"If neither foes nor loving friends
can hurt you,
If all men count with you,
but none too much..
Unfortunately, Mr. Kipling, if you can't be hurt and no one counts too much, you are truly not connected. Having loving connections does come with a price. Sometimes those we love will hurt us and they won't ever apologize. But why?
- To offer a sincere apology you need the inner strength to allow yourself to feel vulnerable.
- Shame can signal us to protect
- Shame can bring denial and self-deception
- Defensiveness may crowd out the truth
If your relationship is important enough you may need to step onto higher ground, not to show that you are better than the other person but to bring healing that you may not get from the wrong-doer. I think of the Prodigal Son who dismissed his father and wasted his inheritance. His father began looking for him to come home right after he left. Why did his father not demand restitution? Because, his son had not diminished him as a man of God. His father was still whole. It was the son who was diminished by the actions he took. His son needed the healing and his father would go out to meet him.
"Sometimes the process of apologizing is less about insisting on justice and more about investing in the relationship and the other person's happiness."
This month I am nurturing the ability to give and own a heartfelt apology.
To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.