Sunday, January 30, 2011
Marty once asked me about growing up in my family and if anyone ever apologized to each other. Of course, she was asking knowing I'm not a natural apologizer and was trying to figure out why. I thought about it and the answer was no. I did not hear the words "I'm sorry" coming from the lips of my parents or siblings. How sorry is that?
I've since had to learn to apologize and not just say the words, but mean them and feel remorse and convey true repentance. I know I've said "I'm sorry" to my wife during our marriage, but after starting recovery it took on a whole new meaning.
When I found the strength to confess to her my addiction issues, I wrote her a letter bringing everything to the surface. Several months later as I was working on making amends in my steps, I re-read that initial letter and noticed that I didn't ask for her forgiveness in it. So I wrote her another, this time including those very important words. And as we continued down the road of recovery, I found that saying I was sorry once wasn't my eternal "get out of jail free" card. I was in the process of learning how to apologize.
Typically, apologies usually followed excuses or a great defense, or a head-spinning turning the tables moment, if an apology came at all. I have since learned that if I need to ask forgiveness, then that is what I simply must do, not try to make Marty feel bad for me or try to get her to take care of me, I need to own up, humble myself and do what's right.
It is so hard for a person who's not a natural apologizer to say those two agonizing words, but learning how to do so has made me a better man. I'm not sorry about that.