I had one of the most moving experiences of my life today.
How does one qualify what is most moving?
Was it my first real kiss?
Or when my Bubbie taught me in my dream how to make a recipe and died two days later?
How about the February day my husband told me he loved me for the first time?
Our wedding day?
The birth of our children?
When my father received a liver transplant?
The first time my daughter said, “I love you mommy.”
Perhaps how I feel will change upon reflection, but today I think what happened to me has no competition, as it shook me to my core. Two years ago, a person verbally attacked me. I can’t get into details, and maybe one day I will, but it was by all accounts verbal abuse and it lasted for several minutes. After the exchange, I felt unprotected and unvalidated by the people around me. Perhaps it was because they didn’t hear or witness all of it. They didn’t see the person’s rage or hear their accusations. No one heard the person question my integrity and the essence of who I am.
There were two witnesses: she and I. And the scar that remained after the berating was just something that I would have to get over, like a fall off of a bike or a bad breakup.
And I did get over it. My life didn’t change after that incident. However, the part of my heart where my spirit lives endured the virus that was the person’s anger. In life, you catch many viruses. Hopefully, most are cured, but some stay in your system, waiting to be awakened by another bully, heartbreak, or injustice.
I knew I would be seeing the person today, and my anxiety levels were high. So when the person didn’t come on time to our meeting, I was relieved. However, 10 minutes later the person strode in and I began to feel my palms and underarms sweat. How much sleep would I lose from this meeting? Would there be a scene? How would I handle it?
As the person approached, instead of sitting across from me at the table, the person came to my side and said, “I need to give you a hug and a big apology.” The person admitted that he/she had been avoiding me for two years. The person was embarrassed by what the person had done and that I hadn’t deserved the tongue lashing. I held back tears as the person spoke, feeling the injury dissipate. I accepted her apology. I said that I had always know I was just the vestibule for her misplaced anger, and that her motivations were out of love for someone else, not hatred toward me. However, I allowed the person to speak her peace and did absolve the person of his/her actions. Because they were not ok. But I did forgive the person completely and totally, and told the person not to think about it beyond that day.
I have been wronged in my life. I don’t think I’ve been wronged more than the average person. Actually, if I were to guess, I’ve probably been wronged by less people than most. However, before today, of the people who mistreated me only two have ever apologized. And those apologies were extremely insincere without taking responsibility for their actions.
The person today completely atoned for the misdeed. And even being beyond grateful that the person acknowledged the pain I had experience, it was extremely humbling to watch someone admit their failings and ask for forgiveness.
Perhaps in a world where newsmakers apologize only after polling constituents or conducting focus groups, I was party to a rare event, like a Supermoon. Only the bright light came from within this person’s heart and will stay with me for the rest of my life.