I debated whether to blog about what I’m getting ready to share, but I decided that maybe someone out there might need to hear this.
That apology quote is one that I’ve seen many times. And one that I have actually given a lot of thought to. How many of us are walking around with old wounds that are still in need of repair? I know I am. There are a few people from my past that have done wrong by me and, like most of us probably do, I harbor a little resentment and bitterness towards those people. Even if I don’t fully realize that the hurt is still there.
Well, life has taken a slightly strange turn for me lately. One of those ‘old wounds’ has resurfaced. Someone that once hurt me deeply has suddenly come back into my life.
I won’t get into detail about what happened to cause this reconnection (one of those ‘names have been changed to protect the innocent’ kind of deals…), but let’s just say that I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our paths have crossed again at a time when I’m going through one of my little life detours. (In a previous post, I refer to life detours. These are what I like to call those times in your life when things are rolling along and suddenly, without notice, everything changes.) In fact, a lot of my old writings that I started this blog with are writings from that time in my life. I’ve been looking back on them to help me through my current situation, so it has been a little more fresh on my mind than it normally would be.
And now – here he is.
And guess what? He’s sorry.
Really, truly deeply sorry. I see it in the way he treats me now, hear the kindness of his voice, and was even asked for forgiveness by him directly (which takes a lot of guts, if you ask me). This is one of those times that I don’t have to wonder What if? I don’t have to apply the Robert Brault quote that I previously mentioned because I don’t have to accept an apology I ‘never got.’ I am faced with accepting an apology that I did get.
And you know what? I accepted it. Without hesitation, without any thought to the contrary – I just fully and completely said, “You’re forgiven.”
And holy crap, let me tell ya: that felt good.
Believe me, I know what it’s like to be hurt. I know it so well. And I know what it’s like to see all those quotes like the one I posted before. I’ve heard the one that says that ‘holding on to your anger is only hurting you’ and the one that tells you that ‘refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison and expecting them to die.’ Etc. etc. etc. These things are just quotes. They’re just words. They mean nothing. I know, I’ve been there. In fact, I’m there now. But life just gave me a glaring example of how good it feels to just let it go.
Now, I know we’re not all going to get a chance like I just got. We’re not all going to get to have someone look us in our eye and ask for our forgiveness. But now that I know how truly freeing and healing it is to be able to give that forgiveness to someone who asked for it, I’m starting to wonder if there’s not a lot of truth to that Robert Brault quote. If it feels this good to accept an apology that was given to me, wouldn’t it feel just as good to accept one that wasn’t given to me? Wouldn’t it be just as freeing? Just as healing?
It’s not as easy of course. But I think it can be done. It’s worth a shot.
What unspoken apology do you need to accept? Maybe today is the day.