I assert all people have a sense of morality. Most people are incurably moral. Some things are right and some things are wrong. When one’s sense of right is violated, that person will experience anger. He or she will feel wronged or resentful at that person who has violated their trust. The wrong act stands as a barrier between two people, and the relationship is fractured.
Justice sometimes can bring a sense of satisfaction to the offended person, but justice does not typically restore relationships. Frequently the desire for reconciliation is often more potent than the desire for justice. The more intimate the relationship, the deeper the desire for reconciliation. When a husband or wife treats each other unfairly, in their hurt and anger they are pulled between looking for justice and a desire for mercy. On one hand, they want the other to pay for their wrongdoing, on the other hand, they wish for reconciliation. It is the sincere apology that makes genuine reconciliation possible. If thee is no apology. then their sense of morality pushes them to demand justice.
The need for apologies permeates all human relationships. Marriage, parenting, dating, and vocational relationships all require apologies. Without apologies, anger builds up and pushes us to demand justice. When justice, as we see it is not forthcoming, we can take matters into our own hands and do some pretty stupid things. We can seek revenge and that is when anger can escalate and it can end in violence.
Can you forgive without an apology? Yes and it takes a lot of work. Forgiveness without an apology is often encouraged for the benefit of the forgiver rather than the beneifit of the offender. Such forgiveness doesn not lead to reconcilliation.
Genuine forgiveness removes the barrier that was created by the offence and opens the door to restoring trust over time. If the relationship was warm and intimate before the offence, it can become loving again. If the relationship was simply one of casual acquaintance it may grow to a deeper level through the dynamic process of forgiveness.
When we apologize, we accept responsibility for our behaviour seeking to make amends with the person who was offended. Genuine apology opens the door to the possibility of forgiveness and reconsiliation. Then we can continue to build the reltionship. Without apology, the offense sits as a barrier, and the quality of the relationship is diminished. In the Book “The five love languages of apology by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas” They say
Good relationships are always marked by a willingness to apologize, forgive, and reconcile.. The reason many relationships are cold and distant is because we have failed to apologize. I have taken some things from the book and put them into my words and put my interpretation on them.
Go for it! I want on my gravestone she burned out instead of rusted out! What do you want them to say about you?
Ask yourself are your actions and speaking in alignment with what you are committed to? Look at what are the habitual patterns that have that commitment thwarted? Are you willing to take responsibility for when it doesn’t go that way you want or the way you expected and clean up your part? Are you willing to let go of Expectations of yourself and others? What are you not being truthful about to yourself and others.
Our thoughts can be like a junk drawer-we need to take inventory and get rid of what is not useful! (wendy b)
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