Is There Ever A Need To Apologize?

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by Melody Fletcher on February 28, 2015

 

Coaching Call #141 is out! The topic of this week’s call is: Does She Really Have To Suffer To Get What She Wants?

This caller believes that you have to suffer to get what you want.  The easy path is not an option for her; her belief is, if there’s no pain, there’s no gain.

She’s an athlete but she’s so tired, she’s not sure how to cope with the demands of it anymore. How can she be at her very best without pushing herself so hard?  She’s worried that if she doesn’t train and work hard enough that she’ll be judged for not being at the top of her game.

Is suffering along the way the only path to getting what we want?  Why don’t we see the easy way as a viable option and how can we learn to listen to our intuition when its saying slow down, take the easy path, it’s this way!

If you believe that suffering is necessary and the “no pain no gain” is your mantra, this call is for you.

Read the full call summary here.

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As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this week, a story caught my eye. I don’t watch TV and I have no idea who the people involved in this story are, but this isn’t really about them. A woman named Giuliana Rancic, who appears on a show called “Fashion Police” made some derogatory comments about an actresses’ natural dreadlocks at the Oscars. The actress, Zendaya Coleman, responded by eloquently explaining why she felt that natural black hair should be celebrated and not criticized, which prompted Giuliana to issue a heartfelt and authentic apology (the apology was accepted). Now, I’m not going to get into the merits of whether or not the comments were actually racist (this is a matter of perception and you’ll have to make up your own mind on that one). But the article I read did get me thinking about apologies.

If we are responsible for everything in our reality, and if other people are equally responsible for their experiences, then can we ever really diminish anyone? And if we can’t, is there ever really a need to apologize? After all, if they attracted the offense into their reality, it’s not really our responsibility or fault, is it? What, exactly is an apology, anyway? Why does it sometimes feel good to say that you’re sorry, but at other times feel like the hardest thing in the world?

As I pondered this issue, I realized that the answer isn’t really that simple. Of course, we can’t truly “hurt” anyone, because yes, they really do attract everything into their reality. But there is a case to be made for the value of apologizing, if, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s done the right way.

What being offended really means

I love stories like this, not because I love gossip, but because publicized drama always gets a whole lot of people riled up. An event like this has the ability to mirror back the vibrations of not just the participating individuals (the presenter and the actress), but anyone who hears about it, as well. Facebook and Twitter were awash with outcries, opinions and lots and lots of judgment. Boy, did people get offended! But what exactly happens when we get offended?

This is a point that a lot of LOA students take issue with, because it can sound like we’re advocating for the idea that everyone can just step on each other’s toes without remorse. But please bear with me, because that’s not what I’m saying at all.

When someone gets offended, they are having an emotional response. They feel diminished in some way. They feel that the other person, by holding the opinion that they do, is taking power away from them. But they can’t. No one can take your power; you can only give it away. So, if someone triggers you, what they are doing is mirroring back your own powerlessness, which is already there to begin with. They are reflecting how you already feel, but they are not the cause of it. When we take full responsibility for our vibrations, we can recognize that any offense we feel is really our shit; it’s a response to a belief we hold that states that we are diminished in some way. If such a belief is not present, no offense will be taken. In other words, if I’ve offended you, it’s only because you asked to be offended. You attracted it into your reality. This lets me off the hook, right? I can just go about my day without ever giving you and your offendedness another thought… Well, yes and no. It depends. Like I said, this is not actually a simple issue.

You see, if I have offended you, even though your emotional response was about your belief system, I still took part in that event. I had an experience, too. And that experience is about my shit. More on that in a bit.

What we think an apology is

When we demand an apology from others, what we are almost always saying is this: “You have hurt me and you have to acknowledge that you were wrong and I was right. And until you offer this apology, until you take full responsibility for my emotional response, I will feel bad. I will continue to blame how I feel on you.” There are some inherent flaws in this view.

First, making others responsible for how we feel never works. As I said, our emotions are about us not them, so if we continue to need them to do something so we can feel better, we will never feel better. We can’t control what others do or say, no matter how hard we try. And since others are only ever reflecting our energy back to us, trying to change them in order to change ourselves is like yelling at the mirror to smile already so you can be happy. It simply doesn’t work that way.

The second issue with needing others to apologize to us is that this perspective is all about someone being right and someone being wrong. Of course, you have a right to be offended. You have a right to feel any way you do, and in fact, it’s incredibly important that you acknowledge that in order to continue to evolve. Your emotions are a feedback mechanism, and it’s important not to invalidate that feedback by avoiding or dismissing those feelings as “wrong”. Your point of view is totally valid. But so is the other person’s. They are not wrong to feel the way they do, either. And you don’t need to agree with each other to both be right. This can be very hard to hear when someone has just said or done something truly ugly, like made a really racist or horrifically mean remark. But it’s always true. Everyone’s perspective is valid, even if it’s not pretty, and even if it’s painful.

This is why people often react so defensively when we ask them to apologize. We are asking them to agree that they are wrong, that they have made a mistake, and often, that they ARE bad in some way. No one is ever going to feel good doing that, nor should they. So again, am I saying that we should never apologize? Nope. We just have to define what an apology actually is.

It’s all about boundaries

When we take the ego and its need to be right out of the equation, when we allow ourselves to take responsibility for our own emotional response, and when we no longer need the other person to do anything in order for us to feel better (when we take back our power), we can view the whole offense/offended game in a new light. After all, even if it’s not your “fault” that you offended someone, even if you were not “wrong” to do so, you still participated in that event. And that’s what you’ll want to focus on.

To me, this all comes down to boundaries. If you have overstepped my boundary, it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s there. After all, if you have no idea that I don’t like something, how can you honor it? A lot of people think that others should just know where the boundaries are, that this is just common sense. But that perspective leads to a lot of stepping on toes. Don’t draw an imaginary line in the sand and hope that others see it. Put a big freaking sign up and make it clear where you stand, so others have a chance to respect you. In fact, if you don’t set boundaries, if you don’t define them and aren’t prepared to defend them, the Universe will send you all kinds of people to stomp on your toes until you do.

