by Fionn Zarubica

Fionn-Zarubica-3I am sorry, I made a mistake, please forgive me.

Apparently, here in the Balkans, this is a sentence that is uttered using the language of Tongues.

Whenever I wholeheartedly admit to someone here that I am wrong and that I made a mistake, rather than cooling the situation down, it only seems to escalate the conflict.  What is that?

The recipient of my apology, almost never offers me forgiveness, but  instead launches into a list of all the reasons why they are not wrong, and then repeats it five or six times.

Does the word redundant do anything for you?

Didn’t I just say I was wrong?  Didn’t I just take ownership for my part in the misunderstanding?  Didn’t I just apologize?

It is usually the period before we acknowledge our accountability in any mix up – when we are still trying to be right and find the other person wrong – that causes us the most pain.  

By the time I accept my accountability in a situation, I have already walked away from feeling conflicted about it.  

However, what stands out to me as I reflect on this dynamic, is that the recipient of the apology is so busy arguing in favor of their own rightness, they do not realize that the weapons have been put down.  

And, more importantly, they are not asking the crucial question:

How could I have helped, supported and steadied you, dear heart, so that you did not make the mistake in the first place?  How could I have held you up dear one?

In our bid to be right we tend to forget that we have the power to cover one another with love, and to protect one another from stumbling. We have the power to prevent the initial error by which we are subsequently offended; and, at the very least, we have the power not to take offense.

Maybe the forgiver needs to be the forgiven.  Maybe the offended could have played a part in preventing the offense. Maybe we all have another level of personal responsibility to consider?

I am just saying…

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