I don’t know if any one of you have apologised to someone and meant it with your entire heart and had your apology declined. It’s one of the most painful rejections I’ve experienced to date. I have always been one to ‘forgive’ other people, I may never talk to you ever again but I will ‘forgive’ you. I ‘forgive’ people just to say I did when in my deepest heart I know I will never forgive you, I ‘forgive’ people so that they can just go with away with their drama and I ‘forgive’ people because it’s the ‘right’ thing to you. I can honestly say there are only a handful of people who I have genuinely forgiven and the rest not so much.
I’ve always been the one to say I’m sorry first when I’m wrong (I mess up a lot) and most times my apology was received well and life moved forward. Until one day I said I was sorry and the person didn’t want my apology nor did the person even want to hear me out. It was such a blow to my ego and I was genuinely hurt. So I tried the whole calling thing and my calls went unanswered, I texted and received no replies and my emails left unanswered. All I wanted to say was “I know I messed up and I’m sorry but can we move on now?” Only when I said this to myself did I realise how self-absorbed I sounded. I am the one who is wrong, I am the one who needs prove that I am sorry and I am the one who needs to get over herself.
I started to think about all the people who had apologised to me to only have me brush them off and began to realise how much that must have hurt them. It was my forgiveness karma and it hurt like a bitch. I only then started to realise the importance of genuine apologies and forgiveness. So many people who had wronged me and had sincerely apologised with tears in their eyes to only have me fake smile, nod and walk away from that friendship forever. If I look at it now, they were only humans like I am evolving and growing so was it that I deserved the grace of being forgiven and they weren’t? There is a great amount of pride that a person sets aside when they apologise and an even greater amount of courage that dug up from within the heart.
And that courage comes from a place a peace. To ask for forgiveness is to want peace from that situation. The people who I had ‘forgiven’ were at peace with our situation. They had made a mistake, acknowledged that they were wrong and were at peace with knowing tried to make things right. I, on the other hand had to carry around the burden. I wasn’t at peace with the situation. I was hurt and I wanted the situation to go away so that the hurt would go away. But that’s the thing about pain, it doesn’t leave until it teaches what you need to learn.
I then sat with all this burden and pain I had been carrying around with me for so long and decided to forgive all these people and not just forgive but to genuinely and whole heartedly forgive. And forgiving them didn’t mean we would rekindle things and move on but that I acknowledge that they are only humans and that they make mistakes. It means that I acknowledge that they put their pride in their pockets and handed me their hearts for me to do as I pleased with it. Apologies are so much more than saying ‘I’m sorry’.
Whenever someone apologises to me now, I forgive them not because they deserve it but because I deserve the peace. Same goes for situations where I have to apologise. I can say I’m sorry a thousand times over but that doesn’t mean that I deserve it. I say I’m sorry because I acknowledge my faults, acknowledge that I hurt you and acknowledge that I am at peace with the situation so whether you choose forgive me or not, I don’t have to carry that burden around.