A few months ago, my friend Nqwesh and I got stuck in congested Joburg traffic on our way to a conference when suddenly, a yellow car behind us hit us. We got such a fright. We got out of the car in panic and went to check on the other driver. No one was hurt but there was a little scratch on our car. The white lady who had hit us looked at our car and grudgingly said, “It’s a minor scratch, nothing to worry about.” She walked away from us and got back in her car like nothing had happened.
We were so shocked at this behavior. She wasn’t even courteous enough to ask if we were OK. I remember being very upset at her attitude but for some odd reason, neither of us could put a sentence together.
Later that evening, Nqwesh turned and said to me, “What that lady did hurt me.”
My friend’s statement stayed with me. We were wronged. We were treated unfairly. And she didn’t even say, ‘I’m sorry.’
But what do you do when someone hurts you and the apology never comes?
Most of us are (unconsciously) carrying a lot of pain inside because someone who wronged us didn’t stick around long enough to apologize. It could be a parent who left with no explanation, a lover who lied, a friend who betrayed us, a sibling who disrespected us, a loved one who let us down, a colleague who gossiped about us- whatever the case, some people will never say ‘I’m sorry’ and we need to accept that. We need to heal from the scars within and forgive. We forgive, not because they asked to be forgiven, we forgive so that we can move on and be happy. Some people leave us with a lot of questions; why, how, what, where, when? They leave us beating ourselves up with bitterness and anger while they carry on (and sip on champagne I imagine).
There is a great lesson to be learnt here; sometimes the people who wronged us will never ask for forgiveness, they will never acknowledge the fact that their behavior caused us pain, but we need to rise above that. We need to be so good to ourselves that we don’t live a life that depends on their apology. As we grow, we need to realize that we don’t need other people’s apologies for us to heal.
Even if the apology never comes, refuse to stay bitter. Realize that you (not them) are in charge of your happiness!
Forgive them and let them wonder how you keep getting better, surely, God will reward your good attitude.