My capacity for joy in life is a function of my capacity to love imperfect people. Whether I like it or not, this is a universal truth. Therefore, if I want to live life to the fullest, I need to embrace it.
What does that entail? Well, it’s a simple concept, but hard to do. I must practice vulnerability at times of acute emotional risk. I must say things like …
- “I’m sorry.”
- “I love you.”
- “I hate how things are, and I want to mend our relationship.”
… without any expectation of reciprocity.
Nothing gets someone’s attention faster than an unexpected apology. It has the phenomenal effect of totally breaking their train of thought (in a nice way) and riveting them to the next few words you say.
However, say it and then pause. One, one thousand. Two, one thousand. Be prepared to count to ten. Patiently wait. Don’t say anything else until they speak.
When they do, have a posture of kind, patient, openness. Speak from your heart and allow yourself to be vulnerable. No matter what they say, maintain this posture. Don’t expect reciprocity, but take what they give you.
After the encounter, repeat as many times necessary. You can’t control their responses, but you can control you and you’ll be better for it.