So, let’s say that you’ve overstepped one of my boundaries and I let you know – kindly (because you didn’t do it on purpose. You didn’t even know the line was there). In that case you, who are not being triggered in this case, might respond with “Oops, sorry! I didn’t know that bothered you. Of course, I’ll respect your boundary from now on.” If you then overstep that boundary again, it’s up to me to enforce it and make a decision. Perhaps you forgot, in which case I can remind you. Perhaps you had some other reason for not respecting my boundary, such as that you’re not actually comfortable with it, or that you were lashing out from your own place of pain. In any case, I’ll have to make the decision of whether or not to keep engaging with you.

Now, if I’ve been the one to overstep a boundary, I’ll first ask myself, “Why did I overstep that boundary?” Did I even know it was there? If not, then I do now. If it’s a boundary I’m comfortable with, I’ll pledge to honor that boundary from then on. In that case, an “Oops, I’m sorry” apology serves as a way to demonstrate my willingness to comply with that person’s wishes. If it’s a boundary I’m not comfortable with, aka “I need you to let me manipulate you into doing what I want so I can feel better”, I walk away. In other words, if their boundary conflicts with my boundary, my boundary is more important to me. But in that case, the relationship is pretty much over. Neither party is wrong to set the rules of engagement for themselves. You get to set the rules of your playground and so do they. But neither of you has to visit the other’s playground, if you don’t agree to those rules.

Now, let’s say that you’ve crossed a boundary that you did know was there, at least to some extent. Perhaps you made an off-color or bitchy remark. Perhaps you were critical or judgmental. In the case of the fashion presenter, Ms. Rancic criticized an actress’ hair in a way that could be construed as racist. From what I understand, the entire show is based on making fun of other people’s looks and fashion choices, so even though it may seem, to some, that the boundary should’ve been clear, I don’t think it was. After all, if it’s ok to put others down to some degree, who’s to say what degree, exactly is acceptable? I think the actress responded brilliantly by checking her own emotions and then simply setting a boundary. She responded authentically. She did not demand an apology or cry out that she’d been damaged. She did not make the presenter responsible for everything that was bad in her world. Which is precisely how she opened herself up to manifesting a good feeling outcome.

Ms. Rancic took the opportunity to take a look at why she made those remarks. She acknowledged that she had crossed a line, and pledged not to do it again. Now, while her response also included a lot of self-blame, which no doubt pleased the masses who wanted to make her “wrong”, it didn’t need to. Her response was authentic and real. I believe her when she says that she’ll be more careful in the future, and I have no doubt that this entire experience has changed how she reacts to a variety of situations.

Even if Ms. Rancic did know that her remarks would cross the line (and it’s clear that she did not know that in the moment she said it, at least not consciously), she still wouldn’t be “wrong”. That’s too simplistic. You have to go deeper. If you’ve said or done something to offend someone, if you’ve crossed a boundary that you knew or could’ve known was there, you had a reason to do so. And that reason was valid to you, given your belief system. Let me explain:

The right kind of apology

No one ever does anything without a reason. That reason may not be consciously apparent to them, but trust me, they always have one, and it’s never to hurt others. This is an important point – none of us actually want to hurt anyone. We don’t like being the source of a trigger for someone else. If you lash out at someone, it was only ever because you were, in that moment, in some kind of pain. You were trying to find relief. A lot of people in our society are still coming from a vibration where it feels good to put others down, because the only alternative they think they have to put themselves down instead. So, if it’s between bagging on themselves and bagging on others, they make the better feeling choice. But putting others down doesn’t feel good for long, and so, we’ll always begin to manifest opportunities to choose an even better feeling path. Those opportunities are brought to us via others that trigger us into a not-so-good feeling reaction. In other words, we are vibrationally provoked into lashing out. When we do, we have the chance to notice how that feels and make adjustments.

Most people, when they realize that they’ve said something hurtful or ugly, will begin to beat up on themselves. This is where underlying beliefs of unworthiness and inherent badness (supported by such notions as Original Sin) come up. “I said this horrible thing because I’m a bad person”, they’ll think, for example. But that’s never the case. We say things we don’t really mean in order to get relief. The key is to become conscious of the fact that we did this and WHY, so we can shift the underlying cause. This is why demanding apologies from people doesn’t work (also, you can’t change how you feel by controlling others). The traditional apology is all about blame, but as I already explained, no one likes to feel that they were wrong, because really, they weren’t.

It’s not “wrong” to lash out, but it is unwanted. It doesn’t ultimately feel good (it can feel good for a while if you’re coming from a lower vibration, but again, it doesn’t last. We have to keep evolving). When we do realize that we’ve sought relief in this fashion, however, we can then look for other, more constructive ways to achieve that result. We can stop making fun of others in order to cover up our own insecurities and begin to work on feeling more secure, instead. We can stop manipulating others into giving us what we want because we’re not getting it and we think they should just defy our vibration and do the manifesting for us. We can stop shutting down the joy of others because it makes us more acutely aware of our misery.

So, what is an apology really about, when it’s aligned with who we really are? Well, if we were all aligned, apologies wouldn’t be necessary. We would all own our triggers, set boundaries clearly and respect each other. But in the “real” world, we’re not all aligned. So, I propose a new way to look at apologizing. Of course, your apology will often make the other person feel better, but only if it’s authentic. And the way to get authentic is to not make the apology about the other person and their offense. You can’t need them to feel better so you can feel better. Make the apology about you. Don’t be sorry for their pain (which is actually a form of condescension. You are looking at the other person as though they are weaker than you, and it’s your responsibility to make them feel better). Rather, be sorry for not being in alignment. Apologize to yourself and them for not being who you really are, for not reacting consciously, and set the intention to do better. Appreciate them for not only showing you where their boundary is, but for providing you with the opportunity to see in what way you were not quite being your true self. If they then don’t accept your apology and/or need you to suffer more before they’ll feel better, understand that this is really their own issue.

