Day Eighteen: Making Amends
It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our…mistakes and make amends for them. —Dale E. Turner
Sometimes when we have made mistakes, we have hurt others and not just ourselves. When this hurt happens in the financial realm, we may have helped to impoverish others in some way, and perhaps contributed to their hardship as well as our own. This is not to say such harm was intentional. But when our actions have had a deleterious effect on the lives of others, an important part of learning guilt’s lesson so we can move on has to do with making amends. Making amends takes courage. And each time we do it, we become more courageous, because we rebuild our self-respect.
Making amends is not the same thing as a simple apology. An apology is a good place to start. And sometimes, depending upon the circumstances, it’s all we can do. We can contact the person our actions have affected, and say “I’ve realized my actions hurt you. I am so sorry. I hope you can forgive me.”
Whether they forgive or not is up to them. If we have been using our hula hoop (Day Fifteen) we’ll know that their feelings and actions are outside our control. Forgiving or not forgiving is their choice to make, and their work to do. We have done our best. Now we can move on.
Often, though, we can go further. Often we can make amends by doing something concrete to rectify the hurt we’ve caused. One example is borrowing money. If we’ve borrowed money from a friend or relative and we haven’t paid it back, it’s not enough to say “I’m sorry.” In that case, it’s important to put our money where our mouth is. Even if it means going without something we want in order to do so. Perhaps we can only afford a small chunk each month. Making it a priority will show our friend that we mean business. And it will make us right with ourselves on the inside.
Today consider if there is somebody to whom you need to make amends. Figure out how you’re going to do it. Then do it.