Show Notes

In every meaningful relationship whether it is with family, children, friends, lovers, co-workers, or neighbours, there will be great times but also the times when things are not so great. Precious relationships are worth holding on to and they require work on all levels. Everyone at some point will find themselves saying sorry or needing to find ways to forgive and move on. That is of course, only if you really want the ‘meaningful’ side of relationships.

Why is it then so many struggle with apologising and forgiving? Perhaps it is ego. In any conflict situation you can be sorry for the outcome or the pain it has caused. Saying sorry from this angle can be incredibly relieving for all parties concerned. Not saying sorry is not about winning. Often the winner is the one who can say sorry.  We have a ‘sorry ritual’ in our house. If someone does something wrong or hurtful to someone else part of the consequence is what we call a ‘full apology’. It goes something like this:

‘I, Kim Morrison, apologise to you, Daniel Kyle Morrison, for putting you down thinking you should know where the keys to the car were! I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings even though we found them in your jacket pocket! No matter what I am sorry and I love you.’ Ha!! In all seriousness the point is they have to say their full name and the person’s full name, they must say what they are sorry for and what it created, and they must always finish by saying ‘and I love you’. It certainly gets the kids thinking twice knowing they have to do the full apology! Hopefully it is also teaching them that it is a wonderful skill to have the courage to apologise. And don’t think this is just for the kids. Our whole family has to live by the full apology ritual!  And our two beautiful children remind us often!

Saying sorry to yourself is another important component of self-care and perhaps the same ritual should be taken on when you knock or hurt yourself. So often we say mean things to the reflection in the mirror, or constantly berate ourselves for not being good enough. Saying sorry as if you are apologizing to someone else but actually putting your full name in there would be a wonderful ritual as well.

‘Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury.’ E H Chapin

Forgiveness is the other vital ingredient to any good relationship. Learning to forgive and asking forgiveness is what allows love to truly flow into your relationships and part of that is also learning to forgive ourselves.  Holding onto guilt, anger or resentment does not serve us in any way. In fact it just blocks us from receiving love. Understanding that we are all human and we do all make mistakes, allows us to realise that we are all learning, and when you learn you naturally make mistakes along the way.

‘Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.’  Paul Boese

When you forgive you let go of the anger and hate and you see it for what it really is — someone (or you!) just mucked up, whether intentional or not! And that muck up, big or small has created a problem that can now only be resolved by forgiveness.  By remembering the misdeeds of others or ourselves we live in a critical and judgemental mindset. Through forgiveness comes freedom for all, and that lifts a heavy weight off your own shoulders.

‘Forgiveness is the scent the violet emits onto the heel that crushed it.’  Anon

I love this quote. It is stunning and so true. There are times in life where hurts are done that will change relationship forever. Just because you forgive doesn’t mean you will have a close relationship with that person anymore, and you may never be able to forget the hurt that was felt at that time. Yet you can let go of the resentment and anger towards that person, and let it turn to pity as you see their hurtful ways as a reflection of just how lost they are. In the amazing book called The Shack , by William.P.Young, he says “Forgiveness is not forgetting but being able to take your hands off the throat of that person”.  So true.

Forgiveness frees you. It allows joy back into your life. Letting go of resentment affects every area of your life, especially your health. Life is too short to live with hurts and anger — let it go and set yourself free.

‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.’ Lewis.B.Smedes

It is easy to create happy and celebratory rituals but creating apology and forgiveness rituals are just as important, maybe even more so, especially when it comes to our own health and mental well being. Give it a try!

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