Friday Fodder – Apology

Once upon a time…

in a fairytale therapy group… 

“I would like to acknowledge that yes, I have made mistakes – plenty of mistakes. I hurt people. Well, not people, but you know, living things. I hurt living things and I hurt them by damaging their property and terrorising them a little bit, and for that I am truly sorry. I humbly stand here today in front of you with my tail between my legs – literally. I apologise for the wrong I have done. And I have done some things right but I don’t need to apologise for those things – just the wrong things.

But, uh, yeah, the, yeah, the, um –

The straw.

I apologise for the straw. Why you would build a house out of straw in the first place is a complete mystery to me, but I guess that’s not the point. The point is, one of you wanted to build a house out of straw and I destroyed that house. I blew it down. Not that it takes much to blow down a flimsy structure made of straw. A strong wind could have blown it down. A gust. A draught. A flurry no less. You did build that house fairly close to the ocean, so I suspect it would only have been a matter of time before a decent sea breeze did the job for me. A-hem, but yes, I was the one who blew it down and I have to own that. So I do. I own it. I own it and I apologise. I blew down the house and I was going to eat you, but you ran away. I don’t think I should have to apologise for wanting to eat you because you know, you are delicious and that’s my nature. I agree we should all be able to live together peacefully in this world, but I would also like to remind you that eating kale isn’t really an option for me. I acknowledge that it was wrong and so is blowing down a flimsy house that was going to come down at any moment anyway because someone didn’t take the time to build their home out of decent materials.

So yes, I’m sorry for that.

Um. Okay with regard to the sticks.

I maintain that sticks are only slightly harder to blow down than straw. However, there was intent there – to blow the house down and to eat the owner of the house. And also, to use the sticks to start a fire to roast the owner of the house over while lathering said owner in barbecue sauce. Yes, all of that is true, and none of it is right, so I apologise for all of it. I will say that because I couldn’t catch the owner of the house, nothing happened other than destruction of a fire hazard. Nevertheless, there was destruction. There was trauma. There was hurt. I acknowledge that I brought about hurt in the lives of swine. A fire could have hurt many more people. Not a nice fire that you can control while you cook your dinner, but you know, a real fire that could start at any moment if some piglet decided to light a candle in the middle of his twig dwelling. Still, it’s not about what might have happened, it’s about what did happen, and what happened was I blew the house down. I huffed and I puffed. I actually became a little winded. But then I huffed and puffed some more. Down went the house and I own that. I didn’t eat the pig because he ran away. Somehow pigs are terrible at building houses, but they are superb at running away from wolves. So that’s fine, he ran and I chased. And, uh, well then… then I hit a wall.

A brick wall.

We all hit a brick wall at some stage, don’t we? I finally found a house that I couldn’t blow down. But do you know what I could blow down?


And that’s what I did.

I stood there and with all the breath I could muster and I blew and blew and blew. But I could not blow that house down. As I sat there, exhausted on the grass watching breakfast, lunch, and dinner staring out of a window from the brick house – mocking me, taunting me, and jeering at me – I knew I needed to take a good, hard look at my life and make some changes.

That’s why I’m here today – not at the end of my journey towards becoming a better creature, but somewhere in the middle. I am asking for forgiveness for the straw; for the sticks but not for the brick. That house was built really well, and I believe it was even sold the following year for double what it cost to build. Good on that pig! He obviously inherited the engineering genes his siblings could only dream of. As for me, I have been travelling around to different wolf packs, talking to the pups about making good decisions.

Mostly I just tell them to stick to chickens.

You tell a chicken the sky is falling, and the next thing you know, they are walking right into your cave. No houses or property to destroy, no dressing up like sheep, and no grandmothers to give you terrible indigestion.

So you see, I have learned.

I’ve come a long, long way.”

“Apologising does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”

― Mark Matthews

Moral of the Story:

Knowing how to apologise – and when – can repair damage in a relationship, but if you don’t know how to apologise sincerely, you can actually make things worse. A sincere and effective apology is one that communicates genuine empathy, remorse, and regret as well as a promise to learn from your mistakes. In other words, you need to really believe you did something wrong and feel sorry for the hurt you caused. A sincere apology can also bring relief, particularly if you have guilt over your actions. An apology alone doesn’t erase the hurt or make it OK, but it does establish that you know your actions or words were wrong and that you will strive harder in the future to prevent it from happening again. 

Not apologising when you are wrong can be damaging to your personal and professional relationships. It can also lead to rumination, anger, resentment, and hostility that may only grow over time. Knowing when to apologise is as important as knowing how to apologise. Generally speaking, if you suspect that something you did (on purpose or by accident) caused someone else hard feelings, it’s a good idea to apologise and clear the air. If there’s anything you can do to amend the situation, do it. It’s important to know how to apologise with sincerity, and part of that sincerity is a willingness to act. One of the most important parts of an apology and one of the best reasons to apologise is to reaffirm boundaries. Healthy boundaries are important in any relationship. Genuine apologies aren’t always easy, but that can be an important part of mending or maintaining important relationships. With empathy, an open heart, and a dose of courage, you can take the steps you need to make a sincere and honest apology.

“Sometimes, the mistake is not the problem; the lack of remorse is the real mistake.”

― Michael Bassey Johnson

Affirmation: I forgive first. I forgive last. I forgive always.

Everyone in my life has something to teach me. We have a purpose in being together. Punishing myself is unhelpful to me and others. I grow through forgiveness. I grow stronger and better every day. I am able to heal from the hurt and pain that I caused myself and others before I was awakened to my behaviour. Forgiveness gifts me a fresh start and a clean slate. I approach myself with patience and understanding. I release shame, anger, guilt, and embarrassment. As I let go of the past, I allow new joyful relationships to come in. I am capable of moving on from past offences and wrongs people have done to me. I let go of negative patterns and habits. I release my past and forgive my participation in it. I forgive the part of me that holds resentment. I melt into an ocean of love and forgiveness. I take responsibility for any negative patterns or behaviors that contribute to conflict in my life. Making mistakes is an opportunity to gain wisdom.

“The only true apology is changed behaviour.”

― J.S. Felts


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