When I ask for forgiveness, saying or doing something that has caused pain or disjunction in a relationship, I am placing the burden of this relationship on the other person. If we say, “please forgive me” we are putting the future of this relationship onto a person who may or may not be ready to move on, forgive and forget. It wasn’t their issue to begin with!
When I am the offender, it is my job to be aware – acknowledge – move forward. It is my job to be aware of words and actions that may have caused pain or disconnection. I must acknowledge that pain with remorse and contrition. And move forward with kindness and love. It is not up to the other person to forgive. I do not deserve forgiveness.
My responsibility is to be aware how our words and actions echo to those around us. Forgiveness is a gift, not something to be asked of or expected from those we have offended. The gift will be explored in Part II !