Forgive and forget. To err is human, to forgive is divine. Turn the other cheek. All great one liners for the fine art of forgiveness.
While I am all for the statement, "I'm sorry", lately I find these words to have little to no meaning to certain people. So, riddle me this! If you offer a truly heartfelt apology to someone, and they accept, does this mean that you no longer need to be reminded of the forgiven act for which you apologized for?
Case in point - I do not pretend to pontificate myself as a perfect person. This may come as a huge shock to some of you who have known me for a very long time. I know, you all thought that I was perfect. Well, on some days, I actually am perfect. However those days are not prolific, and more times than not, I have an air of imperfection. I am opinionated. I speak my mind. I have a tendency to render my "filter of vocabulary rants" useless, and therefore say whatever comes to mind without first reviewing it in my mind to make sure that I have offended no one! But, I am a decent person. I give to charity. I pray for my enemies. I say "God Bless" when I see an ambulance. I love my children. I love my husband. I love animals. I am painfully honest when it comes to money. If a cashier gives me too much change, I tell her about it, and don't keep her monetary error in my wallet. To put it plainly - I believe in Karma. What goes around, comes around. Those are words to live by.
So, forgiveness. What is the purpose behind asking for forgiveness if the other party just rehashes your error, over and over again... like Hallmark Channel's reruns of the Golden Girls? I don't mean that you forget the error, whatever it is, but to bring it up, on a fairly regular basis to the offender, by the offended - well why bother with the apology? I suppose my catholic upbringing about confession and penance sits in my head. In the front of my head. It's like a big bold sign, a NEON sign, across my forehead that says, "sinner" or "bad daughter". I can't win for losing.
So, about my past. I was not always the charming person I am now. I was a rebel before there were causes. If my mom said left, then I went right. I had my own way of thinking, which usually was not the way of my mom. It is not like she was a bad mother. She was just too darn rigid. I lived in a dual direction highway of a world, while mom was on a one way street. It was her way, or the highway. There was no deviation from the world of mom. So, there you have it - we've established that I was not perfect.
Some months ago, my daughter laid of huge pile of nastiness on my soul. I can overlook it, as she is pregnant, and I know, from first hand experience, times x 3, that hormones, pregnancies, and moms are not items that should ever be combined without fear of explosion. But, with the mean and nasty comments, came an epiphany that I was not very nice to my own mom in my youth. It was like a light bulb went on, and a mysterious voice said "Ah ha..got it"... So, I called my mom and told her that I was truly sorry for any and all sins of my past. I admitted to her that I was not so nice, and it took getting the same shovel to the back of the head for me to realize that I was not the most prefect of daughters. She accepted my heartfelt apology. Really, accepting the apology is good for the soul. I mean this to be received by everyone who has ever been on the receiving end of some one's apology. It can lift years of worry and turmoil off your heart.
So, the question begs an answer. If you accept the apology - then why is there a need to continue reminding the offender of her sin? My mom just can't let it go. The past that is. Every phone call is a new and exciting way in which my mom can communicate her memory of the rotten way I was when I was younger. I guess I am confused. If I offered the genuine apology, and you accepted it - why the need to bring it up ever again.
The Lion King movie was a treasure trove of wisdom. In one scene, the prophetic monkey whacks the wayward lion on the back of the head.
Simba : "I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I've been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.
[swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You See? So what are you going to do?
Adult Simba: First, I'm gonna take your stick.
[Simba snatches Rafiki's stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it]
Rafiki: No, not the stick! Hey, where you going?
Adult Simba: I'm going back!
Rafiki: Good! Go on! Get out of here!
[Rafiki begins laughing and screeching loudly]
Why can't life be like that?