Recently I’ve been working on something- apologies. Nobody likes to admit that they’ve done something wrong or call attention to their own wrongdoings and flaws, but it is especially so for myself, being a proud person who hates confrontation and is painfully self conscious about things that I regret. I have known this about myself for a long time, but only recently have I began to try to work on it. I never saw it as a real flaw, just a character trait, really, but I had no idea how much I carried in regrets and self loathing until one tearful night I made multiple apologies to multiple people, and the release of the burden of being too proud was almost tangible.
I started with one of my closest friends, whom I feel I have to be a strong person and a rock for, so it was difficult for me to admit that I am an imperfect person to someone other than myself. He responded with a text saying many things, ending with “I hope everything works out and you feel better. Love you too.” I cried at the simplicity in the text, and at the fact that while I was being weighed down by feeling bad about something, he wasn’t worried about it and accepted my apology gratefully and kindly. That was the first of many apology texts that I wrote that night, and by the time I fell asleep I felt lighter than I had felt in a long time (partially because I cried all of the water out of my body, but mostly because I knew that admitting my wrong and sincerely apologizing and communicating was not going to make things anything but better).
The same goes for telling the truth in other ways. Every time we feel unhappy on someone else’s behalf, every time that we notice something about somebody, and every time we feel truly apologetic and regretful about something, the only thing that can come out of sharing it is good in both hearts. I subconsciously used to think that if I apologized to someone, the fault would become real and that only if I shared my feelings would I be in the wrong. I think that this partially comes from watching one too many movies where people ask for forgiveness only to have doors slammed in their faces. Don’t get me wrong, and apology certainly can’t fix every problem or make up for every mistake, but in general apologizing will at least make someone more likely to forgive.
Humans are forgiving creatures. We crave forgiveness ourselves, and because we see the value and bravery in admitting wrong we appreciate it when it is asked of us. Somehow, however, we also tend to keep many of our feelings to ourselves. For whatever reason, we can’t seem to think that sharing this with another person is an option. When we do let someone know of our feelings toward them, though, the air between us and others suddenly becomes infinitely clearer. Whether it be letting someone know what an impact they’ve made on us, thanking them for something simple, or telling them a concern that we have, from then on both hearts can relax and release tension and awkwardness. Odds are that if you kindly tell someone that you don’t appreciate something that theyve been doing or have done, it gives them the chance to apologize, and maybe they didn’t realize it until you brought it to their attention. I personally would much rather have someone tell me if I’ve done something wrong than just giving me the cold shoulder. Even if I really don’t think I’ve done anything wrong afterwards, it opens up a conversation just to be able to discuss concerns, apologies, and where we stand.
There is incomparable satisfaction and gratefulness given when we finally can move on from the burden of a closed relationship. Any good one must have constant communication, and more than that, honesty. Because whether we want to admit it or not, honesty is the foundation upon which happiness is built, and until we can learn to use it we won’t be able to truly achieve happiness at all.
Have a good day. 🙂