Allowing People to Say They’re Sorry

We hear a lot about forgiveness. Why it is so important, why it’s good for our health, why it’s more

for us than it is for the other person. The collective conscious of this culture as had to market forgiving

someone as a totally self-serving act to get us to do it. The self-serving benefits are all interesting

points, but I’d like to make another. We, ourselves, sabotage the process of forgiveness by not allowing

someone who’s injured us to say they are sorry.

That’s HUGE. Let’s back up here and say it simply. Isn’t it much easier to forgive someone when they’ve

apologized or try to make it up to you? And how many of us have been guilty of holding a grudge or

nursing a resentment, withdrawing our interaction with the person who has stepped on our toes causing

that particular person hurt, pain, confusion, and totally in the dark. It can become a kind of punishment.

It’s not nice. We think they should have known not to do or say what they did, now we’re hurt, and

we refuse to heal. Guess years of mantras, prayer and meditation and hoping will make it go away…or

maybe we’ll get lucky and the offender will just die.

Conversely, have you ever been on the receiving end of this? All of a sudden a friend will stop calling.

A coworker will give you the cold shoulder. Your cousin doesn’t invite you to the BBQ. It can feel

disrespectful as well as confusing.

We’ve all been vulnerable to this game: either by assuming that someone should know exactly how

they have offended us or scrounging around for clues as to why we’re being frozen out. We’re human

and we all have toes to be stepped on. The smart ones just let the people around them to be more


So how do you tell your boss, your lover, your sibling that they hurt you? You just do it. Sometimes

well, sometimes not so well. Sometimes by saying, “I’m really upset because when you said this, I

thought…” Sometimes by saying, “Do you really think that when I…” But, you let them know. You let

them apologize! You let them correct you if your perception is askew. You even let them even deny it.

The risk is that you tell your truth and be flexible enough to hear that it was partially wrong or partially

right. But you’ll know where you stand.

But the best gift in participating in this conversation is that you are telling your inner most self that it

doesn’t have to be in pain. There is another option and that you care enough about yourself to allow

your reality to change. And if the apology never comes you have at least advocated for yourself…a

valuable healing in and of itself.

So, in truth, what we’ve been hearing about forgiveness in our mass media culture is correct. If you’re

the offended one it is YOUR wound. It IS your responsibility to make it better. So take a chance. With a

little love and respect for yourself and another human being you can create an opportunity to heal more

quickly. All it requires is some communication and a little risk.

Now go find your Truth.