serve the people they represent? The realistic view is that it is rhetoric; the people confer power to them, but few truly serve the public. Recently the new US government halted aid on planned parenthood assistance in third world countries because of the personal beliefs of some in the cabinet. In response the EU has raised funds to counteract this deficit, which will save the lives of many, and I ask how can two highly civilized and educated government bodies be so far apart?

Clearly humanity is not working together as the power struggles continue, and will probably exist for perpetuity. I realize that the world is not and can never be perfect, and it was never meant to be. Humanity can strive for a perfect world; one that is peaceful where no one starves, and where there is no crime, but that is unrealistic. We look for answers as to why people commit crimes; greed, envy, revenge, mental disorders, money, or just because they can. There is no one answer, therefore there can be no solution when the root cause is unknown and cannot be resolved.

Perfection is a transient state, and one we should not get frustrated over when it can’t be achieved (and I’m a Virgo!). That is called reality, and accepting that the world and humanity is not perfect, nor will it ever be. However, that should not stop us striving for it because humanity exists for Souls to evolve and learn. Although progress at times is stalled or limited, we, as the human race should aim to learn from the errors of bygone eras and that is something society is failing to do—perhaps through ignorance or ego, or maybe both?

When You Know The End Draws Near

Some call it pessimism, but often we know something is coming to an end, whether it’s a relationship or a job. You might get an uneasy feeling, or you hope that the old days return, but they never do. Calling time on something, quitting, or ending a relationship is never easy, but it’s one of those things we have to learn to cope with in life.

The first time you end a relationship be a friend or lover is always hard—sometimes it’s temporary, and other times it’s a relief to end something that may have become harmful and destructive. Finding the courage to do so can lead to procrastination, or maybe a reason that is justified?

I’ve resigned from several jobs, and the first was the hardest, but after that it got easier. I wrote the letter and rewrote it; then all the manager did was file it and started looking for a replacement. That made my subsequent letters easier to write. A job is no longer for life, so I always take note of notice periods on contracts, and if you really hate going into work each day, then you have to rethink your priorities.

Ending friendships is harder, and I’ve only done it when people have falsely accused me of something. That’s something I won’t tolerate; a couple then sent messages to apologize, but it was never the same and I learned when it comes to an end that is it. I gave one friend a second chance after she sent me letters of apology, but what she did always created a barrier and the friendship drifted apart naturally.

Romantic relationships are tough because of the emotions and the dreaded task of splitting things, and then you find out who your friends really are. Often the relationship can yo-yo, and there’s a second and even a third chance, but once you get past that stage, it’s more or less over. While you need to work at relationships, sometimes they are destined to fail, but the lesson learned is that it’s not the right kind of relationship for you. If you find yourself avoiding your partner, not looking forward to being with them, or you would rather go for a run in the rain, then the end is nigh…

I’m also a member of some online groups, and to end that relationship (rather than to take a break) needs some justification. A forum I have been on for several years has changed in the last couple of years, as in the members weren’t as nice or interesting, the admins have power trips, and the friends I had made had either terminated their membership or got banned by over zealous admins. I did manage to remain in contact with a few via email and social media, but I finally realized after the last couple of years, the group no longer was positive, but had a negative effect. It’s sad, because I had hoped it would change, and I mentioned numerous times I was on the verge of leaving, and now that time has come. The final straw was reading a post where someone claimed they were tired of being right all of the time, and convinced themselves no one replied to their posts because they were so accurate, there could be no response. I did think it was a joke, but it wasn’t. Maybe I don’t need them, or that my words fall on deaf ears. Either way, it’s like the UK and Brexit—when you choose to leave, end it and don’t look back, but remain on good terms.

Learning to end things and to deal with closure takes time—quite a lot of it, and it’s a process. Closing doors can bring relief or sadness, but there is always a reason why things must end, but we just never know fully why. The important thing to note is that if you sense the end of something to accept it and not to fight it, because that’s when it hurts and you make it harder for yourself.  Memories can’t be erased, but we can choose to recall them in the light we wish. While the group I am choosing to distance myself from will continue, I will visit from time to time, but as a visitor only, and not as a member because I no longer identify with the principles that they represent. Perhaps it’s a new phase for me?

 

Why Do Souls Suffer in Silence?

Throughout my life, I’ve never met anyone that has not said they have suffered from something, which makes me question why does suffering exist? It may seem more philosophical than spiritual, but is subjective according to individual experiences and expectations. However, many ask why do we suffer? Often it is out of fear, but also people feel they are suffering and are thus victims when maybe they were expecting too much, or were unaware that their situation wasn’t that bad?

