There is no one in particular that I'm writing this post to.
I just had some thoughts that the ability to say "I'm sorry" is probably one of the biggest gifts we have in life.
I've never really considered the effects that apologizing has on ourselves and others, but the awesome principle of having the opportunity to right a wrong, to feel like you can erase a past mistake, or simply to help another feel like you sympathize with them is really cool.
In essence it's really what the atonement is all about; being able to correct our actions and become aligned with the will of God.
What if we were thrown down on this earth without any potential to correct mistakes? God tells us we have rules for playing here on Earth, but if we act out of line we are thrown in a penalty box with no way out... and that's it. Game over.
I think it's pretty fair to say that we'd all lose.
But then God gives us a referee; a mediator. Christ is there to see our intent, to vouch for us, to give us time outs, but then allow us back into the game when our repentance is complete. That's the kind of game I'd most like to play. In the end, everyone has the same potential to win.
Kate has been really good about saying, "I'm sorry," recently. She will bump into anyone or anything and say sorry. She'll even apologize if someone ELSE bumps into, or accidentally hurts, another. Even if she didn't do it! One of the biggest ways that Kate apologizes is by combining her words with hugs:
|Kate & Autumn back in California|
I really wish I had more pictures of her giving hugs, because she does it all the time.
|Hugging Edwin on his first day home from the hospital|
Her favorite activity lately is to lay blankets on top of Edwin and then hug him (most of the time smashing him into the floor.) He just laughs and laughs! Margo is a classic example of receiving Kate's hugging apologies. Kate really loves to hold Margo and hug her super tight... the dog does not laugh.
Even today, Jon accidentally kicked Margo in the face (he was putting his shoes on for work and Margo is just so small she sometimes gets in the way) but as Jon held Margo and said he was sorry, Kate immediately jumped down from the couch and wanted to pet Margo too, saying, "Sorry Margo! Sorry Margo! Sorry Margo punch in the face!"
There are a lot of people that I've wanted to say "I'm sorry" to over the years for various reasons. I wish it was as simple as crushing them with a hug into the floor. Some have been more intense reasons than others. But part of being able to thoroughly apologize is the opportunity afforded by the other person. Will they listen? Answer the door? Read the text? Add you as a friend again on Facebook? Maybe it sounds silly. But sometimes all I want is for others to see that I've changed. I've learned and grown, and I'm not the same jerkface that I was 10 years ago. Or even last year for that matter.
With some friendships it might be too late. I don't really expect things to ever go back to "the way they were", but I do like to see a courteous evolution. Maybe in some cases it means that you both realize that you can't go on being friends at all. But at least you recognize that you're going a better direction in your life now, and you can both be happy with that progression yourselves and for one another.
Maybe there isn't a perfect method. But I like to think that being better--in whatever way--is an eternal goal :)
I'll leave you with these words from Jon Katz:
"I think if I've learned anything about friendship, it's to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don't walk away, don't be distracted, don't be too busy or tired, don't take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together."
Forgiveness. And Friendship. That's what I want my life to marinade in.