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The Power of Apologizing

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Over a very trivial property issue, Parvati didn’t talk to her brother Madhusudan for nearly fifteen years. Each one was waiting for the other to come and apologize. A time came, when Madhusudan was extremely sick and almost on his deathbed. His body stopped responding to medicine and the doctors failed to understand how to revive him. It was like his life was stuck in something and refused to leave the earth without that redemption. 

After a deep thought, his son went and pleaded with his aunt Parvati and requested her to come and see Madhusudan in the hospital. “My father is neither alive nor dead. His soul is dangling in between. And I’m very sure he is waiting for you. Please! At least now on his deathbed, forget the old grudge and help him go peacefully.”

Parvati came to the hospital. The entire family was standing around Madhusudan’s bed. All sorts of tubes and pipes were inserted in him. When both brother and sister looked at each other, floodgates opened and tears streamed down their faces. She came and sat next to him. Silently, without a word Madhusudan joined his hands and raised them. Parvati sandwiched her hands around her brother’s and whispered,”Madhu, I’m sorry and I forgive you too.”After a faint smile, Madhusudan passed away on the spot!!!

A small five letter word, ‘SORRY’, but has the strength and power to mend the most important relationships of our lives. And when you don’t apologize on time, it only leaves you with regrets and broken hearts. 

Take this mini quiz. Answer it in either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. You don’t have to tell anyone, just be honest with yourself.

1. If you’ve made a mistake, do you accept it easily?
2. After knowing it was your mistake, do you take the initiative to rectify it?
3. In spite of the realisation that it was your doing, do you still play the blame game?
4. Do you wait for the other person to say sorry first?
5. Do you value your relationships above circumstantial conflicts?
6. Is your ego a barrier when it comes to apologizing?

The heart touching true story above and these questions must have enlightened you by now, how important it is to accept your mistake and say sorry. Let us see the benefits of apologizing. It will help you practice it more often and with ease.

* When you say sorry, you are re-establishing the respect and dignity of the other person. Your apology will convert their pain into forgiveness.
* It restores trust and opens doors for communication. Your emotional bonding can become stronger. 
* Your apology will also melt your own guilt away and assist you to start afresh. 
* Saying sorry makes you realize that yes, somewhere I was wrong.
* Your apology gains you respect in the eyes of the other person.
* It is vital for your inner peace. 

Wow!! Then why is it so difficult to say sorry ?!? Here are some of the reasons.

* Apologizing can be a threat to our ego, our pride.
* Nobody wants to take the responsibility of the consequences.
* Sometimes people feel ignorance is better than highlighting the mistake by saying sorry.
* What if the other person makes fun of me if I apologize?
* “Let it be, the wound will heal with time.” No, it won’t. It may only go deeper. 

Here are a few tips on how to apologize genuinely.
* Accept your mistake.
* Don’t pretend. If you are sorry then mean it from the heart and do it sincerely.
* Don’t become defensive and start giving excuses and lame explanations. Understand, a mistake has happened and it demands an apology. 
* Remember you can’t repair the past. However you are apologizing to amend the future.
* Weigh your preferences. What is more important, your ego or your relationship?
* Saying sorry is an act of courage and not a sign of cowardice. 

Having said all this, asking for forgiveness and forgiving others are significant in equal measure. Both are important for the peace and harmony with our near and dear ones, and both are vital for our inner calm and equilibrium.

“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” ~ Bruce LeeShamim Merchant

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