By Annette Stanwick -
Are you hanging on to “unfinished business” in a relationship? Are you holding on to regrets of the past that you wish would go away? It’s really never too late to say, “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you.”
When our oldest daughter was born in the late 60s, there were very few parenting books. If there were, I didn’t know about them. We had such a deep love for our daughter, but as we raised her, our parenting skills reflected what we’d learned from our parents. Unfortunately some of that role modeling wasn’t the best.
Being the perfectionist that I am, and wanting to prevent our daughter from experiencing the pain and difficulties I had experienced as a child, along with wanting her to be a model child, I was very precise, exacting and almost demanding. I also easily lashed out in my times of frustration just like my mother did with me, not realizing that her young mind didn’t understand why, what was happening and what was expected of her.
More than 25 years later, with a deep interest in human behavior and how self-esteem is developed, I began reading parenting books. I literally devoured them, but in doing so I began to realize some of the mistakes I’d made in my efforts as a mother. I began to feel deep regret for my blunders and well-intentioned mistakes. I also became convinced I needed to apologize to her.
Terrified by the thought of what I needed to say after all these years, and how she might respond, I prayed for courage, and then placed an unrehearsed call of apology. I know she was shocked by the call, but together we wept on the phone.There were long distance hugs, love and forgiveness and I’ll never forget her comment, “I love you Mom, I know you were doing your best at the time, and I forgive you. Let’s start over!” What a precious healing moment!!
Friends, if there are something you need to do to heal the past, DO IT and do it now! – even if it seems too long overdue. In telling that story to an audience of hundreds of women, I added, “It’s never too late to say I’m sorry or I forgive you”.
I’ll never forget one courageous lady in the audience who jumped to her feet and shouted out, “I also was convinced I needed to apologize to my daughter, but I put it off, making plans to apologize in person when she came home for Christmas. I never had the opportunity because she was killed in an accident on the way home! Please don’t put it off any longer. It just MAY be too late!”
Friends, don’t put off your overdue apology or your much-needed act of forgiveness. You may not know how the other person will respond, an apology and forgiveness always brings healing – even if it is only to your own heart!
Annette Stanwick is a speaker, award-winning author and Freedom Facilitator. Her book, Forgiveness: The Mystery and Miracle can be order through her website www.annettestanwick.com.
(Article photo by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)