One of the things which had astonished me most about the toxic person in my life was his almost complete and total lack of remorse. No matter what had happened the next day it was, “Business as Usual.”
Mostly there was no clearing the air, no apologies, nothing.. I had always accepted that disagreements were part of life and that we were meant to learn from them and grow. There were the disagreements but there was very little learning except how to manipulate me better next time around. Truthfully I was actually a little envious of this ability to shake things off and act like nothing had happened.
All this had made me think about the way I apologised to people myself. Did my actions match my words? This in turn had led me to remember one person in my life who had shown me the GOLD STANDARD in how to truly say, “Sorry.”
She had been only eleven years old and she had been part of the in-crowd, pretty and popular. I had tended to hang out with the boys. My brother had always been my primary playmate, so hanging around with boys had always come more naturally to me than doing girly things.
One day this particular girl had ventured across the classroom and spoken to me. What she had said to me had changed my life.
I am sorry. I have been mean to you.
This had truly shocked me. To be honest I hadn’t really noticed her being particularly unkind and I had told her that. I had just felt we moved in different orbits.
Whilst I had still been in shock she had followed this up with,
Would you like to hang out?
This had been no random gesture on her part. She had been persistent and before I knew it, I was being invited out to various social events.
She had set about being my friend with real determination. For the next seven years until I had left secondary school, she had featured daily in my life. She had made me part of nearly every social gathering. My circle of friends had widened greatly by that stage. She had brought many of them into my life. I had ended with quite an active social life.
This should be one of those stories where I mention that we are still friends but we both moved on. She left school. I went away to university. I came across the little poem she had written in my autograph book the other day and mentioned her to my youngsters, saying that hers was the sort of apology to which I can only aspire. ( I am not there yet.) A genuine apology is precious and life-changing. I pray for her now whenever I think of her and hope that all her dreams have come true.