Admit it. “Sorry” is such a hard word. Nowadays, we live in a world where (almost) everyone insists that they’re right, at least in their own sight. We live in a generation where people steadfastly hold their ground and, as if marching around, hold their banner on which is written, “Listen to me! I know better than you do!” No wonder, admitting that one is wrong is probably the rarest thing that you could ever find in our world today.
Being sorry, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “feeling sorrow or regret”. It also means “expressing polite regret”. Now here is the question. Have you ever felt being polite toward someone who hurt you or offended you? “Nah. Do you really expect me to be?” But here is another question. Have you ever felt regret towards an event that had you crying, or cringing, because someone has been unfair, rude, and nasty to you? “Oh yes! I regret that I’ve ever known him!” “I regret that she became my friend!” “I regret that I loved him!” “I regret that I have been so good and nice to her only to be betrayed in the end!” “I regret being a human being!” (Oh my, even if you regret you can’t be sorry for this.) “I regret being so timid and shy, that I never let my voice be heard.” “I regret being dumb.” And the list of these regrets is never-ending. We have so many regrets in life. That’s why we don’t get to be contented and happy. And free. All these regrets consume us, so much so that we tend to focus only on our own feelings and emotions and forget that we have also hurt other people along the way. We become self-centered that we remember only what we feel and not what other people feel. Our thoughts become clouded with self-pity, with our pride that seem to have been trampled down, and with our ego that seems bigger than our hearts. That’s why it is unlikely for someone who has these kinds of remorse to ever feel “polite” towards anyone who has defied or negated his convictions or principles. Simply put, one can only express polite regret when that person realizes that he also did something wrong, or at least if he admits to himself that he is wrong. That’s what’s really hard to do, isn’t it?
Saying sorry is as hard as unsaying the words that we think are true. It is as difficult as swallowing food that is too repugnant for our taste.
But what if only by saying this word that you can speak out the real truth? What if only by saying this that you can taste the sweetest relief and peacefulness that you’ve been looking for, all these years (and tears)? Would you still resist letting go of your blinding pride and skyrocketing ego? Would you trade peace and happiness with regret and sorrow?
Stripping ourselves off our pride is like stripping ourselves off our clothes. It is as hard as accepting that we are naked! We are naked with the truth that we are weak, and so we deceive ourselves that we’re strong by feeding our ego. We are naked with the truth that we are insecure, and so we put on our mask and go out into the world showing them a different identity. Truth is, we can never go on without humility, respect, and courage. Without being humble, you cannot acknowledge your wrongdoings. Without having respect for others, you cannot live peaceably with people. And without courage, you will never be able to accept the truth- because the truth hurts. And if you’re not courageous enough, you will always be afraid of what you think can hurt you.
Forgiveness means freedom. Filling yourself with guilt and regrets of the past will only imprison you in a self-centered world. Being forgiven means being alive; it gives a sense of fulfillment. It brings you back to newness and revival. Being forgiven sets you free.
Nevertheless, if one cannot forgive you, you are not the one on the losing end. What matters is that you’ve learned your lesson and you’ve known how to be humble. You did yourself a favor! Their hardened heart is not your fault anymore. These are the kinds of people who resist growth and an abundant life, and that’s their choice.
Saying sorry may be hard, but it is fulfilling and liberating. It also softens a person’s heart, and it gives them a new and broader perspective. It may also be a catalyst for change- change to a person and change to your situation. Saying sorry can change you, too. After all, if one is willing, nothing is really that hard to do.. It’s only ourselves that’s making it hard to do. Just starve your ego and feed your humble heart!
Who might be needing to hear that word from you today? The key to your freedom is in your own pocket!