Join Isabel Romero as she shares her journey in health, fitness and mental wellness. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration to others by helping all her readers achieve their personal best.
I’m sorry. It is one of the most powerful phrases yet probably the most underutilized. Why? Probably because most people’s egos get in the way. Either a person does not want to admit fault, or they are afraid that the other person might not forgive them. And yet saying those words can make all the difference in the world. To both you and the other person.
Yes, I have heard the expression that saying “sorry” just isn’t enough. And I agree. But here’s the kicker: You have to mean it. Genuinely feel sorry about doing something wrong, hurting someone you care about, etc, because otherwise, it’s true that it doesn’t mean a damn thing. Sadly, I know some people may be thinking to themselves: “Well, I’m not sorry. They deserved it. I don’t feel bad.” Why not? Hurting anyone is WRONG. We all come from a basic human core of goodness. Why would you want anyone to feel hurt? Two wrongs never make a right. You have to dig deep within your heart and soul, and always, always try to find the good within you and do the right thing.
About 5 months ago, an ex-boyfriend contacted me on Facebook. It’s so easy to find someone from your past these days! He is the only ex-boyfriend I had not remained friends with over the years, because frankly, I’m just not the type to hold any animosity towards anyone and tend to get along with just about anyone. I dated him for 3 years in high school and into college, and between my first and second year in college, he cheated on me. Not only that, but shortly thereafter, I found out the girl he cheated with was pregnant. I cannot begin to tell you how heartbroken I was. I felt devastated and humiliated. A couple of years went by, and although we had not spoken a word, I found myself forgiving him simply because I know that holding onto bad feelings about someone and not forgiving them only hurts you in the end, not them. I’m always dumbfounded when I talk to a friend who speaks ill of someone from like a hundred years ago, and they have held on to resentment all these years. Seriously? What does that accomplish anyway? Forgive, try to forget, and move on. But forgiveness and forgetting is a whole other beast of a topic that I will discuss another day.
The first thing my ex-boyfriend said was that he had been scared to contact me for all these years because he didn’t know how I would react. He said he was so incredibly SORRY, so embarrassed by what he had done, and said that if he could go back and change everything, he would. He went on to say that his life would have been much better all these years with me in it. I stopped him and said “I forgive you. I forgave you about 18 years ago! These things happen, and we all make mistakes and live with regrets.” He was shocked. He thought I hated him all these years, and he said he spent the past 20 years wishing that I knew how truly sorry he was for hurting me.
Yes, I had forgiven him. I am huge into forgiveness—it’s a quality that I learned from my family at a very young age and that I have reinforced within myself throughout my life. However, there was something so powerful about his apology. Saying “I’m sorry” took him from being a cheating jerk who did not care at all that he hurt me (despite my forgiveness) to being a real human being who did care and simply made a mistake which he regretted.
Think about it for a minute. How many people do we wrong or hurt in some way or another on a fairly regular basis? I know I do. When I don’t even mean to. Doing something wrong or hurting someone doesn’t mean that it was intentional. Even if you wronged someone or hurt someone without meaning to, saying those simple words “I’m sorry” could make all the difference in the world. A-It tells the other person “I acknowledge that I hurt you and I feel badly for that.” And B- it makes you feel better too! The absolute worst that can happen is the person doesn’t forgive you, but at least there’s a good chance that your mind will be set free. Like I mentioned before, your apology needs to be sincere; otherwise, it’s pointless.
And NO, it’s never too late to say sorry, Justin Bieber (although I recommend not waiting 2 decades like my ex. lol). I guarantee that utilizing this simple yet powerful little phrase on a regular basis will change your life for the better. Humble yourself, swallow your pride, and try it out! You have nothing to lose.
Peace, love, health and happiness,