You’re sorry. I accept your apology, but…
Does the “but” negate the acceptance? Not at all. From the depths of my heart I understand you are sorry for your actions and wish to take them back, you meant no harm. I believe you. I appreciate that you are taking responsibility for your actions and words.
I forgive rather easily. I don’t hold on to the mistakes of others. None of us wish to be defined by our mistakes. Certainly, a heartfelt, contrite apology makes it much more palpable to offer forgiveness.
And, if you have done something wrong or hurtful, it is the right thing to do, offer up an apology. As for me, I will forgive without receiving an apology. I will give the benefit of the doubt to another—not out of benevolence but because it is better for me. I don’t want to hold on to junk. It will not serve me.
Having said that, some think that an apology just wipes the slate clean. It does. But…some affronts truly change the dynamic of a relationship, permanently.
There is just no going back. There are words that, once said, ring forever. As much as we would like to forget, we cannot. And, of course, there are deeds that can create devastation. Changing our minds is a powerful option.
What this means is that how we choose to view what has happened to us creates a path for clearing and forgiveness. In other words, letting another person off the hook frees us, frees our hearts and minds. As a result, relationships can actually become stronger, better.
While I may forgive you, I may choose to not continue my relationship with you. I may elect to create space between us. That is okay. I still wish you well and want the best for you, but I may now recognize that your view of the world does not align with mine, and we are better off going our separate ways.
I let go with love. I will honor the relationship that once was. I will not talk about you or divulge to others the details of any indiscretion or revel in any drama—not out of protection for you but as part of accepting your apology and offering you forgiveness.
The forgiveness I offer is not the kind that would come from a place of my spiritual superiority over you—in that you screwed up, and because I am better, so I will stoop down and forgive you.
Instead, the forgiveness I offer comes from my understanding that we all make mistakes and that we were brought together, for a time, to learn from each other. What happened is part of my lesson as well as yours.
And, what I have accepted is this: Forgiveness is the key to happiness after such circumstances.
The breakup of marriages, business relationships and friendships is part of the rhythm of life.
It is how we see separation that matters.
Love & Light.
Author: Melanie Blenis
Editor: Renee Jahnke
Image: Dave Keeshan-Flickr