It’s all a matter of perspective and I was wrong. Again.
I am embarrassed to admit that actually yes it was my mistake and, through looking at the situation from my perspective only, I got it wrong. I hurt someone just as much as they hurt me yet I failed to see that this week. I simply didn’t recognise that my actions had hurt them, that my actions had been part of the problem as well as theirs. I had only thought about my hurt, my pride and hadn’t even considered anything outside of ME. I was staggered when someone pointed out a different perspective from mine regarding the situation and I realised I had been a touch narrow minded (to say the least!) and was well overdue offering an apology. I generally consider myself open minded and thoughtful, yet clearly not then. I brooded momentarily and asked myself
Have I overreacted and shown such a lack of perspective before? Do I often get it this wrong?
I looked back over the years and asked myself if there were times when I had made similar mistakes, purely because I didn’t step back and look at the situation from the perspective of others involved. I am sad to say I counted a number of those occasions where, in hindsight, I should have looked at the situation differently and put things right more quickly than I chose to. I should have had enough self-awareness to recognise my part in the drama and apologised. I lost one of my oldest and dearest childhood friends after a series of decisions and an argument that resulted in us not speaking for almost two years. TWO years. We had seen each other through tumultuous teenage years, university adventures and the world of being adults (read drinking coffee at Starbucks and going shopping – we had that down to an art form I can tell you). I missed out on her marriage and the birth of her beautiful daughter. She missed out on, well, one or two disasters in my life when I needed her more than ever. Put simply, we missed out on each other and that still pains me. I am incredibly thankful that she had the courage to pick up the phone one Christmas and say hello. I had missed her so much and hadn’t known how to say
I am sorry. I was wrong. You hurt me, I hurt you but I still love you.
And it really was that simple when we reunited in person and said those words. I was terrified as I sat in the cafe awaiting her arrival, fidgeting nervously and tearing at my flimsy napkin. She walked in, beautiful and smiling as always and we held each other as those two years melted away. All we had needed to do was talk, express our hurt, apologise and move on. We had barely changed and slipped back into our old, comfortable friendship quickly. Neither of us understands to this day what really happened between us that had created such a rift. But when I consider how I treated her I am forever humbled by her forgiveness and friendship. I remember apologising again after our reunion and she simply said
It is okay. I am in this for life and I’ll always be here
What an incredible woman. Heaven help me I then remembered other occasions where close friendships had drifted since then; misunderstandings had begun due to cause hurt but thankfully we had put them right and moved on. We had the ability to look at the problem from perspectives other than our own, talked it through without judgement, apologised and laughed our way through it. It seems obvious to say this now but I began to realise that relationships of all kinds have ups and downs, misunderstandings and narrow mindedness on occasion. Ego and Pride get in the way and 99% of the time all that is needed is a little perspective, an apology and a hug. Again, it really is that simple. How do we not all know and practice this simple act more every single day?!
Perspective + Apology + Hug = Problem solved. Happy Days
With this in mind, I decided yesterday to say sorry from the bottom of my heart. I apologised to the first person I mentioned in this post and, no surprises, we hugged, laughed and moved on. I wish we had spoken a number of weeks ago rather than letting things fester until now. My second apology was more difficult; it was for my ex-partner who at times had been very abusive to me. I have no doubt now that he had not intended to hurt me. He was simply hurting himself and projecting his own insecurities onto me but I played my part in that. I had feared getting in touch for a long time given the impact he had on my mental health previously but it was time to apologise. So I sent my apology for the hurt and pain I had caused him, forgave him silently inside and wished him every happiness in life. I wish I had done that sooner as well.
This led me onto my third apology of the day; one for me. Whilst I may not be able to hug myself I at least gained some perspective and apologised to myself for every time I looked at my behaviour and said ‘I wish I had…’ ‘I should have…’ ‘Why didn’t I..’ Why did I do that?
Because, quite frankly, I am only human. It is clear I make a LOT of mistakes at times but I deserve forgiveness as well. We all do. A big part of my own journey in life, as well as learning the art of Sorry towards others this week, is accepting myself and offering up forgiveness of me for my own shortcomings. I am not perfect and mistakes will continue to be made by me and my pesky Ego. But I hope that through forgiveness, acceptance and understanding I can learn and lessen the impact of my mistakes in the future. Offer up my apologies and hugs more quickly as it were. To return to a sentence earlier but slightly reworded:
I am sorry. I was wrong. You hurt me, I hurt you AND I still love you.
The AND is everything. Love isn’t about being perfectly flawless, not making mistakes, not hurting anyone. It isn’t about ‘but I still love you’. It is about loving one another because of our innate humanness. Recognising that yes we will hurt each other AND we will still love each other regardless; because that is what unconditional love does. It forgives and just carries on giving. As my dear friend said
I’m in this for life and I’ll always be here