I wish I had learned this one earlier in life.

Nobody cares about your feelings. The sooner you can accept this fact the better.
Stop what you are doing right now and repeat this to yourself, “Nobody cares about my feelings.” Do it while staring in the mirror if it helps.

Repeat this ten times.

Stings a little, doesn’t it? Life is full of truths that sting, deal with it.

Your wife doesn’t care, your kids don’t care, your mother doesn’t care. NONE. OF. THESE. PEOPLE. CARE. Now I am not suggesting that these people don’t want you to be happy, in most cases they most certainly do. Your loved ones care about your well-being, that’s what makes them your loved ones. However it is your well-being that concerns them, yours. You own your well-being. Those of you married or in a relationship, have you ever been able to “fix” your partner’s feelings? Are you waiting for someone to fix yours?

I must admit that I am guilty of emotional blackmail. Validate my negative feelings right now or I am going to be an asshole.

Speaking of truths in life that sting, yikes.

That was not a fun sentence to write. It’s even less fun to go back and read. I wonder how much my already half-spent life has been spent waiting for someone else to fix my crappy attitude. More than I care to know.

One more thing that must end right now.

No more wasting my life away waiting for apologies that don’t matter.

Validation can be a wonderful thing, it feels nice when someone else “feels our pain.” Whether it contributes to our personal development is another. We all know people that love to get together and commiserate in various problems, misery loves company. Feeling isolated and stuck is a frustrating experience and being with people that can identify with your frustrations can be empowering as long as other actions are taken. Were it not for the twelve steps AA would only be a bunch of drunks telling stories. I live in Las Vegas, there are plenty of places for drunks to congregate and tell stories none of which I am aware send you home with specific action steps to improve your life.

Here’s a question for you, who owes you an apology?

Answer, no one.

Man, truth bombs are dropping from everywhere today.

“Waiting” for an apology just another form of emotional blackmail.

I am not moving on with my life until you apologize to me. Why on Earth would we surrender our own well-being waiting on apology? Again I ask the question, who owes you an apology?

Answer(in all caps for maximum emotional impact) NO ONE!!

Grab a pen and paper, its homework time.

Write you down everyone in your life that for whatever reason did something to you that believe would warrant an apology, and apology for which your are still waiting. What would warrant an apology? If you were guilty of the same infraction you feel the need to apologize, use that metric as your guide. Take as much time as you need this is gonna be awesome.

On your mark, get set, go.

Hum the Jeopardy theme music if it helps.

Done? Anyone else you would like to add? Dig deep, we are only going to do this once.

Do not pass this point until you are done with your list, we are going to call this A

Now let’s make another list.

List all the people that maybe waiting on an apology from you. Again, dig deep. Anyone and everyone that comes to mind. Your journey of life has included casualties, I guarantee it. It happens to the best of us.

There is a scene in the movie Billy Madison where Billy, played Adam Sandler, makes a phone call to make amends with someone he had bullied in grade school. After the phone call the ex-classmate of Billy’s, played by Steve Buscemi, turns around and marks Billy Madison off his “people to kill” list. Let’s get ourselves off some of those list “people to kill” lists. If you’re name is rattling around a few of those lists.

Ok, done?

We will call this second list, list B.

For the next step, please find a well ventilated area. Somewhere you can be alone but also out of the vicinity of oily rags, dry brush or gas pumps.

Now take a long hard look at list A, soak it in. Who is on that list? Is it your mother? Is it your father? Is it your wife? Ex-wife? Son, daughter, ex-business partner that left will all the money? Allow the pain of the others past mistakes wash over you. This should hurt, so take as much time as you need.

Here comes the fun part, I promise.

Now when you have felt all you care to feel I want you take that list, list A, and light it on fire.

Watch it burn.

Let it go.

You can admit it, It feels better than it should. I have seen some amazing fireworks in my day, this one puts them all to shame.

Now for step 2. Take the second list, list B, and soak that one in too. If this part doesn’t make you feel like a total dick, you are doing it wrong. Who is on this list? Is it your mother? Is it your father? Is it your wife? Ex-wife? Son, daughter, ex-business partner that you cheated?

Now take that list and call the first person on it and start to make things right.

Take action instead of waiting to be acted upon.

Repeat as needed.

Feels good, doesn’t it?