Making up for our old wrongs
We’ve all done something nasty to someone. We all have at least one regret about how we’ve treated a stranger, a friend, or a loved one. More often than not, an apology (even a belated one) can mean a lot to the injured party. A heartfelt, sincere “I’m sorry” goes a long way in repairing relationships. But what if it doesn’t work? What if you hurt someone and they are not ready to accept your apology? That’s okay. It’s tough and it can make us feel heartbroken and vulnerable, but it is not our apology to accept. Once an apology is out there, hanging in the air, it’s no longer ours. The injured party has every right to reject apologies or even good wishes. This is one of the truest hardships about human relationships- there is no rewind button. If we are lucky the person we hurt will accept our regrets with warmth and strength, but sometimes the hurt is too deep, even if we never intended to cause any pain.
So how do we accept a refusal? Breathe in, breathe out and let it go. An apology is truly sincere if the goal is not for the other person to blindly accept it, but if the issuer is remorseful. Once a sincere apology has been put out there, all we can do is let it be. With any luck, the other person will accept it and you can move on together. If not, you can still move on.