I wrote in my previous post, how I was proud of my ability to forgive. It hasn’t always been something I am proud of. I had a boyfriend once tell me that he never had to worry when I was upset because I always ended apologizing TO HIM for being angry and it was over. True story. I have this fantasy; it involves someone grovelling, begging for my forgiveness… wondering if I could ever find it in myself to accept their apology.
This, has never happened. No grovelling, at most I have gotten an “I’m sorry” but 75% of the time it is followed by “but you…” In my experience the word “but” cancels out everything in front of it. The closest that I have gotten is from my children, and no satisfaction can be gained from their guilt.
An important stipulation with the “I’m sorry” is that the apologizer recognizes what they did wrong, and that they genuinely feel remorse for what they have done. I think that this happens rarely.
Being an extremely empathetic person, the thought of hurting someone, even accidentally, is unacceptable. I think carefully before I speak, weigh each word and action carefully. And I apologize when I think I may have upset someone.
Imagine my shock when I finally came to terms with the fact that THIS IS NOT HOW THE REST OF THE WORLD SEEMS TO OPERATE. The amount of people who actually believe that “if other people don’t like it, then it is their problem” confounds and amazes me.
Which brings me to my final thoughts on forgiveness. The important things to forgive are the ones that you never get the apologies for. All the boyfriends who hurt me, the family members who didn’t think when they spoke, strangers in traffic… I will never receive apologies from them. But these are the most important things to forgive. There is not enough space in my heart to carry anger and resentment around with me.