Forgiving Without an Apology
He may not ever apologize, I think, my fingers interlocked around a cracked white mug. He may never even be sorry.
I blink back tears but not before a few drop into my cappuccino.
More than anything, I want an apology. I want him to recognize that his words and actions were hurtful and, most importantly, that he was wrong.
We haven't spoken in months. Last time we saw each other, we looked past one another and, again, let pain and miscommunication and pride and anger lead the way.
My husband tells me that I have a hard time letting people be wrong.
I suspect it comes from a childhood of not being allowed to speak my truth, even when the other person -- usually a parent -- was, in fact, wrong. 18 years of that will do one of two things:
1. Make it hard for you to speak up for yourself when someone is doing something wrong
2. Make it a near impossible feat to keep your mouth shut when someone is doing something wrong
I struggle with the latter.
If I know someone is objectively wrong, I deeply want them to know it and acknowledge it. I want them to apologize.
I can forgive almost anything...but only if I get the apology I feel I deserve.
Which brings me back to that dimly lit coffee shop with a tear-stained cappuccino in a cracked white mug.
I will probably never get an apology. He may never even be sorry.
I don't know what to do with that. Am I going to keep being indignant and hurt and angry? Am I going to harden my heart, writing the whole situation off as though I don't care at all?
More than anything, I just don't want to feel hurt by the disrespect, by the inability to adhere to simple boundaries, by the lack of love where love should have been.
I will not get there by waiting for an apology that may never come.
So, I choose to forgive.
And, yes, forgiveness is a choice.
Forgiving does not mean allowing -- the relationship is not mended because I choose to forgive, it just means that the hurt no longer has any power over me.
Forgiving does not mean justifying -- he's still wrong and what he did was not ok, will never be ok. But it does mean that I don't have to hold on to feeling wronged anymore.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things us humans have to do. It is also one of the easiest. When your desire for peace outshines your desire for justice, forgiveness is a no-brainer.
Tell me: Is it hard for you to forgive? Easy?