Courageous Contact: The Power of a 36-Year-Late Apology

I got the most interesting email this morning. It was from one of my very first boyfriends from when I was 12 or 13.  He was writing to me with an apology from back then. 36 years or so ago. It was so moving that he took the time to send me this heartfelt message.

I don’t know what the actual event was, but he took the time to send me an apology for standing me up once upon a time. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember a general feeling of being let down by him one too many times. This was a pity for my young self since he  was incredibly witty and worked at Dairy Queen. He brought me lovely ice creams often after work. He also even remembered the nickname he had given me. Memories came flooding back from my history. It seems like a world away from now.

It was such a sweet thing to receive this email.  It surprised me how touching it was. It helped me realise how we, as humans, really need to put things down or they wear on us.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, full or ability is the path.
— Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

 And there’s something very sweet and vulnerable about having this world from my deep dark past reach forward into my present.  For me, this feels like part of my “digesting”  the past into the present in a most healthy way. This kind of courageous contact, when it is offered in a clean clear way is breathtakingly beautiful. The clue for why this is so is in the very etymology of the word courage. Courage comes from the Latin/French word “coeur” meaning heart. When we offer anything from this “below the neck” space, it has a chance to really penetrate us and, not surprisingly,  touch our hearts directly without judgment or interpretation. Simple. Heart-to-heart. Relieving and sweet.

Small wonders of the everyday sacred are like small poems that arise each and every minute of every day. They are worth noticing. How can we live in a more courageous way in our day-to-day lives?

Katheryn TrenshawComment