Is an Apology Required for Forgiveness?

Forgiveness. Ah…the act of letting go of ill thoughts and feelings towards someone who has wronged you. It’s therapeutic to forgive. You’re freed from the negative and bitter thoughts that filled your mind.  But it’s easier said than done.

What about when we are the offender?

blog photo - apologyApologies aren’t always easy for me to dish out, especially to those closest to me. I find it more comfortable to apologize with action in place of words (especially if it’s for something foolish I’ve done.)

Instead of saying to my son, “I’m sorry that I, ahem, yelled at you for screaming at your sister.” I’d rather take the easy way out and say (after I’ve had time to cool off), “Hey, you guys want to go to Jump Time instead of doing chores?!”

This gives me a quick (and fun) fix to the wrong I’ve done, and my kids know this is my way of reaching out to them, but they have not received the apology they deserve.

A while back I realized I was doing this to my family and began working harder to give them heartfelt, verbal apologies and I’ve come to realize a few things. (Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking to yourself: “I bet she’s only had to apologize only one or two times due to her being so awesome! So what does she know about apologies?” This is true but don’t let that distract you. Ok, just kidding.)

1.    Assess – A good apology requires you to look inside and self critique wrong actions instead of self criticizing or tearing yourself down (we all make mistakes).

2.    Acknowledge – A good apology requires you accept fault instead of pointing the blame on others.

3.    Act – A good apology requires you to make a change and move on instead of wallowing in negative or bitter thoughts.

I’ve found as I’ve asked my love ones for forgiveness it not only freed them of any resentment but it’s released me of guilt and has allowed us all to move on.

Is it hard for you to apologize?

Do you think our society has a hard time with verbal apologies?

If so, why is that?

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