Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried to tell you
I’m sorry for breaking your heart,
But it don’t matter,
It clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore.
Emotions and feelings rejoice! Adele has reemerged after an intentional 4 year hiatus to bring us “Hello”, her first single from her upcoming album 25. I got on the Adele train when she released 19, her first album, and haven’t looked back since. And boy, has she taken me on an emotional journey. We have, in a sense, grown up together. Her alto, sometimes gravelly voice exudes the emotional depth that many of us wish we had while her lyrics have us longing for her ability to articulate our vulnerable moments. The running joke after this song’s release is that texts and calls will be made by ex lovers across the globe, hoping to rekindle the flame of what once was and what could-have-been. It’s understandable. So many of us have a pressing need to “get closure” because we feel we owe or are owed an explanation for why things went wrong.
For a long time, I was the same way. To be honest, I still have those qualities. Extracting the “why” from painful experiences helps me to process and move on, taking a newfound lesson with me along the way. Like Hansel and Gretel (minus the cannibalistic witch), I leave “breadcrumbs” of memories and experiences to get back to the main lesson of why I am the way that I am. But this tactic, like a lot of self- preservation strategies, comes at a cost. I have often gone running back to the source of my pain to seek healing, demanding an explanation or apology, when neither are needed.
In Adele’s case, she’s the offending party who wants to make amends. She’s hurt someone and recognizing that she broke his heart, reaches out to apologize. The man (hey Tristan Wilds!) has not responded to her or if he has, has not responded in the way she was hoping, since “it clearly doesn’t tear [him] apart anymore”. Unfortunately, I’ve been on both sides of that fence and let me tell you, hurting someone that you care about sucks. In my case, I’ve ended every relationship I’ve had for varying reasons, but ultimately, I knew that I hurt someone who was good to me (with the exception of one, but that’s another story). So I can understand why you’d want to reach out to him or her. They’re owed a reason, right? Eh…maybe.
I think that for those of us who have hurt others, whether intentionally or not, we probably owe it to them to leave them alone. Reaching out is often a selfish act fueled by pride and a crushed ego. You need to be forgiven so that you can move forward with a good “track record”. You can’t stand the thought of someone out there being able to say “yea that person hurt me”. You need to make amends in order to..what? Feel better about yourself. Don’t get me wrong, apologies can be made with the best of intentions and are often met with gratitude. We sometimes make horrible mistakes that need to be addressed and by acknowledging our wrongdoing, we can begin the work to change our behavior moving forward. But sending a text to your ex who you haven’t spoken to in 5 years probably doesn’t qualify.
The most recent lesson that I’ve accepted in my adult life is that sometimes you have to accept the apology you were never given. Sometimes you have to acknowledge the explanation you don’t have. Sometimes the experience is enough.
While outside influences may help, closure is a solo act.
Peace & Love,