Bottom line

Apologizing should never be about diminishing yourself. It should also never be about appeasing the other person, so they can feel better. It should be about growth and evolution. It should be about recognizing that you were really hurting yourself. It should be about forgiveness, first and foremost about forgiving yourself (you cannot depend on their ability to forgive you so you can feel better, since you can’t control how they feel). It should be about recognizing when you are not your true self and striving to move into the energy of who you really are, a being of true love, wisdom and awesomeness. When you approach an apology this way, when you take the time to figure out what REALLY happened and you shift into more of who you are, when you apologize authentically, the entire Universe will bend over backwards to mirror this new, authentic self back to you. And before you know it, you’ll have nothing left to apologize for.

{ 38 comments }

John February 28, 2015 at 23:56

Wonderful! Thank you, Melody!

Dominique March 1, 2015 at 00:00

Thank you Melody – another excellent post. The boundary-setting part was brilliant – a real ‘ah-ha’ light bulb moment for me!

Melanie March 1, 2015 at 00:00

This really resonated with me, especially the last paragraph where you say apologizing should be about “growth and evolution.” I do apologize to people I’ve offended, not to appease them or to beat up on myself (I was REALLY good at that for a very long time). In my mind it’s just the right thing to do. I hurt you, and in my eyes I believe you reserve the same kindness and respect that I want so I’m going to show you that by apologizing if the situation warrants it. I really like your take on this.

This blog and other people/resources have helped me make a major shift in my beliefs around letting others be responsible for my emotions. I’m happy now that I realize they’re not. A side bonus of that is that I lash out less, either by getting offended by someone and going on the attack or being the offender in the first place. I catch myself before I’m going to say something gossipy or hurtful or mean (even though in the moment I think that person “deserves” it) because I realize it would be a reflection of my own lower vibration. It feels better not to be hurtful and ugly. The only thing uncomfortable about that is that I’ve had to actively keep my vibration higher and pull away a little from people who thrive of cutting others down to feel better. I’ve gone back and deleted several of my Facebook comments lately. :)
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Moonsparkle March 1, 2015 at 00:35

I first heard about this on Facebook. They didn’t mention that the comment was made on Fashion Police but then I saw in the comments section (FB) that it was, so that gave it a bit more context. I don’t watch it because it doesn’t resonate with me). I read about it on Mixed Chicks (a page for mixed race people/interracial relationships etc) so I think people there were more inclined to see it as a racial comment. Also the media tends to blow things out of proportion! Sometimes there is so much negativity about race and things like that, that it gets me down. (I know that this is because of how I perceive it). I think we also live in a world where you feel you have to be careful what you say because it could easily be taken the wrong way. You can almost become afraid to say things. But then, like you say, it’s all about your vibration. Somebody can make a comment and it means one thing to one person and a completely different thing to someone else!

I think Zendaya handled it well and if Gilulana meant her apology then that was a good thing. I like the idea of apologising being about growth, evolution and forgiveness.
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Summer March 1, 2015 at 01:52

I love Mixed Chicks Shampoo and Conditioner. :)

As a “mixed chick” myself when I saw something about Rancic apologizing on my Facebook feed – Do any of us watch TV? LOL! – I was curious about what she said and just to see how “bad” it really was. I admit, I am a little sensitive about my hair (life long issue) so her comment was slightly off-putting to me, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was offended. I loved Zendaya’s response though.

It’s funny because this story brought an interesting piece of clarity to me. When I read about this and I initially felt that “offness” when I found out what Rancic said, the first thought that came to mind was “Why did that make me feel that way?” then I remembered that I’m a bit sensitive about my OWN hair and once I realized what was REALLY going on, I was able to completely dismiss what she said. If this had happened a few years ago, I would have been pretty angry about her comment and I would have immediately reacted – on Facebook I’m sure lol.

Looking at it like that makes me celebrate self-awareness. A much more pleasant reality to live in. :)

Moonsparkle March 3, 2015 at 02:15

Hi Summer, thanks for your reply. I didn’t see it until now, I didn’t get a notification for some reason.

I don’t use the Mixed Chicks products but I’ve heard that they’re good. The FB page is run by different people. :)

Lol, I do get most of my news from Facebook or other sites these days! Hair can be a sensitive issue and I can see why Zendaya was upset. If Guiliana had said it to me I’m not sure what I would have thought but I would have felt like I was being attacked whatever because someone was saying something derogatory about my appearance.

Like you say, it’s good to examine why you react to certain things and what makes you feel that way. That’s good that you feel better about things than you did. Here’s to living in more pleasant realities! :)
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Cordy March 1, 2015 at 00:44

This isn’t really about the apology aspect, but as I saw this story show up in the Facebook sidebar (I too do not watch TV – I wonder how common that is/becomes as LOA folks go on their walk to self-grokking), it made me notice how my my assumptions about life have changed.

Even a year ago I think I would have felt – well, there’s a wrong person and a right person in this dynamic, and had feelings about which was which.

And now I am more like – wow! Isn’t it actually great that this initially crummy-seeming thing happened, because it opened up a dialogue about Black hair, and gave room for this young actress to publicly talk about choosing to feel great about herself even in a culture that tries to make Black women feel that they have “the wrong kind of hair”. And just seeing things that would have seemed “bad” to me more as neutral or even good. Hmmm!

Ellen March 1, 2015 at 00:54

luv

Terry March 1, 2015 at 02:47

Hi Melody,

You totally wrote the book here. Awesome !
Th x… luv…

A March 1, 2015 at 04:24

What I love about your posts Melody, is that I can reread them several times and get more meaning out of them each time. You are dead right about the boundaries bit, it’s really that simple. Define your boundaries, make them clear, and ditch the relationship if they are not respected. It has been working really well for me lately although for most of my life I just thought that having my boundaries not respected was normal and I let in all sorts of people.
But I have an issue with the term ‘racist’ that is bandied around a lot these days. It seems to be used whenever someone is offended and that person happens to be a minority or persecuted group. If I don’t like the way you wear your hair and you happen to be black, then that’s not racist. The definition of racist is: “a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.” Quite different to not liking their hair. If you are black or any other minority, commit a crime and you get arrested for it, and you resist arrest or are violent and get hurt in the process, that’s not racist, that’s just bad choices on your part.
I believe responses like calling someone racist says more about the minority, that they have an inferiority complex and if they just got on with loving themselves rather than being offended and protesting etc, then their life might improve. Complaining about being discriminated against is a waste of time, raising your vibration so that in your reality you are not discriminated against is a lot more empowering for you and your particular minority.

