Tuesday, July 5, 2011
7. Apologize. Yes, I know it sucks. Yes, I know it's embarrassing. Yes, I know it involves admitting that you were wrong. Do it anyway.
I really wish that I could say I have been better about this. I really wish I could.
I can't. But I wish I could.
If there is anything I regret in my life, it is probably that I didn't apologize more often. And actually, not so much to the people around me. I've usually understood that, in relationships I want to maintain, apologies are necessary. They smooth the wrinkles that exist within the friendships I want to keep, and they're necessary. For those, I think that I've usually been able to bite the bullet and make the apologies when they're needed and warranted. You make the sacrifices for the friendships.
But the ones I regret are the ones I didn't make to people that I didn't necessarily want to keep being in relationship with. People I'd hurt, but with whom I didn't really need to make apologies to smooth out the relationship either because there was never a relationship to begin with to smooth out or because they weren't relationships that seemed worth bothering over.
I always found those apologies harder... with friends, you know you're probably going to be forgiven. But with others? You don't really, do you? With others, it's a lot more crow. It's a lot more risk. It's harder to admit to those that you were wrong. Forgiveness is a lot less likely to come from those directions... and so apologizing is harder. And I truly do wish that I could sit here and say to you that I've learned that it's necessary to apologize because I've done it so much and everything is now all unicorns and fairies.
I CAN tell you that I've learned how it eats at my soul to not do it... I CAN tell you that I believe it's important, even when I haven't always done it. I CAN tell you that I believe it isn't right to hurt others, and that when you do, I believe it isn't right to not-apologize for the wrongs you've done. And I CAN tell you that I wish I had followed my conscience more. I wish that I had taken the risks more. I wish I had done more to right the wrongs.
And I hope that I'm better at it in the years to come.