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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Power of "Sorry"

Whenever I hear that word in my head, it always sounds like the Canadian pronunciation 'sore-y' :-) I can't help it. I used to like playing the game and have heard it shouted that way over and over again. I only bring it up because it's a word that I've been hearing a lot lately, and I think folks can easily misunderstand the power of this word. It's not a magic elixir, or some kind of tonic that allows a person to miraculously forget all. If accepted though, it IS the beginning of a healing process, and that's a pretty powerful and wonderful thing. Let me tell you a story that helps to illustrate what "sorry" is and isn't capable of:

When I was in high school, a friend of mine NAILED me in the shin with a field hockey stick. I mean, she really clocked me good. She hit me so hard that it damaged the area and left a permanent dent in my shin. She said she was sorry, and of course she really meant it. She had no intention of hurting me and I knew it. I readily accepted her apology, even while I was writhing in pain on the wet grass. Accepting her apology didn't mean she didn't hurt me like crazy. It didn't mean that I wouldn't be scarred for life. I STILL have a dent in my shin. It will always be a part of me now, and I've accepted that and moved on. I don't look back on my friend with anger. I no longer have any emotion whatsoever about that event. It was simply something that occurred that I don't think much about anymore. But that doesn't mean it never happened or that the scar is suddenly gone. it is what it is.

So when I think of the kinds of transgressions that generate an "I'm Sorry", I think of them in a similar light. If I forgive you, you are absolutely forgiven. It doesn't mean I didn't feel the pain and it doesn't mean the scar disappears. It just means that some things are more important and that I've moved on. I don't think you can really expect much more than that from anyone.

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