Tag Archives: sorry

Self Apology

“Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.”
– Margaret Lee Runbeck

I caught myself doing something pretty silly this morning.

Now, mind you, doing something silly is a pretty regular occurrence in my world. So if I wrote about it every time it happened I wouldn’t get much else done. But this one kind of struck a nerve for some reason.

So, I’m riding down the road on the way to work listening to my audiobook like I always do. I have the audiobook downloaded to my phone and it’s connected to the car radio through the auxiliary cord. I usually keep my phone’s sounds on silent (if you call me, sorry – I’ll never hear it). So when a notification “ding” came through this morning, I immediately reached over to get my phone out of the seat and turn the sound off so the annoying dings wouldn’t keep interrupting my story. It’s hard enough for me to be in a decent mood as it is on any given day, so a morning ride full of dings would definitely start me off on the wrong foot. As I proceeded to disable said dings, I remembered I had a few apps open that needed to be closed. [Sidebar: I can’t STAND to have apps open on my phone. Or little red notification numbers. Or emails in my inbox. How do you barbarians live like that??] So, as I got a little swipe-happy removing whatever errant app I had left open, I accidentally closed my audiobook as well.

As the app closed and the story came to an abrupt halt, the first words out of my mouth were, “Oh shoot! I’m sorry.”

Out loud.

To myself.

I apologized to my own self for turning my book off. Geez!

Once I realized what I had done, I had to laugh about it. I mean, how dumb can a person be? Apologizing to yourself? Ha!

And yet.

As the day wore on, I somehow just couldn’t stop thinking about that apology in the car. Was it really all that dumb, after all?

It got me thinking about something.

I’ve been in a bit of a bad place emotionally lately. Something happened a few months ago that I can’t seem to shake. I acted in a way that was not quite myself, and I ended up hurting a few people in the process. And now that it has all blown after and all is forgiven and life has moved on, another emotion has kicked in.


At myself.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt like this before. I mean, I’m a redhead so obviously I know what anger feels like. Duh. It’s my favorite emotion. But at myself?

Now that’s new.

Now I’m no stranger to being an idiot. This isn’t the first time I’ve done something stupid. Stupid is my middle name.

I sometimes think about that 17-year-old version of me who was diagnosed with cancer. That girl who went through chemo and radiation, who spent half of her senior year in the hospital, who went to her high school prom bald as a baby – now that girl? That girl was stupid. Everyone around her talked about how “strong” she was, and how tough she was being. But she never understood what they meant. She was just doing what she was told. She was, quite frankly, too dumb to be scared. She wasn’t old enough yet – mature enough yet – to know what it all meant. The 40-year-old version of me now who looks back on that kid just shakes her head and smiles. I now know what a serious situation that was – and what could have happened. But I didn’t then. I didn’t know any better.

I was stupid.

And sometimes I feel like not much has changed in the last 23 years.

Sometimes 40-year-old me is still too immature to recognize the situations that she finds herself in – to realize the full weight of what could happen if she makes the wrong choice.

And that’s what I did a few months ago. I made the wrong choice.

I messed up. I hurt some people – especially one in particular. But it seems like those people that I hurt have forgiven me. They were surprised, but that’s what humans do – surprise one another. No, they didn’t really expect that kind of behavior from me and, yet, they still love me. Life goes on.

But why does it not just “go on” for me?

For me, somehow, life has seemed to come to a standstill in some ways. It’s not ‘going on’ at all. And, why the heck not? Everyone else has moved on. Why not me? What am I waiting for?


Is it, perhaps, that I haven’t quite given out all the apologies I need to give? Maybe there’s someone left?

Maybe me?

Sigh. Maybe me.

Well. Okay then. Let’s do this. Here goes.

Melissa, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you didn’t know any better. I’m sorry you weren’t mature enough to recognize the seriousness of the situation you were in. I’m sorry that you carelessly took your life for granted – much like that 17-year-old did once upon a time. I’m sorry you weren’t thinking straight. I’m sorry you screwed up.

But, honey, now you know.

Now you know.

Now you have lived with the consequences of your choices. Now you have seen the hurt on the faces of the people you love. You’ve seen the hurt in your own face staring back at you from the mirror. You’ve learned. You’ve suffered. You’ve cried.

And now, sweet girl…you’re done with that.


Let. It. Go.

I’m truly sorry.

I’m sorry I let you down. I’m sorry I allowed you to make such a big mistake. But it’s okay now. It’s okay. Let’s move on from this. What do you say?

Well. Okay then. That’s done.

And, what now?

Apology accepted.

Okay. Maybe apologizing to yourself isn’t quite so dumb after all.

Let’s move forward.


“Do the best you can until you know better.  And when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou




I debated whether to blog about what I’m getting ready to share, but I decided that maybe someone out there might need to hear this.

That apology quote is one that I’ve seen many times. And one that I have actually given a lot of thought to. How many of us are walking around with old wounds that are still in need of repair? I know I am. There are a few people from my past that have done wrong by me and, like most of us probably do, I harbor a little resentment and bitterness towards those people. Even if I don’t fully realize that the hurt is still there.

Well, life has taken a slightly strange turn for me lately.  One of those ‘old wounds’ has resurfaced. Someone that once hurt me deeply has suddenly come back into my life.

I won’t get into detail about what happened to cause this reconnection (one of those ‘names have been changed to protect the innocent’ kind of deals…), but let’s just say that I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our paths have crossed again at a time when I’m going through one of my little life detours. (In a previous post, I refer to life detours. These are what I like to call those times in your life when things are rolling along and suddenly, without notice, everything changes.)  In fact, a lot of my old writings that I started this blog with are writings from that time in my life.  I’ve been looking back on them to help me through my current situation, so it has been a little more fresh on my mind than it normally would be.

And now – here he is.

And guess what?  He’s sorry.

Really, truly deeply sorry.  I see it in the way he treats me now, hear the kindness of his voice, and was even asked for forgiveness by him directly (which takes a lot of guts, if you ask me). This is one of those times that I don’t have to wonder What if? I don’t have to apply the Robert Brault quote that I previously mentioned because I don’t have to accept an apology I ‘never got.’  I am faced with accepting an apology that I did get.

And you know what?  I accepted it.  Without hesitation, without any thought to the contrary – I just fully and completely said, “You’re forgiven.”

And holy crap, let me tell ya: that felt good.

Believe me, I know what it’s like to be hurt.  I know it so well.  And I know what it’s like to see all those quotes like the one I posted before.  I’ve heard the one that says that ‘holding on to your anger is only hurting you’ and the one that tells you that ‘refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison and expecting them to die.’  Etc. etc. etc.  These things are just quotes.  They’re just words.  They mean nothing.  I know, I’ve been there.  In fact, I’m there now.  But life just gave me a glaring example of how good it feels to just let it go.

Now, I know we’re not all going to get a chance like I just got.  We’re not all going to get to have someone look us in our eye and ask for our forgiveness.  But now that I know how truly freeing and healing it is to be able to give that forgiveness to someone who asked for it, I’m starting to wonder if there’s not a lot of truth to that Robert Brault quote.  If it feels this good to accept an apology that was given to me, wouldn’t it feel just as good to accept one that wasn’t given to me?  Wouldn’t it be just as freeing?  Just as healing?

It’s not as easy of course.  But I think it can be done.  It’s worth a shot.

What unspoken apology do you need to accept?  Maybe today is the day.