Dominique March 2, 2015 at 11:20

Hi there ‘A’. I think one way of better understanding the impact of racist remarks on people would be to take a quick study of PTSD. You will see there that the nervous system of someone who has been in a prolonged ‘combat’ situation – either physically, emotionally or psychologically – affects perception of stimuli. Any associations with that combat situation cause a response linked to that situation, and those responses persist long after the combat situation has ceased. An ex-soldier will have a very different reaction to the sound of a car back-firing in a civilian setting, than a non ex-soldier. That ex-solider may physically recoil and suffer psychological and emotional ‘flashbacks’. Anyone not knowing the history of this person may accuse that ex-soldier of reacting way out of proportion to the sound of a car. Not like a ‘normal’ personal at all. Similarly with someone who may have been subject to emotional or psychological abuse. The impact of stimuli on the nervous system and perception is very well documented.

It’s the same with racism. It’s not due to an inferiority complex. It’s due to the weight of history, the power imbalances and the lack of understanding of the effects of generations of undeniable racism which has existed. So, yes, a person may make a remark or not promote or support someone of colour within a normal societal context or framework but it is perceptually ‘loaded’ and may be taken as harmful until the previous associations don’t even come close to existing anymore. We are certainly not there yet. So yes, while it would be great for people to, as you so eloquently put it, ‘got on with just loving themselves rather than being offended …’ please do take a look into PTSD and see if you can see anything there that may help improve your understanding.

A March 1, 2015 at 04:32

Also I just googled and read the article and Guiliana was basically bullied into apologising (as many people are these days). Bullying is not only low self esteem, it’s sign of cowardice, to exert power over another to make yourself feel better (mostly by shaming in the social media these days) and to me is as bad as racism, which makes those who cry ‘racism’ hypocrites as well.

Cordy March 3, 2015 at 02:05

But wait, think this through to the end – if you are saying “When a person experiences racism in their external world, it’s because of their own internal vibration of victimhood being matched by reality”, then isn’t it logically also the case that a person who is “bullied into apologizing by people who cry racism” is having that experience because of their own vibration? If nobody’s a victim… you know, nobody’s a victim.

For that matter – why are YOU feeling bothered by the response? What is in your vibration about accusations of racism being used to attack that makes you a match to this stuff?

I say this not to blame or accuse, but because I think the answer is the same in every case, and it’s so worthy figuring out, because I think it’s the answer to making a big energy shift: it’s always going to be easier to observe “reality” (=the total of how others have streamed energy) and vibrate in response to it than to choose your own vibration and stick to it. (Unless you are a LOA genius and experienced spiritual psychonaut like Melody!) But for the rest of us who are, at best, still learning how to use these ideas, and, at “worst”, completely unfamiliar with them… really, observing reality is always going to be the easiest path, particularly on subjects we have a big vibrational “hook” available for.

For example, if you are a Black person in the US, you CAN get super great at using LOA ideas to get totally resistance-free on the topic of being a person of color in US culture, and then your life will morph around that, and you will just not experience racism very much in your life: you won’t bump into racist people, you won’t watch TV shows full of casually racist “jokes”, you won’t notice news stories about people being hurt by racism. It just won’t come up. I think you can see this at play in real life in very successful Black people like Pharrell, Oprah, and Raven-Symone. They’ve all made comments that did not land terribly well about how they don’t experience racism in their lives, or have decided that they are not defined by race, and so on. People don’t really like that. It sounds crazy, when you’re like the rest of us, still hung up on “reality”, and particularly if you’re a person who observes a racist reality and so has painful personal experiences relating to racism, that you could just opt out. Crazy, AND like people are blaming you for a terrible part of your life you definitely don’t feel that you’re choosing. And of course, it’s quite difficult to actually pull this off, even once you understand that it’s possible. It’s not just a massive paradigm shift, it’s retraining your whole approach to your external world and your internal thoughts and emotions. Worth it, and what we came here to play with (the process of moving from powerlessness to remembering our power), but not easy. And people are sometimes threatened by other people who’ve, as I think of it, “leveled up” in the game of consciousness.

(I notice this myself when I hear the occasional extremely successful woman talk about how she is not limited in her career by being female, and in fact never experiences discrimination of any kind (particularly the odd woman speaking about her work in our shared male-dominant field where I still operate in the “it’s harder for me because I’m female” mindset at least some of the time, because easier for me to observe reality, like everyone else) – I get tense and twitchy and I want to explain that she’s wrong, and discrimination against women is real, and here is my proof, and how dare she. But recently (finally!) I’ve been realizing that that feeling of defensiveness is like a HUGE RED ARROW POINTING AT MY NEXT ISSUE TO CLEAN UP so I can feel powerful and good enough and move toward the life experience of my dreams.)

Anyway. Back to racism! So, exactly as it’s theoretically possible for a Black person to raise their LOA consciousness enough that they can opt out of experiencing racism, and instead experience the full power and glory of their being (but always going to be much harder to pull off than just observing reality as we’ve all been trained to do), if you’re a non-Black person in the US and you’re worried about accusations of racism being used to hurt you or make you powerless, you could just decide to stop observing that in your reality, and put your focus somewhere else. And once your focus was solidly somewhere else than on something that vibrates “victim”, your external reality would morph to match. And I know this is true, because many white people are confused when another white person talks about how they feel that there is a sort of threat cloud of cries of racism or sexism or other unfair treatment looming over us the whole time. And the thing is, that is really, truly, not part of the life experience of those people!

So, I find that this insight makes me much more compassionate with myself and with others. Yes, we do create our own realities. Yes, any of us have the ability to shift at any time from observing (and so continually recreating) our external realities, to instead creating based on our own internal realities. But it’s hard. It’s hard, right? Acknowledging that change is possible, wonderful, desirable – but also challenging – lets me feel compassion for others, but also, selfishly, lets me feel compassion for myself.

