A P O L O G I E S

“You really should apologize.” Angelica said.

“For the tenth time, I’m not sorry!” Dulce yelled.

Angelica was exasperated with the debate that had started out as a conversation.  She was trying to help Dulce understand how her actions had impacted others and why she needed to make amends with them.  

“Listen, Dulce. I get that you don’t want to apologize to people but it’s the right thing to do and I promise you’ll feel better.” Angelica said.

“How do you know what’s right and how can you promise me how I’ll feel with your proposed actions that I don’t agree with?” Dulce asked. “Just stop.” she continued. 

Dulce was younger than Angelica by twenty years but sometimes felt much older than her. She didn’t believe in apologies any more than she believed in Santa Claus.  An apology was no more than a run on sentence where in error someone applied a full stop.  

Trespasses weren’t a debt that could be paid off at a credit union using a wallet full of “I’m Sorry” currency. They were personal debts to be resolved only in the spirit and as much as she knew folks wanted to hear an apology from a person, group or institution every now and again she also knew the sound only gave false peace because trespasses were spiritual debts incurred individually just as forgiveness was individual spiritual currency. The credit union was universal and everyone’s souls were both lender and buyer.

“I’m just trying to help you feel better, Dulce. You’ve been crying off and on for months all on account of how you’ve hurt people with your actions. Don’t you think you owe them an apology?” Angelica asked softly.

“For the eleventh time, no, I don’t think I owe anyone an apology except myself and my maker.” Dulce replied. “Listen, I know you don’t understand but please let this go and let me cry off and on for as long as it takes me to forgive myself because my maker has already forgiven me. We’re all connected Angelica. Where I trespass I have been trespassed against at some point and that person at some point and on and on and on.  An external apology doesn’t correct the trespass any more than external forgiveness.  That’s not feeling better and it doesn’t bring peace.  It’s just indoctrination. External pain will continue to be given by everyone in the world as long as internal pain remains unhealed, so let me cry and just know it will lead to peace.” Dulce explained.

“I hear you but it kinda sounds like a cop out, like you just want an excuse not to face people with what you did wrong.” Angelica countered.

“I know you think and believe that but maybe I don’t think what I did was wrong, Angelica. Consider for a moment that maybe I felt like Goldilocks and that what I did was just right, cause I did feel that way and I’m still not sorry for doing what felt right to me. Everyone is guilty for wrong-thinking but it doesn’t always mean their actions were done to cause harm, occasionally it means they’ll suffer but suffering is sometimes the experience required to mold a better thinker and a better thinker can make better actions. We are seriously all connected and even in pain we can make each other better.” Dulce said.

“But haven’t you ever wanted someone to apologize to you?” Angelica asked.

“Sure I have. Once when I was a girl another kid called me a real derogatory name and I cried.  The teacher made her apologize and after school she gifted me her middle finger and told me she was going to kick my ass if I told on her again. She wasn’t sorry and when I got older it occurred to me that someone probably called her a name and probably wasn’t sorry.  Even now as adult when you see my crying there are moments I think an apology will help but when my eyes are clear I realize it won’t. Apologies and forgiveness are matters of the heart and the only heart we have direct access to is our own, so when we gift ourselves with compassion it can change and improve us. It’s the kind of sincere change that allows us into the hearts of others and it’s better than an apology because it’s just love without the trappings or wrappings.” Dulce said.

“I guess I never thought of it that way. I’m sorry?” Angelica said sheepishly.

“Nah, you’re hopeless but I love you.” Dulce laughed.