Just last week, right before Christmas, I flash-backed to grade school. I don’t know what made me think of him, but I did. I remembered how there was the kid that used to drive me nuts. He said some of the most inappropriate things and made just about all of the girls in class very uncomfortable. And then I remembered calling him names and not being very patient or kind to him. Granted I was in fifth grade, but all of a sudden I was able to look at it from a different perspective. I was able to see him as a child who needed patience and guidance not to be called names.
I’m very quick to point out what others are doing or have done wrong. I pass judgments like its my job, and yet I started thinking about the things I had done wrong…like since I was a kid… (It was scary…) While there were times when I didn’t know better, there was many a time that I did. I’ll admit that I got pretty upset thinking I could have hurt anyone. Some of the people are no longer in my life, and I can’t talk to them because I don’t know how to get a hold of them. Some of the people are no longer in my life, and I won’t talk to them. Then there are those who are no longer in my life and who I’m pretty sure don’t want me to talk to them. And there are those friends and family members who have somehow found a way to put up with me and be kind to me despite my shortcomings. This letter is addressed to all of them in hopes that whether they read or it or not, they’ll be able to feel my intention and feel some peace.
Dear Friend, Family Member, Ex-friend, Ex-boyfriend, Coworker, and Acquaintance,
First off, I’m sorry. I’ve spent years on my high horse, thinking I don’t do nearly as much wrong as I actually do. I’ve also spent many years retelling my story where a lot of things “happen to me,” playing the victim, not standing up for myself, and blaming it on everyone else. I’m ready now, though, to take a clear look, come clean, and ask for forgiveness.
So what am I sorry for? A multitude of sins that have hurt me, yet I was so quick to do them to someone else.
If I ever called you a name, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry if I ever called you “stupid” or “idiot” or “f*cking a**hole.” I’m sorry if I ever gave you a mean nickname based on your looks or something else you couldn’t change about yourself. It wasn’t right, and it wasn’t true. I did it because I was hurting, and hurting you made me feel better about myself. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that I could be a selfish friend at times. I’m sorry if I missed out on important events because of something that was going on in my own life. I’m sorry I’ve flaked out on plans that were made and/or made excuses about why I hadn’t gotten in touch sooner. I didn’t make you a priority in my life, and I was thinking only of myself. I should have been more supportive, and I should have been there for you. I should have shown you that you were worth my time. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for all the times that I’ve been so judgmental. I’ve made faces and comments letting you know you were being judged. I was so quick to look at what you were doing wrong without looking in the mirror. I judged your choices, your beliefs, and your actions. I was up on my high horse looking down, but I couldn’t see that we were always on the same level. I can look back now and see my errors while at the time I was too busy looking at someone else’s. They say hindsight is 20/20, but I’m afraid that can’t take back any hard feelings that you’re left with if you’ve ever felt judged by me. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry if I ever talked about you behind your back. I would lie to myself saying it was alright if it was just one person I trusted because then it was just “venting.” That’s a load of bullsh*t. I was cowardly. Cowards talk behind your back, but someone with courage and who actually has respect for you (whether they like you or not) will tell you to your face. I was a coward. I did it to be a part of a group; I did it to make someone else like me. Even if it’s just to one person, it’s never okay. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for the times that I’ve pushed you away. I got caught up in my own pain and thought it would be a good idea to separate myself from everyone, to push everyone away. I was afraid of getting hurt, so I ran away from you. I didn’t let you in and was cold or “snobby” to protect myself or so I thought. I pushed a lot of good people away. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry if I’ve ever ripped into you. I’m quick to admit my temper, but I’m worried it comes across as an excuse. It’s not right. No one deserves to be yelled at, to be cursed at, or to be insulted, even if I felt like it was in self-defense. That’s a load of crap, and that’s not how I want to be known. I’ve hurt you with my words; that is my weapon, and I’m pretty sure it can leave a sting. I’ve hit below the belt many a time. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I couldn’t always come clean. I couldn’t say or do what needed to be said. I’ve just stopped talking and started ignoring instead of being open and honest. I couldn’t tell you that I didn’t care enough or that I cared too much. I was cowardly by not saying what I was feeling. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I didn’t forgive you sooner. All this time, I thought I wasn’t a grudge-holder. I’m starting to see that’s not completely true. Whether it was big or small, I’ve carried it with me for many a year now and have added it to the case for me being a victim. Instead of forgiving, I’ve held onto the pain as ammunition to use against you and anyone else who might come along. I don’t want to hold onto grudges anymore. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry my pride and/or my fear got in the way. I wanted to reach out again, I really did. I was too proud to be the first to talk or too scared, worried I would be hurt, that you wouldn’t want to talk to me. I’ve thought about you more times than I can count, but both pride and fear stop me from letting you know. I’m sorry.
And lastly, if you’ve ever hurt me, I forgive you. We’re coming to the end of one hell of a year, let’s leave it all behind us. I’ve learned a lot this year, and I just want to keep moving forward. Whatever has happened between us, I forgive you. We may or may not be meant to reconnect, but I want nothing but good for you. I hope good things come your way, and that you can experience enough love and joy for you to let go of the pain that has hurt you in the past.
I know I’ve said it so many times in this letter, but I have meant it every time. If I have ever caused you pain in any way, shape, or form, I am truly sorry. I ask for your forgiveness and hope that my apology can lessen any pain I may have caused you.
An apology is never any good unless it is accompanied by change. I pray that these words become actions, and that you’ll maybe get the chance to see the truth in them.