empty aplogies #31WriteNow
Someone shared a story on some social media site a few weeks ago where they told a story – a parable of sorts – on the meaningless apology. I don’t remember where I read this, so this will be a rough paraphrase, but the story went something like… a kid did something that upset their mother, so he apologized for it when he realized that he disappointed mom. As a lesson, the mother told the kid to take a dinner plate and throw it to the ground. The kid threw the dinner plate to the ground and as the laws of physics go, the plate shattered. The mother then told the kid to apologize to the plate. "Does the plate look any different now that you’ve apologized?" the mother asked. "No" the kid responded. "Exactly" said the mother.
I don’t know why that story was shared, but it resonated with me. As long as I can remember, apologies have been empty uninspiring platitudes to me. When I’ve received a long-awaited apology, it did nothing but leave me with no excuse to delay forgiveness and my healing. I don’t think of myself as an angry person, but if my life is measured by how I have viewed "apologies", I believe I was – until recently – definitely an unfulfilled person.
I’ve come to understand that "the apology is not the healing" as Babalao Omotosho has taught me. I learned that the commitment I’ve made to preserving all memories of my hurt, brought me no closer to healing from them. Recounting the details of who/what hurt me when and how without committing as much time and spirit to healing from that hurt, left me with nothing but fresh rage and more people to be angry with and for me. To truly walk in a spirit of forgiveness, beyond not waiting for an apology, one has to truly be committed to healing. Once you’ve stopped "owning hurt like a personal prize" your spirit comes to understand that hurt was never here just for the sake of causing you pain. As Babalao has said, "Hurt is here to birth the CREATOR in you!" And as for apologies, they aren’t empty or useless. Apologies are the "confirmation" that your hurt was justified, but of course, no healing comes from justification. I am forever grateful for this lesson. how liberating. ase!
That penetrated me, and I’m not even sure why. Maybe because I am the QUEEN of holding on to hurt. And you are so right. Apologies left me feeling no better. I’m saving this post to Evernote because it’s something I’m gonna need to revisit a few time. Well said!