Often in life, we are (naturally) geared toward selfishness and ego-centric thoughts/behaviors. While this is completely understandable, we also have to sometimes shift our mindset and be willing to start our own healing process, and start the cycle for others – even if that’s not immediately apparent.
This could be for any relationship, romantic, familial, friendship or even peer/work – but perhaps it’s time to take the pause and think of the hearts we’ve broken along our path. We get caught up in remembering the things we had done to us, because those feel so real to us, but we forget the times we hurt other people. I don’t mean we should dwell on things, and live in a perpetual state of beating ourselves down; instead, just sit back and try to examine the interactions where we didn’t yet know how to interact in a way that was appropriate.
When we narrow that list of interactions down, then we also have to think of how to approach that apology. The point is not to disrupt someone else’s life, or to be selfish in our connection to them, but it’s about acknowledging that we could have done better/treated them better or gone about things differently. It’s ok to say “I didn’t know at the time, and looking back I have shame/guilt/sorrow/or whatever associated with our interaction and I just sincerely wanted to apologize”. I know that in my own experience, when someone has come to me like this, very often I really didn’t even remember the moment, and giving them grace/forgiveness was actually super easy for me to do.
Wanting others to give us forgiveness, closure, or acceptance is often sought, but we have to start that cycle from the one person who can control that in our lives – ourselves. We may never know or hear of their movement after we offer that, but it can start a reaction that reaches far beyond what we imagine.