This weekend, I did something really horrible to a friend. I betrayed a confidence, and it got back to her. The fallout was extremely bad.
I’d like to excuse myself and say the person whom I told caused the problems, but the truth is – if I’d kept my mouth shut, the situation wouldn’t have happened.
So on Monday, I went about the painful task of trying to make amends – apologizing to all parties involved, all the while knowing my friend was furious and incredibly hurt. It was a very difficult, humbling experience for me, knowing I’d caused that pain. I knew that I would also have to accept the possibility that our friendship was irrevocably damaged.
Tonight, totally unexpectedly – I ran into her. My immediate impulse was to turn and run. But my brain told me I had to face her. She smiled, not quite the smile I’m accustomed to, but encouraging nonetheless. I said I was sorry, and she nodded.
“Don’t worry – we will get through it,” she said.
My tears were swift and hot – the gratitude that coursed through me at the generosity of her forgiveness is indescribable.
My friend and I still have a lot of work to do to mend our relationship. But her willingness to forgive has released me from a world of hurt. Gandhi was right – only a strong person can find the courage to give that gift, especially as she is dealing with her own pain.
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