Summer March 3, 2015 at 18:01

When I was a kid race was a big issue – for ME anyway. I was always ashamed of being bi-racial (it was still kind of taboo in the 80′s – and being in the south doesn’t help much either). I always told people I got a “bad perm” and that’s why my hair “looks like that”. Oh and my favorite question: “What are you?” Really? I would usually respond with “a human” and they shut up. LOL!

As I got older – even before learning LOA – I finally decided that I didn’t give a crap anymore. I decided that anyone who had a problem with me because I’m bi-racial was an idiot and someone I didn’t want to associate with anyway. Now, I actually feel sorry for people like that.

I don’t experience any sort of racism at all anymore. The most I see of it is stories like this. So I think it’s pretty awesome how people like Pharrell, Oprah and Raven (OMG! I love Raven! :) ) talk openly about how they don’t experience racism. If we don’t go around looking for it, thinking about it and expecting it, it doesn’t have to be something that is a part of our reality.

Moonsparkle March 4, 2015 at 19:39

Hi Summer, I’m mixed race too and have experienced people asking what I am. Some people say, “Where are you from?” and what they really want to know is, “What race are you?”. I could just say, “I’m from England” and that wouldn’t answer their question! lol. I grew up in a predominately white area and I didn’t really feel different, although I did get bullied at middle school, so sometimes I wondered, “Is it because I’m half African?”. The thing is though, people will pick on you for anything. That’s why I think that these kids who get bullied for being overweight should lose weight for themselves, not because they’re being bullied. (But that’s another issue that I won’t go into more here).

I didn’t feel that being mixed race was taboo in my childhood and teens but when I was older I came across all this race stuff on the internet and saw that some people think that way. Even recently I read an article where they were basically attacking celebrities for identifying as mixed race. You are entitled to your opinion but please don’t attack others.

I think that’s great that you feel better about being biracial. :) I also like to hear those stories about people who don’t experience racism. It’s great! I also like it when people say they don’t just want to be defined by colour/race. I saw this comment on a site once about a black woman saying she didn’t experience racism because it wasn’t in her mindset (think she was from New York) and people didn’t believe her and accused her of being brainwashed (by LOA type thinking). But I could totally believe it, if she wasn’t looking for it she would be less likely to see it. (Not that she would be 100% guaranteed to never experience it but a lot less likely).

I think the world has changed so much, things are more positive than they were and hopefully in the future it will continue to get better. :)
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Karin March 7, 2015 at 17:14

I thought I’d chime in here as another mixed-race gal who hasn’t really experienced much direct racism. I’ve lived in Zambia (where I grew up) Sweden and London, where I live now. I went to an international school which was a big melting pot of colours and cultures. Race wasn’t as taboo there as it is in other cultures I’ve been in – it was much more talked about in everyday conversation. There was tribalism, with people of similar cultures and races forming groups, but racism wasn’t really a thing.

When I moved to Sweden for university, I had the chance to contrast my experience with other mixed-race people who had grown up in Sweden. I remember once when I was at a club with a friend, a man was rude to us. I thought nothing of it, but afterwards she told me that he was a racist. I’m not sure if she was basing it on anything (it was at a club, so alcohol + loud music = I don’t remember very well :P ) , but I had a few experiences which were similar to that, with me being oblivious towards racism, while my friends seemed to be on alert towards it. I’m not saying I blame them though – I only lived in Sweden for two years, but as the time went, I started becoming much more aware of being an “outsider” (this was before my LOA knowledge). I still didn’t experience any racism that I can remember, but I am sure that if I had stayed, I would have eventually.

And now I live in London which feels like a much bigger version of my melting-pot international school. Most of the time, I don’t really have my race in my awareness. When I do, I’m mostly thinking good things about it – I love being mixed, seriously! Almost to the point of arrogance :D I have an amazing cultural heritage, I’ve been blessed to experience full immersion in two separate cultures, I blend in with groups of all colours pretty well because I don’t identify strongly with a particular one, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colour of my skin (cappuccino baby!), and I just think being mixed-race is all round awesome. The only thing I ever hated about it was my hair (frizzy and horrible, didn’t have a mother with the same hair that could teach me how to tame it). So when I turned 18 I got dreadlocks, and that’s awesome, because being half African I can get away with it looking “ethnic” rather than looking like a weed-smoking hippie. Not to diss white-people-dreads – I think they look amazing when they’re neat and taken care of, but it must be harder to be taken seriously in say, job interviews and the like.

Mixed and proud! :D
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Moonsparkle March 8, 2015 at 02:35

Hi Karin, thanks for sharing your story. :) When I was a child I was called “P*ki” a couple of times (hope it’s alright to write that on here, if not just remove it) even though I’m not Pakistani or Indian (I think some people use that slur for anyone with brown skin!) and had a couple of other incidences but have come across the most racism on the internet really, just seeing people on websites and forums write horrible things and how prejudiced people can be.

I love to hear positive stories because I seem to see a lot of negativity in relation to being mixed race online and I know it’s not always that way at all. I created my own Positive Mixed Race boards on Pintrest.

I think so much of it depends on where you’re raised and the cultures and society you grow up in. I was born and lived in Southern Africa as a baby and toddler and also lived in Fiji as a child, so I’ve lived in different cultures although I don’t remember Africa. Fiji is a diverse place, the two main ethnic groups are native Fijians and Indo-Fijians (Fijians with Indian heritage) but there are other people of other races, cultures and nationalities there. And then of course England is so diverse these days.

Love that you’re mixed and proud! Me too. :)

P.S. I just saw an article that the actor Leonard Nimoy wrote to a mixed race teenage girl all the way back in 1968. It’s an inspiring read if anyone wants to check it out: https://celebrity.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/read-leonard-nimoy-s-1968-words-of-wisdom-to-a-mixed-race-teenager-184206517.html
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Cordy March 8, 2015 at 03:14

“Most of the time, I don’t really have my race in my awareness. When I do, I’m mostly thinking good things about it – I love being mixed, seriously! Almost to the point of arrogance :D I have an amazing cultural heritage, I’ve been blessed to experience full immersion in two separate cultures, I blend in with groups of all colours pretty well because I don’t identify strongly with a particular one, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colour of my skin (cappuccino baby!), and I just think being mixed-race is all round awesome.”

