My Leap List

Monday, November 7, 2011

Apology Accepted

     Today my friend apologized for a wrong he had done weeks ago.  I brushed off his apology and gave him several excuses for why he had done it.  He wouldn't let me off so easy.  He held my arm and said, "No.  It isn't okay.  I have no excuse.  I am sorry for what I did."  After talking for several minutes, I told him we were okay.  He rubbed my arm, smiled and said he was glad.
     Tonight I realized this was probably the first time I ever actually forgave anyone for anything.  I thought I was a forgiving person, but what I thought was forgiveness was avoidance.  I hate confrontations and will do anything to avoid them.  When I get mad, I feel guilty for giving in to anger and resentful of the person that "made" me mad.  After I get mad, I want everything to return to normal quickly.  I'll accept any kind of apology and say it's okay, when when it really isn't.  Then I pretend everything is fine, but I never actually forgive the person.  The grudge festers and things never go back to normal.  My friends and family will tell you - I can hold a grudge for years.
     This is so normal for me, I slipped into it the moment he said, "I owe you an apology."  When he wouldn't let me go there, I was forced to stop and actually let him apologize.  Listening to him tell me he truly understood how he hurt me and why he was wrong, allowed the grudge to fade away.
       I never knew the power of the simple words, "I am sorry."  

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