Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Power of An Apology!

So.. good morning! Happy Hump Day!!! We're halfway there and I'm so looking forward to the weekend. Last weekend sucked MAJOR and I need a do over desperately! I really can't see how this one can go wrong, so I am excited for it to get here. One: I get to see my lady friends and go look at bridesmaids dresses (how much fun is that going to be?) Two: I'm going to pick up J's ring this weekend... I OWN HIM NOW!!! lol Three: Maybe I will get to fit registering for the wedding into the weekend. That should be fun, right? Free shopping. I'm sure there's a four, but I can't think of it right now. Pretty much, this weekend should be legen... (wait for it)... DARY!

I finished reading The Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman this morning on the train...

"If apologizing were a way of life, no walls would be built. Relationships would be authentic. Certainly people would fail, but the failures would be dealt with in an open and honest manner. Regret would be expressed; responsibility would be accepted. Restitution would be made. Genuine repentance would be our intention, and we would stand humbly and say, "I need somebody to forgive me."

In the book the author's grand-daughter, Davy Grace, was disobedient to what her grandmother told her to do. When confronted with her actions, the 5 year old grand-daughter simply began to cry and said "I need somebody to forgive me." We all make mistakes, none of us is perfect and we all do something to violate someone's trust or offend someone we care about in some way. When these offenses go unacknowledged, relationships are fractured. The relationship will suffer from the offense and if neither party reaches out to mend the relationship, the quality of the relationship will continue to diminish. Imagine how many relationships could ultimately be saved if someone was just willing to apologize, then forgiveness could be granted and the relationship could be restored. I am far too often witnessing friendships fall apart over something that could be fixed if an apology was offered and grace was extended with forgiveness. In the grand scheme of things, it just doesn't seem worth it NOT to apologize.

So as not to leave you UN updated... in my last post So I Read, I talked about needing to forgive someone who I feel had offended me. This person did not come to me and offer an apology (certainly not in my language), so it has been an ongoing fractured relationship. In the book, it said I was supposed to lovingly confront them, make them aware of their offense and request an apology. Well... this past weekend, I went to confront them. I went in hope of taking the steps to restore the relationship. I was hoping for and apology but definitely not expecting one. I will not give you all the details of the conversation, but I want you to know that I am glad I went. It did not go how I anticipated (idk what I thought would happen), I almost left without having received the apology, but I would have found some healing in having tried. In the end, after some (not so) gentle prodding, I got the apology I needed (them accepting responsibility) and I offered them forgiveness. I released them from the penalty from hurting me and am no longer going to let the offenses stand between us. I am still working on the trust and restoration part... I'm really not sure what was ever really there to restore. But at least the lines of communication are open and I don't cringe at the mere thought of them. :) Progress, I'd say!

I have to say, I FULLY enjoyed the book. I feel like my life will be forever affected (in a very good way) having had read this. I have broken down the barrier in one relationship and have gained the knowledge necessary to maintain all my currently perfectly functioning relationships. Let us not underestimate the power of an apology!

Book club for The Five Languages of Apology will be held on March 17th at 2pm, my house! Even if you have not had an opportunity to read the book, I strongly encourage you to join us for, what I promise to be, some very powerful and enlightening conversation.

We all need someone to forgive us and that is more likely to happen if we learn to apologize effectively. I am officially in apology mode!
"Father, give me the attitude of Davy Grace: 'I need somebody to forgive me,' and teach me how to apologize effectively. Amen."

AMEN! That's my peace... Love, Tam

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