I had a painful divorce 19 years ago after my wife left me and subsequently I moved away from Sheffield. Sadly I’ve seen her at a few funerals since and it has smarted. I could see we had both been invited to a mutual friend’s 50th weekend party and mini-festival. I wanted to see my other friends but not her nor the guy she left me for.
My wife has been encouraging me to let go and forgive my ex for years but I couldn’t, as I believed I needed her to say sorry. So I thought I’ll bite the bullet and say “I forgive you” to her! So we went to the party, just for the day. As I arrived I felt tense and anxious and leapt at the chance to run away and pick someone up from a Peak District rail station.
Her train was delayed, it was a gorgeous day and it started to dawn on me that maybe I should say sorry too but realised that was simply daft. When I arrived at the party for the 2nd time I was given an overwhelmingly warm welcome by a stack of people, many of whom I hadn’t seen for years. Even the standard awkward initial hello and sterile conversation with my ex wasn’t too bad.
But as I chatted to others and enjoyed the music it dawned on me that the time had come to say something. So a couple of hours later I asked my ex if I could have a word. I simply said when we split it was a very painful time and I’m sorry, she seemed taken aback and then said the magic word too.
We were then able to have an open and real conversation with each other – wish I’d said sorry years ago!
I think “A Long Walk to Freedom” is really inspiring about the power of forgiveness.