Blessing #19: I Make Amends
“It’s not a persons mistakes which define them – it’s the way they make amends.” ― Freya NorthYesterday I wrote about Forgiveness, including forgiving myself for mistakes I have made. The next step in moving forward is in making things right, or making amends, wherever possible. It takes courage, while at the same time it can very humbling to say, “I am sorry,” or “I was wrong,” or “Please forgive me.” But there is a tremendous blessing in making amends. For anyone who has gone through a 12-Step Program, you will recognize this one. It is important to apologize to the people that I have hurt by my words and actions whenever possible and safe for me to do so. I do not need to wait until someone has called me out for something I have said or done that upset them; if I know that I have offended or hurt another person, it is my responsibility to make the first move. It is not so much about relieving my own guilt or shame, though that can be a result. It is in the process of making amends that the heart finds healing through a sense of collective peace, and in a connection to another human soul. We become a little more free and develop a more complete and deeper understanding of who we are. Clinical Psychologist, Author and Teacher Tara Brach wrote a beautifully thoughtful piece on Self-Forgiveness and Making Amends a few years ago that I recommend for anyone processing the idea of making things right. Even if the person you owe an apology to is no longer in your life, you can still offer your compassion for the hurt or wrong they suffered. It may be at that point a symbolic gesture, but if it comes from a place of sincerity, it is good and beautiful and right.
“Sometimes you only get one chance to rewrite the qualities of the character you played in a person’s life story. Always take it. Never let the world read the wrong version of you.” ― Shannon L. AlderFor additional resources, or to purchase my eBook The Blessings Butterfly please check out my Resources page. Come on over to our cocoon on Facebook and share your thoughts!