Hello from beautiful Montana:

It is never easy to say "I'm Sorry" in any relationship.  Asking for forgiveness  or apologizing comes harder for some people than others, but it is not fun for anyone to admit to making a mistake with someone they care about.

Forgiveness is learned through relationships and taught by those who have forgiven us for our shortcomings. We all need and want apologies from others but have difficulty letting go of past hurts that are harming our relationships.

In the book To Forgive is Human by Michael McCullough, Steven Sandage and Everett Worthington published by InterVarsity Press, says;

"Unforgiven hurts are like rocks tossed into a peaceful sea, creating ripples and turbulence that disturb the placid surface. If many hurts occur at nearly the same time, the previously calm water of our lives is churned into whitecaps of distress.
Forgiveness calms turbulence, dampens the need to lash out at others, keeps families together and maintains harmony in relationships.  Forgiveness is a place of calm in an an angry sea."

3 Ways to Apologize

1. Say the words Make it genuine and assume responsibility. Sometimes you need to allow a little time and sometimes you need to apologize immediately.  Be sensitive to the other person and make sure it sounds sincere.
2. Write the words Perhaps you need to reflect on what you really want to convey. Don't just do it because you think you should or that you want to shift the blame. Recognize that you have made a mistake and assume responsibility for making the changes necessary to rebuild the trust in the relationship.
3. Demonstrate that you have changed No matter how or when you have indicated that you were wrong and would appreciate forgiveness, it will be for naught if you continue to hurt the other person.  Actions speak louder than words, so you must show by your actions that you regret what happened and are working on changing behavior. 

Renew Relationship

You cannot force others to forgive you, but when you acknowledge mistakes, apologize for your part and ask for forgiveness and resolve to change behavior, it will renew the relationship.  Trust may take some time to return, but commitment to each other and the relationship will speed the process.

Don't Forget to Forgive Yourself

We all blow it occasionally or say and do things we regret. Recognizing that our actions or words have hurt someone we love is never easy. Asking for forgiveness is hard, but the end result is well worth it.  Relationships are the foundation of life and even though the journey can be bumpy, we can start over again with forgiveness and apologies.

With love and gratitude,

Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship coach and author

Relationship Renewal- 3 Ways to Apologize
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