LOVE this. So uplifting – I just love it. Go on and be “arrogant”! Thank you for sharing your love of self, it’s palpable.

Just Call Me A. March 4, 2015 at 21:22

That is great, Summer, and you are right, if you do not go looking, you won’t experience it! Not giving a crap is so freeing!

Human- I love that answer and yes, it would shut them up!

Natalie March 1, 2015 at 05:06

I especially loved your paragraph about what being offended really means, as well as your blog post on feeling offended.

kelli March 1, 2015 at 05:33

Hi Melody
This was an excellent post. I kept seeing something about this story on Facebook on that little side bar and I was curious what all the hoopla was about. I was a bit surprised at the ‘outrage’ –I love how that word is used all the time. I honestly don’t think she said anything so horrible, and given the nature of the show, it wouldn’t have seemed very out of line. I have seen it before and like you said, the whole show is about talking smack about people’s appearance.

I think in our efforts to promote unity, tolerance and what have you, we are getting a bit hypersensitive about things. But I digress…

I particularly resonated with what you said about us assuming people know our boundaries, but often times, they may not. Making assumptions can be problematic in many ways when it comes to our dealings with our fellow humans. This is something I have actually been thinking a lot about lately because I have caught myself doing it quite a bit recently and I am becoming more aware of it.
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Michael (Australia) March 1, 2015 at 06:16

I totally agree. Yesterday, I got some advice that I should say sorry to a co-worker because he accused me of using his work phone for personal reasons, when the bill and phone showed I did not. He was in the wrong but he wants an apology and I have to be the ‘big man’ and say sorry. I created this experience, but there is no way I’m saying sorry for what I didn’t do. Sorry if this going against LOA (oh the irony I’m apologising for refuse to say sorry to someone). I did not go over his boundary intentially, nor him mine, but the words I am sorry are not coming from these lips. I shall be using this post in the future for reference, it’s brilliant.

Sage March 1, 2015 at 06:28

That comment did seem racist to me, but I was not offended by it. I acknowledge it as being such, because I want to be aware enough to consciously reject comments like that, or any other judgement I deem prejudicial or sexist. Otherwise I really don’t care what anyone thinks, unless I agree with them, in which case yay:)

I personally like to apologize. It makes me feel better, although I pretty much only apologize for projecting an issue onto someone else, when it was really all about me. I always like to own my side in a conflict. An apology in that case in like an agreement with myself to pay more attention next time, and then it I let it go.

Waaza March 1, 2015 at 11:51

Great post !! This one belongs to those I need to read again 3 times since it’s so rich and lightning. It unveils a bunch of illusions that are not only widespread but work as remnant “conflict nodes” that make us feel stuck in our lives and hearts. Thank you very much! I will try to spread the link to his brilliant post !

Klaus March 1, 2015 at 14:41

Great article, Melody! Makes total sense, I agree with you completely (not that you care about that, anyway ;) ).

Hugs,
Klaus

Angelo Limon March 1, 2015 at 17:43

Wonderful post!

There is always time to forgive. Forgive yourself, because in the end, if your holding a grudge – your hurting yourself. Since we hold the key to our own happiness, it’s wise to forgive yourself and others to release the blocks that keep us from our own happiness.

I wrote a post about how to let go and start thinking right and feel good again.

bye ;-)
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Sage March 1, 2015 at 19:06

This actually reminds me of an incident with a cousin many years ago. I used to babysit him and his sister a lot, and one day when he was five he hit her. I put him in a timeout and explained to him he could leave as soon as he apologized, that it was OK to hit a pillow or the couch if he was mad but it was not OK to hit a person, because she had feelings just like him, and he would not like to be hit, and I knew he loved her, and he didn’t really want to hurt her anyway, he was just frustrated. Well he screamed and cried and resisted apologizing for several minutes, but in the end he did, and they were playing a game together happily in less than an hour.

And he never hit his sister again. People underestimate children. They are fully capable of understanding an object lesson in compassion and adopting healthier coping mechanisms without having to resort to punishment or anger displays. I don’t see teaching children the value of apologizing sometimes to be any different than teaching them not to stick a fork in a light socket.

Contrast (pun intended) that with the advice of Esther Hicks to not interfere with a small boy abusing a cat. Part of the reason why I am not a huge fan of hers, although I agree with a lot of what she has to say.

Compassion is the smallest basic unit of love and connection, to realize that other beings are just like you and want happiness and the fulfillment of their desires just like you.

Esther Hicks just doesn’t really seem to get that compassion is a positive feeling. From discouraging people who want to win the lottery and donate to charity (an equally valid desire as any other, and one other people would have to be a match to receive anyway) to implying that just because someone has more money they necessarily have a higher vibration. I sincerely doubt a serial killer who makes six-figures has a higher vibration than people with less.

And money is like anything else, neutral, it can just easily be a negative manifestation for the person involved. For someone who makes money off of sweatshop child labor, the guilt involved in that, the scarcity mindset that led them to make those decisions, and perhaps a belief that money is bad and has to come in unsavory ways, all could have led to having a large sum money that is really a very negative manifestation for the person involved.

You can really look at any subject, anything people desire, and for some people it would be a wanted manifestation, for other people a unwanted one. And many manifestations are going to be mixed, because the vibration is mixed.

I also think her approach encourages people to be afraid and fake, because whooo scary, just mentioning things like this makes them happen. No it doesn’t. It just doesn’t.

Stephen King does not seem to live a life filled with horror like one of his novels. He’s rich, married for decades to a woman who supported his writing from the beginning, does what he loves for living, and plays in a rock band for fun.

Being too afraid to think and speak freely would undoubtedly have negative consequences, however.

Laurel March 1, 2015 at 19:06

To me, the missing question here is: why does anyone want to watch a show that is based on making fun of people? I get it, the viewers are feeling so bad they need to climb the emotional ladder by ripping on someone else. But how can anyone be “outraged” by a particular comment made in the cesspool of all that nastiness? This ugly comment is ok, this one- out of line. It seems illogical. But, reality TV never did make any sense to me.

