When Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

“In this life, when you deny someone an apology,
you will remember it at a time [when] you beg forgiveness.”

— Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

There are times in our lives when we all do one of two things; we either act in a way which means we hurt someone and need to make amends, or someone acts in a way which hurts us and they in turn need to make amends.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that we really are a pack of ratfinks, apologies - or rather sincere apologies - tend to be rather thin on the ground. And for every time we do manage to mutter the words 'sorry about that', there tends to be a follow up of 'but it wasn't my fault'. 

I am not making myself out to be Saint Kate of the Immaculate Mea Culpa here. I am just as guilty as everyone else at finding reasons why my actions weren't really anything to do with my own nastiness or thoughtlessness - or sometimes sheer laziness of the brain. Much as I would like to think I am a perfect princess, I am well aware this is far from the truth, and sometimes the urge to say 'but it was because X did this, not because I didn't do this' grips the space between my brain and my flappy tongue and next thing you know the sorry becomes a slag off.

We also seem to be very bad - maybe it's an Aussie trait - at accepting apologies. I have noticed when I am genuinely sorry about something (and I will say this - I don't apologise to propitiate people, or to stop an argument, only if I am genuinely ashamed of my actions) - often those I am saying the big 'S.O.R.R.Y.' to will either shrug it off or even go 'whatever' and keep whinging about the same topic ad nauseam.  

This isn't gracious and it isn't fair. If you are still upset, say 'well, I am still upset, and it may take me a long time to work through this.'  Don't ignore the apology as if it hasn't happened. It takes a lot for someone (and I speak for everyone here, not for myself) to put their heart in their mouth and say 'I really regret my words/actions - please at least think about forgiving me.'

Saying sorry doesn't guarantee you forgiveness, and nor should it. Your actions stand. But bear this in mind; next time someone does something that really gives you a bit of a kick in the heart - and it will happen, because that's life - remember an occasion when you may have done the same to someone else because you forgot about engaging your brain cells.   

Think about their response to you, bad or good. 

And this time around... make sorry an easier word for both of you.  

It may even lead to a bit of internal peace just that little bit sooner.