There is a saying that one of the hardest things is to accept an apology that was never given by someone who was never sorry. I won’t say that it is the hardest, but it is definitely up there. The reason that it is so hard is that you have no choice but to deal with things yourself, to work through what ever happened yourself. You do not have the benefit of a conversation, of closure, of setting things right, understanding and perspective.
And many times people do not apologize, which is a shame, because an apology can be one of the most healing things out there. This is something I experienced first hand last night.
The man who has lived with me the longest, who was as close as a husband to me more than any other man, sent me a beautiful text. And it was shocking. Out of the blue, he apologized for all the hurt, all the pain, all the doubt, all the frustration, all of the bad that he was responsible for in our relationship.
I left that relationship 12 years ago, and accepted the fact that no apology would ever be given on certain things. And I moved forward, worked through it and eventually forgave, on my own. He and he and I have had conversations since then. But this text was different. He did not make excuses, he did not place blame, instead he explained why certain things happened, how he felt and what he understood at that time. It was incredibly enlightening and healing.
I called him and heard the sincerity in his voice and his words. And I cried. All these years, all this time, and even when I had worked through everything, there was so much healing. He even said he was sorry that I had to figure out the healing on my own too. That should have apologized a long time ago and that he was sorry it took him this long. Because even if we were not going to be able to work things out, I should not have had to carry the burden of the relationship and all the healing on my own.
It takes a lot of strength to apologize, maybe that is why some v=never do – because they are not strong enough to look at themselves objectively and admits their faults to another. an apology makes you very vulnerable, and yet it shows such courage. He also said that to him, this was truly the first sincere apology. He said you cannot truly apologize unless you understand not only what you are apologizing for, but what it did to the other person.
Who would have thought that two little words could mean so much and show so much. He took responsibility for his part in it, he understood why and he understood how what he did had affected me. And in apologizing, he validated me. And that is truly a gift for which I will be forever thankful.
Never underestimate the poser of apology. Never underestimate the healing it can do, the importance of it, the totality of it and the relief of it.
For years I carried the burden of that ending. Now I can set it free.