Grammy award winning singer/song writer Tracy Chapman, has a song that says "...words don't come easily, like sorry...". I wonder if she has a hard time with them too, or was it just referring to her lover with the impediment to back down and ask for forgiveness. I was 13 years old, sitting on my bed, Leonardo posters sprawled across my walls and my very private padlocked diary in hand listening to that song, and I felt sympathetic for Tracy. Although I had little concept of what a healthy relationship looked like, or what it was to have my heartbroken I related to her deep sadness of "...years go by and still words don't come easily...like sorry". I imagined her lover as a handsomely rugged man (unaware at the time that Ms Chapman was gay) who drunkenly fights with her, cheats, lies and then comes back and instead of sincerely apologising charms his way back into her bed and life. And she takes him back, or in Tracy's case, her back, on some hopelessly self deprecating hope that this time her lover will change.
It's a rare thing to forgive someone in our western world. It's not a trait many of us put at the top of our list. And therefore asking for forgiveness isn't either. We don't want to back down because we don't want to be wrong. We hold onto some glimmer that we are justified. And we don't want to forgive because we don't want the message to be 'you can keep hurting me, it's ok'. Like Tracy, we may keep forgiving but be hurting our very selves in the process. And unlike her lover, can we be more willing to admit when we are hurting the ones we love, and have the bravery to say sorry?