I really loved this post. I had a particular situation that came up lately that I didn’t have a clear definition of. I had a friend who was setting boundaries that felt false to me. Like they were tools for some other purpose. When you said, “I need you to let me manipulate you into doing what I want so I can feel better” I had an “Aha!” moment.

When I wasn’t being available enough for this friend’s liking, she would then find fault with my behavior. So if I was unable or unwilling to get together when she asked, I would later get a long message about how my behavior was unacceptable. The last time was, “You don’t listen to me and I felt like I wasn’t heard”. This stemmed from a discussion where she was saying something really negative [about politics] going down a road I did not want to go- so I changed the subject in order to avoid a fight [and to avoid feeling crappy]. I should have just said, “I don’t like talking about politics”, but I suspect the outcome would have been the same.

Anyway, I went through that cycle of apologizing for my “behavior” a few times before I noticed the coincidence of it always following an declined invitation. We aren’t friends anymore. I’m thrilled that I have an explanation for what was going on. I knew it wasn’t right and I [finally] put a stop to it but I didn’t really have understanding of what she was doing. Now I do.

You are awesome as always! <3

Imgorgeousdealwithit March 2, 2015 at 01:24

Hey Laurel,
Thanks – I dont watch TV and I dont do FB (I read Orwell/1984!) Bust DESPITE being so totally disconnected from “popular” culture (ie what everyone else is watching and scrolling) I STILL KNOW ABOUT THIS SHIT!!!! – Like you said in your post:::: “….the missing question here is: why does anyone want to watch a show that is based on making fun of people?”
So I recap: Someone, somewhere on some nasty TV show, dedicated to ridiculing people on their looks – made a comment about hair – and the world erupted – have I got this right?
Where MY mind has gone is here: 1/Is the global vibrationary field so strong on this it forced its way into my consciousness? I mean I am SO not connected to TV or FB or anything like that so HOW do I know about it??
2/WHY am I making a comment here on the blog?
I read Melody’s blog, but rarely comment – so why this one, why now??
Interesting ideas for me to explore.
Meanwhile, for what its worth, I saw the said ‘do – and I think she looks gorgeous! (does that make me shallow, judging on looks???)
(I think my head is about to explode).

Cordy March 3, 2015 at 02:10

I love this comment and share many of your questions! I normally am pleasantly oblivious to celebrity news or outrage scandals, but this one caught my eye a bit, too. And I too wondered – why THIS? Why did this pop for me, and for so many of us?

I’ve wondered if it combines a couple of things that’ve been in the public consciousness (and in mine) more frequently in the past year: race in America, and how people treat men in the public eye. And I did notice that this was a really “perfect” version of those things for me, because it was a pretty mild issue that didn’t fill me with despair, but the person who was on the receiving end of the commentary drew a boundary and claimed her beauty and power in a way I found pretty cool, and then the host who’d made the comment seemed to see an opportunity for her own mental expansion in it. So I wound up feeling that the whole thing was a kind of cool growth event for my culture.

Phew, I don’t know. You ask good questions. Why this one, indeed? Perhaps a future post idea for Melody!

V March 1, 2015 at 23:29

HI Laurel..I have had a similar situation with a very demanding friend of mine , who has problems accepting that I need some time for myself and that I do not want to feel like her entertainer /best friend (aka you have to meet my expectations of best friend ) all the time. On one occasion I told her how annoyed I am , explaining , trying to be very articulate and not to offend her, how heavy she is , by the way she did not get it. Some people are just different and can not get along. I believe it is definitely is important to communicate as long as you do not need the other person to understand…I can not twist myself into knots trying to explain something that is like Dutch to someone . She desappeared on me for a while(which I was quite ok with ) just to come back telling me that our friendship is too important to her and that she forgives me for not making the first move and contact her first..she can not make sense out of what I explained not even with a sketch ..I hate that embarrassing and heavy feeling I get when somebody does not want to listen and wants you to shut up because it is too unconfortable for them to hear ..I do not know your friend and I can not judge her but if you can relate to this, I hope you do not mind me telling you that I am glad for you she is gone… It still really shocks me how sometimes things have to get ugly with people, especially when you really do not want to hurt them, but I guess this concern is the reason why this happens…We do not need everybody’s approval and have all the right to be with the people we really enjoy

Heather March 2, 2015 at 14:45

I have this personal experience thingy about boundaries and making other people responsible for your own stuff. Writing about it publicly may just be the scariest thing I’ve done in a long time. I normally keep my stuff private to protect myself, something that has, at least to some extent, started to occasionally hinder my progress.

I was friends with this girl for almost fifteen years, I met her at a psychiatric ward when I was a teenager. I was extremely confused with myself, suffering from a very low self-esteem, and she sort of forced herself close to me, constatly following me around, being super interested about my life and everything, presumably because she saw that I was easily manipulated. I quickly became her therapist, mother and caretaker, something the nurses repeatedly tried to prevent, but never succeeded. Long story short, she had me in an iron-tight psychological grip for a long time, exploiting my empathy and strong resolve to help people. Our friendship continued after we were both released from the ward, naturally, even though I wanted to break free many times. I was just never brave enough to defy her. She could be extremely charming, funny and great company when she wanted to, but if there was even a tiny sign that she wasn’t the center of my attention, she would pull one of her tricks and made me feel horribly guilty because she was suffering, her life was so hard and it was my responsibility to help her. She would make me feel guilty for every good thing in my life, as well; when I was told by a doctor that I have a very slim chance of ever having children, she suddenly had a very strong urge to have a child, and when I miraculously got pregnant and had a healthy baby (thanks LOA!) she told me that she was told by a doctor that she could never have children and her life is ruined. As it later turned out, these were all lies. With her, it was always very difficult to tell because she was extremely skilled in twisting the truth just enough that you can never really prove anything, but enough to make you paranoid.

