I began writing this open letter, thinking of one friend. I soon realized that I had been less than a stellar friend to more than just one person, hence this open letter to all.
Any Open Letter of Apology:
Recently I was thinking about a friend I had growing up. I realized that although I had wonderful memories of this person, I also had a gnawing sense of sadness and regret about how our friendship ended. Our friendship ended because I behaved despicably, disrespectfully and with grave and all-knowing judgment. I felt I should apologize to my friend right away. However, it dawned on me that I owed more than one person a sincere and heartfelt apology for my sometimes outrageous and outlandish behavior years ago.
This is an open letter of apology to that friend and to any and all of my friends that I treated horribly and with disdain. If I betrayed your confidence, gossiped about you, lied about you, was hypocritical or mean-spirited and critical of you, or didn’t defend you when someone else said or did those same things, I am truly and humbly sorry.
If I treated you as if I was better than you, smarter than you, or made you feel small in any way, I am sorry. If I ignored you or tried to manipulate our friendship or another person’s friendship, I am very sorry. If I hurt you, made you sad, mad, scared, betrayed, and dissed and pissed you off to no end, I am truly very sorry.
I don’t say the word “if” to imply that I didn’t do these things and more, only to cover the broad spectrum of people who I may have affected and/or hurt, and those I knowingly impacted with my callous and disrespectful behavior. I have learned from each one of my friends and to those who have chosen to no longer have me as their friend, I respect that too. I am sorry if I treated you as if you were not special or amazing or a child of God who deserved my respect, empathy, sympathy, faithfulness, devotion, trust, kindness, and love.
With Grace, I have learned to become the person I had tried in vain to be back then. I have learned that my disdain, disgrace, and dislike of myself was the catalyst for my inexcusable behavior towards others. I finally learned to treat myself with more compassion, integrity, love and respect. In return, I have learned to treat everyone the same way. For just like me, everyone is trying to figure out how best to navigate their own lives. Your personal journey and choices like mine, belong exclusively to you.
To the people who stood by me as my soul and spirit has been forged and transformed, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know that I haven’t always made it easy but I love each of you for the gifts and lessons you have bestowed upon me. I am forever in your debt.