Too Little, Too Late
Years ago, I had a friend who went on a group trip with me and the entire time he made the experience unbearable. It was a semi-professional trip but there was nothing professional in his behavior. When I returned from the trip, I decided to bury the experience and not give it any more importance.
Recently, this very person came to apologize to me. He showed up at the shoe store to apologize. I must have looked like a deer in headlights. I was so shocked after so many years that he would come to apologize. Truth be told, that incident no longer held any importance in my life. I was surprised to know that he was still thinking about how his behavior was hurtful. I certainly didn’t realize he was even aware that he was out of line.
A few weeks after that, someone very dear to me apologized for disappearing out of my life. He had disappeared one day !poof! - now you see me, now you don’t.
As much as I appreciate the apologies, it makes me think isn’t it “too little too late”? During the moments when I was feeling the pain of their disregard I could have used the apologies. Now that I am all healed, they are unnecessary. But I suppose it is necessary for them, a kind of lifting of a weight off their shoulders?
You hear about some people dying of broken hearts, like in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book “Love In the Time of Cholera,” or the story about the poet Alfonsina Storni who drowned herself in the Mar del Plata. She was broken from a lost love. It’s funny, you don’t hear about people dying from broken friendships. But they are sometimes just as ground shaking. Obviously, I didn’t die from either of these two situations. Life goes on, no matter the heartbreak.
But trying to be objective and fair, I think of how many times I, myself, have hurt or been inconsiderate to other people.
I think, when we hurt our loved one’s feelings, for the most part we are oblivious to it. We each are focused on our own needs, our own motivations, or we simply don’t see what is wanted from us. And vice versa. If I am lucky, I will come to the realization I’ve been inconsiderate or hurtful. When I apologize it is because I’m making a conscientious decision to continue to be in someone’s life. This makes me wonder: do these people apologize to me so they can continue to be in my life, or is it to appease their own self conscience? Honestly, whatever the motivation, there is healing involved.
I know that I must be responsible for my own actions. We cannot go around in life hurting people’s feelings, changing friends/relatives/lovers as easily as we change our shoes. We may not know exactly what we are doing when we hurt somebody’s feelings, sometimes we just get caught up in the situation, or we don’t give it any importance. And when you realize the relationship is broken, it can feel too late to go back.
So if I have hurt your feelings, I hope I will realize it and talk to you. If you have hurt my feelings, maybe you will do the same. Either way, I believe it is NOT “too little too late.”If you haven’t heard the song about Alfonsina… listen to this! By Mercedes Sosa! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elFfCLa6wNM
I always love to hear your thoughts! Please e-mail me at GuadalupeGoler@hotmail.com