I’m sorry. They’re hard enough words to say, but when challenged to ask forgiveness for the less obvious slights, they become that much harder. It’s excruciatingly hard at times to not get mired down in thinking over all the terrible and not-so-terrible-but-still-not-so-great things you’ve done this year, evaluating the damage that your actions have done to your relationships. Sometimes the effect is obvious: hurt feelings, tears, anger, but other times it is far more insidious. Pulling back instead of engaging, not being present, not paying enough attention, not wanting to get involved, retreating into homework/the internet/other distractions. These are small acts, and their impact isn’t immediately felt, but over time, they start to escalate. Before you know what’s happened, cherished moments and rituals become memory, you drift a little further, until sometimes, more often than we’d like, we realize we’re strangers.
I’ve done a fairly honest accounting of my behavior this past year, and while there’s definitely some big things I need to seek forgiveness for, there’s a lot more of this latter kind of behavior that I really need to reign in. It’s hard – we all have busy lives, stress, other things to get done right this very moment, but I am resolute that I am going to make the effort. I am going to seek forgiveness for unintentionally removing myself or otherwise not being present in the moment with those I love, and to work on re-establishing connections, conversations, and moments that create more memories instead of having memories of moments that used to be.