I apologize

I apologize

Among the many life lessons learned through my son’s recovery from addiction, and thereby from my own, is to make amends promptly.  I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter if you did or didn’t do the wrong.  What matters is,  does the other person perceive you did?

A recent incident reminded me.  A local charity hosted a lecture which drew some 60 guests.  There was a small buffet and an open bar just prior to the talk.   The room was very large.  Guests were scattered at round tables in front of the podium.   Involved with this charity for years, I knew many of the guests and enjoyed greeting them.  It was impossible to talk with everyone, given the brief time before the main speaker.

Much later, however, I learned there was one couple there among the many I’d overlooked who was especially hurt.  To my surprise, they thought my inattention was intentional, and they were deeply offended.

At first, I brushed it off.  Offended?  Well, that was their problem.  Were they that thin-skinned?  Later, however, I realized, why not apologize?  How could that hurt me, and it certainly might help them.

So the next day I did.   A long phone call sealed our future relationship.  We actually laughed about it.  They felt better, as did I.

But that wasn’t enough.  In both Al-Anon – and AA – a basic principle is to monitor our behavior, and when we are wrong to “promptly” admit it.  That alone won’t do it.  We need to make it right again.  We need to make amends.

Months later this same couple experienced a death in the family.  Only by visiting, listening, and sharing sweet memories did I amend my wrong.

Sometimes I apologize isn’t enough.




4 Replies to “I apologize”

  1. wholeheartedly agree! our relationships are always evolving and thrive through our time and loving intention & attention.

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