the healing effect of an apology

close up view of band aids on blue surface
Photo by Tara Winstead on

They stared at me, maliciously – or so I thought,

They were probably just uncomfortable,

Around my silence and my simple defiance.

I could feel the shame bubbling up inside

And so my energy seeped, and life turned dark.

They did blood tests and shone lights in my eyes,

But, of course, nothing showed up – nothing’s wrong

Despite the fact this aching lethargy

Peppered my bones for several months.

And then one day, I crawled back to that pool,

I cried and told him, I’d never leave again.

It was a load of crap really,

But I did mean one thing -that I was sorry,

I meant that with all my heart. I recovered soon,

With that weight lifted off. The apology

Was was a shadowy turning point.

I find apologising really hard, but every time I’ve done it, and really meant it, it’s been a really healing experience. There is a reason that an apology is one of the twelve steps in a recovery programme – it’s powerful.

I remember when I was a teenager I was a swimmer and I got it into my head that my coach hated me. I left his squad and the decision ate me up for months.

I started to get very tired and within a few months I went from being able to swim 10k to struggling to climb a flight of stairs. I went to my doctor and had tests and reviews and nothing showed up. Apparently, I was completely healthy.

Eventually, feeling so sad and low, I dragged myself to the pool and cried uncontrollably on this poor man. I said I was sorry and I really meant it, and knowing that I was forgiven was even more freeing.

Whether my remarkable recovery had anything to do with this is anyone’s guess, but I like to think that the universe knows when something good has taken place, and rewards it.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

2 thoughts on “the healing effect of an apology

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Apologies really are healing, Rachel, both for the person who makes the apology, and the one who has the opportunity to forgive. It doesn’t unsay what was said, or undo what was done, but it does help to heal. I think it works best, too, if the person is truly sincere about the apology. If it’s just a matter of form, then it doesn’t work its magic. If it’s honest, though, It releases a lot of pain.

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