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How to Apologize (& Forgive)

When ideas come to me, sometimes they arrive fully formed. A tidy little package with a label on the outside that says “Talk about…” and I suddenly know exactly what I need to say and how I need to say it. 


I'll be honest with you all – receiving that kind of “download” is my absolute favorite. It has a nice, neat little bow on it and once it's delivered, I can brush off my hands with a brisk “Done and DONE!” and move on feeling satisfied with a job well done.


And then there are ideas like this one…


It arrive on my doorstep labeled “Talk about How to Apologize… & Forgive," but instead of finding a neat & tidy instruction manual, I find myself unraveling a veritable ticker tape of questions, questions, and more questions.


Why are apologies so darn sticky & tricky for folks?


How do we use them and why do we use them?


Where are they needed? Where are they expected?


And what about forgiveness? When do we need it? And when is it withheld?


And as I look desperately for a tidy little bow to tie this whole subject up in 5-easy-steps or a few little paragraphs, I find myself still standing here holding that string of questions as it unfurls further & further out – until it ultimately disappears over the horizon and out of sight.


And while the check-list-loving part of my personality is still reeling a bit ("Umm, this is NOT the 5 paragraph essay I ordered. I'd like to speak to a manager…") the wiser & more deeply knowing part of me cannot deny the importance to exploring these questions, even as the answers may feel illusive or highly varying. 


Because the fact is the way we relate to & engage with apologies (& forgiveness) is varied, nuanced, and deeply personal. And, as with all subjects of this nature, beginning to question our relationship with them opens something up in us — to question, to explore, and to reflect upon.

So this week, I'd like to invite you to take some time to join me as we pick up a few yards of that ticker tape and ask ourselves… 


How can I apologize? 

And how can I forgive ?



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