Let’s move on already(DW# 775 )
Jun 12, 2020
Just because we have decided that now is the time to take responsibility and apologize, it does not mean that we are entitled to forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a journey that the hurt person needs to take on their own terms and in their own time. While receiving an apology is likely to expedite the process and allow them to begin to heal and let go, it may not happen instantly.
Depending on the nature of the offence and the hurt caused, a simple apology, even if it is sincere, may not be enough. Or even if it is enough, the person may still need time to process the hurt and to heal.
So forcing the other to forgive by saying something like: "I said I’m sorry already, why can’t you just let it go?", will likely undo the apology as the offended person begins to sense that you do not still get the extent of hurt or damage you may have caused.
For an apology to be effective, it must be clear that:
1) You accept responsibility for your actions, omissions or commissions,
2) You get the pain that the other person is in, and are sincerely sorry for anything you have done to cause that pain and
3) You want to remedy the situation by giving them what they need to feel safe in order to move on and to forgive you.
So let us remember that not all apologies lead to immediate forgiveness. It may take time. And it may take apologizing more than once.
But it is a VERY important first step for the offended person to trust that you feel contrition for your actions. And even if they cannot forgive you immediately, they will most likely appreciate the effort.
Without this first step, they may still choose to take the journey of forgiveness for their own wellbeing, but it will most likely be without you as part of their life.
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