Countless times in my life, I have forgiven someone without getting an apology. I chose to forgive so I could move on with my life and not be burdened with resentment. More often than not, I can walk away from the person who wronged me and know that I’m better off without them in my life. Being able to distance yourself from negative energy is a good feeling. We should surround ourselves with those of good intentions and who value our peace of mind.
But what about the person who hurts you, whether intentional or unintentional, that you WANT in your life? Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. We all hurt people. Not everyone who causes you heart ache is an evil person. We are all just flawed. And sometimes we say things that we don’t mean and sometimes we act out of character because we are hurting or struggling with something. We can’t always be saints. We mess up. We can have only good intentions and still manage to upset someone in one moment of thoughtlessness.
Why is it so hard to say those two little words, “I’m sorry”? Maybe it’s pride, or selfishness or arrogance or maybe just being clueless. Those two little words hold so much power though. When you apologize and you mean it, it says “you matter, your feelings matter and I respect you”.
It shouldn’t be so hard to admit when you’ve made a mistake. In fact, I feel much better about myself as a person when I apologize. It’s a good feeling. It’s setting aside the ego and stepping up and owning whatever it is you did to hurt someone. That takes bravery.
Ignoring an issue is the easy way out and too many people take that road. Sometimes, the person who was wronged can’t just forgive and forget. If our feelings are never acknowledged, we start to build resentment until it gets out of control and you end up with more spite than love.
Saying “I’m sorry” takes some discomfort, but when you love someone, that shouldn’t matter. What matters is that the person you love knows that you love them and that their feelings are important to you. It doesn’t mean we can just forget about being hurt, but it means that you care enough to make the effort to be better, to do better.
If you dig deep, there are probably a lot of things you could apologize for. We all do bad things. But disregarding the way we make people feel is not going to help anything. In fact, it will usually make it much worse. Sometimes the secret to being happy can be found in those two little words. They mean more than you think.
Be brave. Be human. Be accountable. Be better.