One of the things I hate the most about myself is that I beat myself up when I let people down. If I was being toxic, negative, or meant to keep a promise but didn’t, it’s something I replay in my mind. I can be just washing the dishes, writing, or working, and the thought creeps in like a thief.
I’m the type of person that tries to mend things. If I have to apologize, I do it. When I was a child, even if my dad or mom were in the wrong, they would make me apologize. But I admit that at other times, I needed to say sorry. Apologizing when I didn’t have to build this idea that if I hurt someone, I must make it right.
Now that I’m a grown-up, I can see the implications of apologizing when I didn’t do anything wrong. People quickly, especially toxic people, catch on to this and try to take advantage of this character trait. It’s something I work on because, at times, they’re the ones that need to be apologizing. I’ve also noticed this about many, not all, who feel you have harmed them, but they don’t think about how they have hurt, offended, or let you down. Because we’re always the superheroes of our life? Right. I have to clarify that I believe we should apologize when we offend someone if even that was not the intention.
I am also the type of person who thinks people have the right to feel hurt, angry, or even retrieve from us if we happen to make a grave mistake. Or even if it wasn’t something detrimental, maybe to them, in some ways, it was just a tremendous letdown. So it’s okay if they don’t trust you anymore. If they let you, you must build that trust again with actions, not words. True and genuine change.
Now that I’m in my late 30s and have grown wiser, I’ve noticed most people aren’t that forgiving. Some sincerely believe that they are very gracious. But they leak this out in facial expressions, like their eyes and body language. It may come out in a phrase or perhaps in a tone of voice. Quite frankly, we all do it. However, being aware of ourselves and asking, “Oh, oh. What’s going on? Why am I feeling this?” Asking yourself such questions may help remedy the issue. Dig deep.
Of course, we also have to know when to give second chances and when to learn a person isn’t going to change. That takes critical thinking, time, and empathy. The way I lead my life is that I give too many chances. Even my sisters remind me of this all the time. Sometimes people reach out and want to show how different they are, but it’s just words. I don’t think they mean any harm…or eat least, I think so. They simply lack self-awareness.
What about when we truly are sorry? Well, when you genuinely are repentant, remorseful, and apologetic, you must also be grateful that you’ve learned that art. You can move on even if the other side doesn’t receive your apology because you know it’s true in your heart. And when I can’t forgive, I pray to God to help with it because sometimes I don’t want to forgive. After all, I am focused on the hurt in those moments.
2 thoughts on “Can You Forgive?”
There’s a lot of me in this. I, too, let that loop tape play again and again in my head, a constant reminder, and constant punishment, that I’m not as good as other people, that somehow my failures are worse.
It’s a constant struggle to remind myself that I’m as human as the next person, no better, no worse, that we all let people down, fail, get angry, and need forgiveness.
Great post, Ana! Thank you for sharing.
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Powerful thoughts there. Thanks 🙂
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