I think that one of the hardest things to do in building true intimacy (and let’s face it, all of it can be pretty hard) is to say “I am sorry“.
Today, in my gratitude journal, I actually stated that I am grateful for the gift of saying I am sorry.
I really don’t have an issue with saying I’m sorry – even when I feel that I am right, I still apologize. There are more important things than being right. That is a gift from God and I thank Him for that gift – it has rescued many a friendship.
But, it is still hard – even though I don’t have an issue with it. What I do find often is that I have an issue with people NOT saying sorry to me. When I feel I have been wronged, and people admit that they have done something to hurt me, they still don’t apologize.
And that leaves me feeling used and a little resentful.
A while ago, when Baby Girl was born, hubby, his sister and I also had a huge fight. And hubby and is sister did not talk for about two years. And I worked very hard on trying to get hubby to reconcile with his sister – which they eventually did. I did not speak to his sister – she does not answer my phone calls. But, she never apologized to hubby or I for what she did. Hubby and his sister just kind of started talking again, but didn’t really say sorry to each other. And me? Well, she just continues to completely ignore me.
My point is this – a little word called sorry could change this whole outcome and the relationship.
In fact, even though hubby and his sister are now talking, their relationship would be strengthened tremendously if she approached him and said sorry. Even with all the time that has passed, a sorry will still bring them even closer together.
After my parents divorced, my mom came to me the one day and said she was sorry for all the pain the divorce had caused me. There were many issues to still resolve, but her saying sorry was an acknowledgment of the hurt and pain the divorce caused me. It’s not an acknowledgment of who was right or who was wrong.
Pain is pain, and even if you’re right, if you’ve caused pain, saying sorry goes along way to easing that pain.
But, it’s not easy. Besides for sex, which is vulnerability in a really, really good way, saying sorry is vulnerability in a way that allows another person to see your heart. It is humbling, and it is healing, to go to someone and say you’re sorry. Especially when you don’t know if they’ll accept your apology or not.
I’m not talking about who is right or who is wrong, or the different view points of the issue – I’m talking about approaching your spouse, or God, and acknowledging that in some way you have hurt them. You have lashed out, even if your reasons are justified, and hurt them. Or you have betrayed them, or done something for which you need to apologize. And that approaching your spouse to say sorry is very humbling – and intimate. Your spouse, if they are looking, gets to see our heart; they get to see you humbling yourself before them and acknowledging their own pain, and it is a reaching out to fix the situation and to touch your spouses heart, and a hope that they would touch yours in return.
I really don't have a problem with saying sorry.
But that doesn’t make it easy…
But, crucial to walking towards each other.
And then, of course, there is the very real fear that your spouse may reject your apology. You have opened your heart to them, but for whatever reason, they have rejected your apology and that can also leave you feeling hurt and betrayed.
You can’t account for your spouses’ actions. You can hope and pray for the best, but you can’t control what your spouse will say or do. However, you do need to make sure you are right with God, and then leave the rest in His hands.
Breaking down the walls by saying sorry allows both God and my husband to see my vulnerability - together.
Who do you need to apologise to today?