I was able to end the relationship when there was 6000 kilometers between us. I was able to do it when I realized that even though I still didn’t care about my own well-being enough to respect my own boundaries, I didn’t want her anywhere near my daughter. The last conversation we had was, for a lack of a better word, absurd. She told me that all she could think about was killing herself, that there was nothing to feel good about her life anymore, she was alone and suffering, and my help would be the only thing to save her. I played along for a few days, thinking that I could reason her to understand why this is not working anymore, but after she started to contradict herself message after message, telling this and then saying the exact opposite, trying to figure out what it is I want to hear, I realized that she’s never going to change, and our coexistence has become impossible, because I’ve changed so much. She could never respect any boundary I set, she would continue to step on them because to her, they are a challenge. I don’t think she even understands that she’s doing it. I told her it’s over (and felt incredibly guilty, after the anger died out) and a few months later I heard that she had changed completely, she was social, outgoing, seemingly happy. I felt so used back then. When she didn’t have to pretend because of me anymore, she could just change her personality in an instant. Everything about the suicide and all was once again just lies, which I knew at the time, but it still hurt me on some deep, personal level that it took me years to get up from a very dark place, and she just did it like that. Which meant that her problems were never similar to mine to begin with, it was all just an act to manipulate me. And I believed her, and I was angry with myself for a long time for having been so gullible. I cut all ties with her two years ago, and writing about it still makes me uncomfortable.

But the thing is… she never did any of it out of spite or because she hated me or anything like that, though that’s what I wanted to believe for a long time, and i guess it was a necessary step to get the anger out. I think that in her own way, she cared for me. The way she lives her life and treats people is the only way she knows, her way of surviving. Modern psychology claims that some people physically lack the ability to feel compassion, guilt or shame. I disagree on this. I believe that the emotions are there, but facing them would shatter their psyche so they’ve sort of just disconnected parts of themselves, as means to survive. I also hate categorizing people, that’s why I don’t use words like sociopath or a psychopath or whatever. To me, she’s not a sociopath. She’s just stuck in such a low vibration that she lives through the outside world. To her, there is nothing else in the lake but the surface. And to me that is an extremely sad way of existing, and figuring this out helped me finally let go of the grudge I had, while hating myself for feeling it. My hurt is my own, and it’s in my power to deal with it. Her hurt is her own, and it’s up to her to deal with it; I can’t and I won’t be made responsible for it. But because she is too horrified to face it, she tries to find relief in putting it on other people, and so our coexistence could never work, no matter how much she’d tell me she’s going to chance. I think the only genuine emotion I ever saw on her face was anger. Everything else was acting, probably because that’s the only emotion she actually feels. I only realized this when I stopped my medication and got my ability to read people back; her eyes were just empty, everything was fake. She tells people what she thinks they want to hear to get closer to them. Her opinions, appearance, and personality can change drastically depending on who she wants to appeal to. That’s why she puts a lot of energy into keeping her friends from ever seeing each other.

Okay then. I’m aware that this comment is long, badly structured and possibly off-topic. I’m going to step away from my comfort zone and just send it.

Sage March 2, 2015 at 16:33

Very insightful story Heather. Thank you for posting this. I was especially struck by what you said about the emotions still being there.

I had a somewhat similar experience, when my best friend from high school became schizophrenic in our mid-twenties, and I had to break off the relationship. I still feel wistful about it, so I should probably clean up my vibe a bit there.

MaryN March 3, 2015 at 08:32

What I am wondering about is maybe not totally related to this post. But it is about co-creation, that baffles me more and more. If I just out of the blue feel totally irritated and angry with somebody – did they create that by manifesting that version of them? And obviously I created whatever made me angry at them – or rather I get that reflection of my vibration. Sometimes a positive feeling towards somebody just comes easier – is it because of the influence of their vibration and what version of me they manifest according to their vibration? And if some days I truly struggle to find a connection – is it because of their vibration “pushing” me away? Or did I create that vibration first? Sometimes the same “trigger” will get different responses from me by the same person. So can how I respond have been influenced by their vibration and what side of me they manifest on that day?

MaryN March 3, 2015 at 08:33

- Sorry in the following sentence I meant to say: – did they create that by manifesting that version of ME?

Cordy March 3, 2015 at 22:02

I’ve had similar questions! In situations where I did something I later feel weird about (minor social awkwardness, getting grumpy with someone, etc) I’ve often wondered why I did that, why I was unable to resist that impulse as obviously a better person would. There was a real self-blamey tone to those thoughts, which I now see was a reinforcing cycle, have experience, vibrate “why did I do that?”, manifest another situation to show you a physical version of that vibrational habit, etc.

I got a lot of relief out of realizing that we’re all co-creating, and perhaps sometimes I’m actually just the cooperative component in someone else’s vibrational habit.

Of course, I can then choose to stop being a match to that particular vibration (which is something I have learned from Melody, that contrast is helpful, because it’s a lamp pointed at something I don’t realize I’m doing vibrationally!) but understanding that sometimes when I out of nowhere have a really powerful urge to get snippy with someone or whatever, what if I’m actually the bit player in their drama, not the diva starring in my own “why did I do that?!?” production. Not sure if that makes sense, but it helps me let it go and feel more compassionate and less ashamed, which I think is a much-improved vibration that ultimately makes me a match to different peoples’ LOA “scenes”.

MaryN March 4, 2015 at 08:55

Hi Cordy – thanks for your view, it clarifies a lot – it remains a concept that leaves me in awe. Especially if I have a choice how to behave towards somebody and very “deliberately’ for example, decide to be more patient and compassionate – especially I think when I could have been sure the person expected the exact opposite. It is so mind gobbling to think somebody manifested ME, especially if I know I can make the person feel good and appreciated. It can be very practical as well. A while ago friends would have come to visit during a weekend which would have been totally inconvenient and almost “impossible” for me to give them proper attention because I had a huge presentation for work to prepare that could not wait. And they had a function to attend so it was the best weekend for them to come. But in the end, a chain of events prevented them to visit – and in my reality it was best to not have visitors that weekend.

Sophie D. March 9, 2015 at 06:57

Thanks for this post, Melody! My favorite quote was, “Don’t draw an imaginary line in the sand and hope that others see it.” One of the most inspiring posts for me yet!

Many thanks, and big bear hugs back,

Sophie

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