Have you ever had someone apologize to you and then discover the next sentence out of their mouths is justification for their inappropriate actions? The cosmic giggle in that (or damn annoying outcome, whichever you feel at the time!) is that the person is long-gone before you realize they were not really sorry for what they did.
“Everything before ‘but’ is bullshit.” That’s something I learned from a beloved and respected professor of mine at Temple University. Think about it. If you are going to apologize to someone then those words, if they are to be sincere, cannot come with reasons why the action or words were deserved, can they?
It’s okay not to be sorry. You may feel righteously indignant about something someone did to you and are very angry about it. You may feel deeply hurt. And, yes, you may have even had a part in the altercation. It’s unhealthy, however, okay to hold onto those hurts for days, months or years.
I would suggest to you that if you cannot simply say, “I’m sorry” and let it go at that, then you are not truly sorry. If there is to be discussion or debate about the situation, let it be before any apologies ensue. Then, once everyone has been heard and understood, if a sincere apology can be given, let it. Otherwise, wait until you can.
Receiving a sincere apology also requires forgiveness on the part of the person wronged. I have been told that “they don’t deserve my forgiveness.” That may be true. But here’s the kicker: YOU deserve your forgiveness. Every time we hold onto anger, hatred or hurt because of what he, she or they did to us intensifies the cosmic bond between us and that other party.
Think of something about which you feel guilty, in particular something that you have been beating yourself up about. Now…take a deep breath and let yourself off the hook. Forgive yourself. Allow your breath to cleanse your mind, body, heart and soul of all the nastiness you’ve been holding inside. Allow it to flow out of your body like used, gunky oil flows out of the car. Fill yourself with love through knowing that however you acted, you did the very best you could at that time.
When you feel complete and know how well that feels, think about whom you may have harmed or hurt, knowingly or unknowingly and offer an apology to them. No “ifs”, “ands” OR “buts”.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,