Tonight on my drive home, a radio moderator explained the concept of "ghosting" and then proceeded to tell her listeners what to do, if they have been ghosted:  

"(1) Delete everything you have of the person (pictures, texts, emails) until you have nothing to remind you; (2) Stand up for yourself and tell the person what you think, even if they never respond; (3) Be thankful, you would have never wanted this person in your life anyway."

That's it.  Her words were followed by some non-descriptive song, another, then another.  I stayed with the station, hoping to catch that mysterious woman giving therapeutic advice on the air, surely there would be a talk of some sort on the phenomena of ghosting?  Nothing.  Apparently deleting or unfriending a person takes care of your ghosts.  

Coincidentally, Professor Robinson, a renowned mediator with the Pepperdine Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, gave a thought-provoking lecture on "apologizing" today.  Specifically, he introduced the following hypothesis, using the scenario of a car accident as an example:  What if you rear-ended another car, got out, and apologized to the driver?  Now, the law student in us silently screamed: "No, no way! That is admitting liability."  However, over the next hour, Professor Dr. Robinson led us into a dazzling world of apology, forgiveness and reconciliation.  Can we not ever just apologize, he asks. Do we really have to enter that vicious cycle of denial, guilt, pretending, and going forward without ever seeking closure or reconciliation?  Can we not as lawyers and as decent human beings step up, admit mistakes, admit weaknesses and face consequences? Are consequences really bad? 

He provides another example of a child who threw a rock into a neighbor's window and tells his papa: "No one saw it.  No one will ever know."  He takes one long glance: "As parents, what do you tell your child? Do you tell him, 'oh, okay we shall lie low then, no one will ever find out'.  Or do you teach your son about responsibility and facing consequences? Why?" "Because I need to preserve my integrity as a parent," a student answers.  Integrity. A guide post in our journey to accept responsibility and to grow up.  Professor Robinson tells us that he got a call from a former student recently.  He had made a stupid mistake years ago, and now believed his life was crumbling into one messy pile before him.  Professor Robinson reminded him that we all are vulnerable in some form or another, and advised him to reach out to people and tell them the truth.  As it turned out, the consequences were nowhere near the total apocalypse the former student had envisioned.  Professor Robinson's lesson to us today: "Be the person you want to live with.  Face consequences.  Do apologize, do admit your flaws and weaknesses, do express your feelings.  Be human."

I think about that moderator who suggested fixing the ghosts in our lives by forgetting them.  I wonder what experiences she went through that made her abstract a person to a mere thought that can be expunged.  Grieving can be a long and arduous process, and we suffer through all the phases of it.    Yes, it is painful to have a ghost living in your heart, and not really knowing why, but there are many reasons why people ghost and without knowing more, no one should ever advise anyone to delete a person from their lives.

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours." - Wayne Dyer

Colleen Yorke. All rights reserved. 2020.
All names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this blog are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. © All rights reserved.