Overcoming Is An Action Word Series ...Apologizing

In October, we will take a look at a few action words that can help us overcome.  It is my hope that you will put these words into action in your life to walk into your healing process, pursue your dreams, and know that you when you do, you are more than a conqueror, I decree you to be an OVERCOMER!!!

The Healing Impact of an Apology

Saying sorry or apologizing tells someone that you want to make amends for wrongdoing even if it was a mistake. A sincere apology comes after thinking about how the offense affects a person. Saying sorry out of guilt or embarrassment is not always genuine. It is just a means to get the person who has been offended "off your back". Most people can recognize a sincere apology. A sincere apology involves recognition, admission, accountability, and commitment. All parties can begin to heal when apology is given in a caring way.

It may be difficult to apologize for something that you do not recognize as an offense. One way to realize if someone is offended is how a person reacts to what happened. If a person cries, walks away, yells, or exhibits some other emotional response, they are probably offended. Another way to recognize if something is said or done that has offended someone is to switch places with that person. Chances are if you can look at the situation objectively and put yourself in the other person's position and find that you would be upset with what happened, you have just become aware that an apology is needed.

Now, that an apology is needed, it's time to own up to what you have done. You can start by acknowledging that you have done something that has offended or hurt someone's feelings. When you admit that you have done something wrong, you become empowered to face the offended person. Healing starts with you. A common phrase that people say is "hurt people hurt people". Let's put a positive spin on that negative phrase and say, "healed people heal people". Sometimes, apologizing is difficult because you, yourself are hurting. You may not even know how a sincere apology sounds, you become angry at the reaction you get to an offense you caused, angry because someone did not believe your lie, angry because someone reacted adversely toward what you did. Whatever the cause, healing starts with you. Admitting you have done something wrong is not putting yourself down. It is acknowledging that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes.

Ok, you have recognized that you hurt someone. You have acknowledged you need to apologize. Now it's time to be responsible for what you did. It's time to apologize. It's time to admit to the person you hurt that you are sorry. One of the most challenging things for many of us is to realize when we are wrong. There are a lot of factors that make it difficult to apologize. Pride can hold you hostage when it comes to apologizing, especially when you know you are at fault. Knowing that, even if you apologize, the person may not believe that you are genuinely sorry can also hold us hostage. I encourage you to focus on correcting your wrong. Make this about personal growth and not just whether someone will accept your apology. Just like you have come to a point to be able to apologize, a person who has been offended has to get to a place to accept your apology. Healing is a process.

Now comes commitment. After apologizing, you want to assure the person you hurt that you will not hurt them again. This will take some work. You must be ready to prove it. Apologizing, again and again every three to six months, for the same thing is not a commitment. A commitment to your apology means taking the necessary steps not to do it again. Lying, stealing, cheating, name-calling, or gossiping, to name a few, will not be a choice for you anymore. Apologizing for your offense is one thing, but being committed not to repeat your transgression shows that you are serious and that you are indeed sorry.

Sometimes an earnest apology mends things right away. Other times, it might take a while for someone to heal. Saying I'm sorry when you've done something wrong, intentionally or unintentionally, is the right thing to do. But by itself, it might not be enough. A sincere apology allows the offender to take responsibility for the offense and commit to avoiding similar transgressions. It also allows the offended the right to express the emotions associated with the hurt.

If you have given a "heartfelt" apology, but the person does not want to accept your apology, you may have to give them some time. However, you should not be held captive. Be glad that you did the right thing. On the other hand, if a person doesn't change or keeps repeating the same offense, it doesn't mean you have to keep the person in your circle of friends. A sincere apology can and does mend relationships, turn away anger, and heal broken hearts, but you should consider dismissing repeat offenders.

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Stay safe and be well, by watching your distance, wearing your mask, washing your hands, and know that #OVERCOMINGISANACTIONWORD. Books Worth Reading by Marilyn.

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