A wise person once said, "Adulthood is about surviving childhood."
If you stop and really let that sink in, it will make you want to heal from any mistakes your parents made; it'll also make you want to be super-careful in the decisions you make with your own kids, for the sake of their own (future) adulthood.
As for me, I don't have children, so I'm working on Column A. Although I grew up in a house where apologies were in abundance, I also heard it a ton because mistakes (i.e. poor choices) were made over and over (and over and over and over) again. So much to the point that I didn't realize that if someone says, "I'm sorry", (please catch this) there should be a change in their behavior that follows.
Because I'm just now really getting this, it's taken me years—decades actually—to learn how to truly forgive someone (please do that; your health and sanity depend on it), and to know what I should require (yes require) of someone who apologizes. Because, as I often tell couples in my marriage life coaching sessions, "If you want to free yourself and be in a good spiritual space, forgive. But in order for a relationship to heal, one person needs to forgive while the other needs to repent."
And if someone is truly remorseful, they are going to do the following five things:
They Will Offer An Apology
You might've read this point and thought, "duh" but not so fast. I don't know about you, but there have been all sorts of situations—both personally as well as professionally—when someone has harmed or offended me and I had to coax an apology out of them.
I don't mean I had to explain why I was hurt (sometimes that is required). I mean that once we were both on the same page about the "offense", there were explanations and justifications but no "I'm sorry"—or sounded something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way but…" (which comes off as them trying to become the victim in the situation).
When someone gets that what they did was either wrong or that it hurt you (because those two things are not always one and the same), if they value you and the relationship, they'll acknowledge it without you having to "force" them to. Their humility will supersede their pride. "I'm sorry" will flow out of them.
So will my next point.
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Jada Pinkett Smith Reminds Us Forgiveness Isn't About the Other Person, It's for Us Too - Read More