Life Coach Magazine

On Apologies and Forgiveness

By Macnelliebus1 @macnelliebus

When I was 11 I went to boarding school and in my first year there I bullied another girl.  I was caught and very publicly punished.  It’s an experience that has haunted me ever since.  I would forget about it for large chunks of time and then be on the tube and suddenly think, “What will I do if I bump into X?”.

Recently I connected with a school friend on Facebook.  She is someone I’d liked and got on with while at school.  Her parents invited me to their home at weekends and always made me feel very welcome.  This was bliss for someone whose parents lived thousands of miles away.

In that idle way you look at FB posts, I noticed one day a post by X on this friend’s page.  At least I thought it was X.  The surname was different but the face looked awfully familiar.  What to do?  I didn’t want to open old wounds.  I did want to apologize.  Was this for me or for her?  Was it a selfish act?  Was I unburdening my guilt or offering something useful?

Another friend whose daughter had been bullied at school advised me to go ahead.  And so I sent a message of apology.  I received one back that was wise, fair, considered and most amazing of all, offered forgiveness.

I’m grateful to social media for enabling this process.  Say what you like about Facebook, this electronic exchange brought closure to a wound that was 39 years old.


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