This word is complicated and for a long time I truly could not comprehend how it was done. Here is my journey on the humility and healing that I have come to acquire through the once powerless phrases of “I apologize” and “I forgive “.
I remember when an apology never satisfied me. Ever. It was thoughtless and inauthentic. I thought people used apologies as a last resort tactic rather than a sincere chance to admit wrongdoing. Clearly, my expectations for what an apology should mean were let down. Forgiving others never seemed to release me from my feelings of sadness, or disappointment. I had never heard of forgiveness reversing time loss or retracting actions. For me, an apology was just an empty word. When people would mouth an apology around me, I would cringe.
Years went by and I held on to my disbelief in forgiving. I wish I could say that it was one particular event that snapped me into clear thinking but there were too many stints to distinguish which one did me in. What I do know is this. One day I needed to be forgiven. Everything I had depended on it. I had spent years dismissing apologies and here I was begging for a clean slate. Needless to say, my point of view on forgiveness changed.
When I look at being apologetic and forgiving others, I think maybe I would have forgiven more frequently if there were an instant gratification of some sort at the end of it. Maybe if the clouds parted and God reached out and high fived me, maybe, just maybe I would have opted to forgive and ask forgiveness more often.
To say “I’m sorry” or to forgive someone is much like faith; life appears brighter when we surrender to it. Although the true works of being apologetic is unseen, the wholeness of our soul desperately depends on it. After many years of never allowing people the dignity to admit fault in their actions, I realized that I was denying them their right to be human. I was indirectly saying to them and to myself that I was above flaw. I was perfect. Over time, I have learned that forgiving others, I in turn offer forgiveness to myself for holding on to harm done to me. Listen, from an ex bag lady; believe me when I say, the more you harbor, the deeper you will sink. Forgiveness allows us to be free, light weight, and truly happy.
If you are reading this and still need something more concrete, try this: My mentor gave me a precious jewel on how she forgives. I practice it often.
My Mentor:We learn and grow through love and forgiveness. Give people the forgiveness you may need one day. When you feel those old feelings festering in you, pray for that person. Ask God or the Universe to give this particular person everything that you have ever wanted and desired for yourself. Do it everyday for a week, see if you feel any different. You do not have to believe in what you say at first. Just be consistent.”
Sounds simple. Or not. Either way, I encourage you to try to it. Start by apologizing to yourself first. We have all been double crossed and shaded unnecessarily; the worst thing we can do is cause more harm ourselves by holding on to it. No matter what, just wish them well!