The question is if a Soul is suffering, then why can’t they do anything about it? Perhaps they should gain courage to speak up, or give up something in order to change their path? You can’t have everything, and sometimes one must sacrifice something. For example, if a a partner in a relationship is suffering due to verbal abuse, then the immediate question is why don’t they leave? Other factors come into play such as children, finances, and security, but if none of those are applicable, then what is stopping a Soul from ending what they perceive as suffering? When people say they are suffering in their job, because they hate it, then they do have a choice to leave. Some won’t because of finances, and others can’t because they can’t get another job. Often the Soul has choices—not always great ones, but they are options nonetheless if they choose to see them.

I have been in both situations, and at times suffered in silence because I thought it wasn’t that bad or that things would get better. They often don’t, although you may try to convince yourself they will. In previous relationships I have kept quiet, and suffered only a couple of times, but decided I should see whether it would get better. The problem is in relationships the other party can make you feel guilty, and remaining objective can be hard when it’s the closest person to you. Very often partners get brainwashed, and once free, they chide themselves for not leaving sooner. That’s why I always recommend people to keep friendships, as they can be the voice of reason.

In terms of jobs, many of the workforce silently suffer and yearn to do something else for a living. Do factory workers and cleaners really enjoy their jobs, or are they convenient, or a means to an end? For those who love and enjoy their work, they are blessed, but many are content or tolerate their working environment. Some however do suffer, and they do it for money alone. When that happens, it takes courage to give up a well-paid job to have mental freedom, and I can say it’s worth it.

Souls suffer in silence and maintain the status quo, but that means they will be stuck in a rut and often trapped in their own cage. No one should be afraid to voice their genuine concerns (notice, I don’t think constant whining on small matters is considered suffering, although in the minds of some it is), but they do out of fear of the repercussions, or what others will think of them. In some ways that creates and prolongs any suffering that has arisen.

I suffered at the hands of bullies as a young child, and there was no one to come to my rescue—not even my brother who was at the same school and who watched me being bullied. If I told the teachers, then they would increase the bullying, so what could I do? They would steal my snacks at break time each day and grab them out of my hands, then taunt me, and push me over while calling me names each day. Then one day, in the playground I had my chocolate bar in my hand and saw the gang approaching. I really wanted my chocolate bar, and thought what more can they do to me? So I gobbled it down in front of them, and told them they were too late. I honestly thought they would try to beat me up (I was about 8 or 9), but they stood there in shock that I stood up to them, and walked away. The bullying didn’t stop completely after that, but they backed off and never tried to get my chocolate bars again.

When we suffer we learn harsh and painful lessons, but it should also help us to learn empathy, so if we see others in a similar plight we are able to help them. Those who do suffer seek help, and those who have been through similar situations will recognize a silent cry for help. I find being a good listener without judging is helpful, because a Soul that is suffering must choose their own path; they should try and accept what has happened, look at what has been learned, and then to use that knowledge to help others and not to repeat the same scenarios. Instead some spend time and energy trying to understand why it happened (you will never find a definitive answer, only possible theories), wonder whether they were they to blame, and ask why did they deserve it, or think that it’s not fair that they had to suffer compared to others.

Perhaps a past life karmic debt has been played out, or the Soul had volunteered for an altruistic incarnation? These are theories, and while some people may mock them, there is no evidence or reason why some suffer more than others. Rather than to spend time and anger feeling that life has dealt you a poor hand, isn’t it better to try and change things to be the best they can in the circumstances? I’ve heard people say they are suffering, where really they just aren’t getting things their own way. Suffering is when you are harmed in circumstances that are beyond your control, so think about whether you are really suffering, or are you containing that suffering with excuses?

If you hate your job, boss, co-workers, then leave once you hand in your notice. Money isn’t everything, and you have a choice, but are you brave enough to take it? In fractured relationships, you have to look at what is more important—the house, what people think, money, or your sanity? There is no amount of money that can buy you peace of mind, but you must choose between material security, and suffering. Again, there is a choice; a Soul has choices, even if they can’t see them or consider them viable choices.

True suffering comes from sacrifices, but it need not be in silence. Spiritually, suffering is a means to help Souls to learn and evolve. Now this may not help those who are suffering or be of much comfort, but that’s why it exists. Souls should try not to blame others, but accept the lessons learned, otherwise they will repeat the lessons again, and no one wants to go through that if they can help it. Maybe the lesson is to learn forgiveness, tolerance, or to learn how and when to trust others—there are a multitude of lessons that involve suffering, including losing someone you love. We can help others suffer less by considering others in our actions, and to have empathy for others. That is another lesson all Souls learn. Often suffering is eased with a kind word or act, or when someone will listen without judgment, for we all make mistakes—humans were not created to be perfect.