It occurred to me that regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, the impact of Jesus’ life is undeniable this time of year. Jesus lived a perfect life, not just with the big things, but especially in the small things. Jesus lived perfectly in his relationships with others. He perfectly exemplified love, forgiveness, graciousness, and humility. So, I thought that in this season of giving (and loving), I would try to mend all of those relationships I have managed to screw up over the years. In the spirit of giving and generosity of spirit, I would love to give my heartfelt apology to everyone I needed to so sorry to, but just couldn’t.
For All The Times I Couldn’t Say ‘I Am Sorry’
To the one I was impatient with.. I am sorry.
I really do value you and didn’t mean to brush you off. It’s just that, like you, I am juggling a hundred things at once and when you stopped to chat, I was rushing to hurry home so I could get dinner in the oven and we could eat before 7pm.
To the one I stonewalled… I am sorry.
It wasn’t you.. seriously, it wasn’t. I was not meaning to be manipulative. I wasn’t trying to bully you or coerce you. The thing is, I am dealing with serious personal issues that leave me with limited options and little flexibility. Bottom line: I am scared to death and the only foothold of control I had was to insist we do things my way. I realize that means I behaved selfishly and horrible to you. I am sorry… I just had to choose between that and tumbling down a rabbit hole of chaos. Please bear with me. I promise it won’t be like this always.
To the one I left out (intentionally or unintentionally). I know that stings.. really super sorry.
I know what it feels like to be left out, to be given a ‘social death sentence,’ without knowing why it happened or how to fix it. If I ever left you out I am truly sorry. I can tell you right now it isn’t because I don’t like you or don’t want to be friends. I was likely just being scatterbrained.. which happens more times that I care to admit.
For the time I overreacted, I am sorry.
I know, which time– right? I know what you did wasn’t intentional. I certainly know that what you did wasn’t malicious. However, I reacted as if you had actively plotted my demise. Trust me… this is all about me, not you. I am a bundle of neurotic self doubt. I crave affirmation and even when I get it, I don’t always believe my worth. So yeah, I have a bad habit of assuming bad intentions… that can be a pretty big barrier to lasting friendship.
To everyone I was intolerant of.. so, so sorry.
I am sorry I rolled my eyes at you.. or scrunched my nose, … or sighed heavily. I am sorry I had unrealistic expectations for you, for how everything would turn out. I am sorry I dismissed your point of view, your unique contributions. I really don’t have an excuse.. this is one of my biggest faults. I am working on it… it is a work in progress.
For all the times I projected my own insecurities and emotional baggage onto our complicated relationship, wow– really sorry.
Now that I can breathe, I realize that you were struggling with your own huge insecurities, emotional issues, personal problems. In many ways, your struggles were worse than mine… but I all I could see was that I was not getting my needs met. That was selfish of me. If I had turned my view more outward than inward, maybe we could have helped each other. But I didn’t. So, things got worse… a lot worse, between us. I am truly sorry. I wish there was a way we could mend fences, start over, reset. I promise if you gave me another chance, I would try to be less selfish.
For the times I didn’t do my best to reach out, really sorry.
I did see you. It did register that you needed encouragement… a card, a hug, a text. Maybe I should have invited you for a cup of coffee. Maybe I should have lingered a little longer and let you vent. But I didn’t. I rushed out the door. I kept our conversation superficial. I missed out on the opportunity to connect with you… and I recognize that I was the loser in that situation. I pray that someone else was there to provide the support you needed. I will try to love you better in the future.
To the one I gossiped about, please forgive me.
This is a really hard apology for me to give. You see, I am still really, really hurt by you. You injured me and I lashed out… and that was wrong. By talking to someone else about how hurt I was I just made it worse. I should have gotten over myself and confronted you.. or at least talked to you. Our relationship deserved better.. but I took the easy way out and hurt you back through gossip. Please forgive me. Can we forgive each other?
To everyone I am struggling to forgive, I am sorry.
To the one I called a snake. To the one who bullied me. To the one who is way too critical. To the one who rejected me. To the one who almost destroyed me– I know that I will not have peace until I can forgive you and move on. Bitterness and malice are easier… but they are eating me alive. Maybe we can someday work it out. Maybe we can’t. I need to forgive you anyway. Sorry it has taken me so long to come to that conclusion.
If I was too sensitive and touchy, sorry?
I know I had unrealistic expectations for how you should treat me because I don’t even hold myself to those standards. Sorry I allowed myself to get easily offended. Sorry I tried hard to misinterpret your good intentions. It really wasn’t you. I was looking for a scapegoat and you made an easy target for my frustrations. That is on me though.. I should not have thrown you under the bus. So.. sorry.
For the one I refused to reconcile with.. can I have one more chance?
I don’t deserve it… but I desperately seek it. If I try to forgive you, will you try to forgive me? Can we start over? Can we work to love and trust each other again? Can we assume noble intent? Can we be less selfish, less rude, less ugly towards each other? I would really like to try.. how about you?
Who do you need to forgive this holiday season? Why wait? Give the gift of a long-overdue apology, seek forgiveness, give forgiveness, and forgive yourself.
Thanks for reading this week and God Bless,
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