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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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Making the Difficult Apology
In many instances, you will be delighted, even surprised, by the warm reception your apology receives. You may even be forgiven. Although you
may expect, or at least hope, to have your apology gratefully received, you cannot know for sure what will happen. If your apology is well received and you obtain forgiveness for whatever you did wrong, your experience may end as a pleasurable one. But apologies do not always turn out that way. In some cases, you will be met with hostility, if you are received at all, and you will not be forgiven. You will be listened to coldly, lectured about your behavior, and told to leave.
When the lecture is deserved, listen to the charges and complaints. If the criticism is deserved, accept the validity of the other party’s words and acknowledge them. Whatever pain you feel is part of the price you pay for your actions and for letting go of your regrets. If the words are not valid, however, ignore them. You have not come to defend yourself but to make an apology. In the final analysis, the response of the other parties to your apology does not matter. Yes, it would be nicer if they accepted your apology and forgave you, but their acceptance and forgiveness are not necessary for the success of the amend or for letting go of your regret. The only forgiveness that counts is your higher power’s and the forgiveness you offer yourself (which will come with Step Nine). All that Step Five requires is to make the necessary amends. How those amends are received is irrelevant to the completion of the step and to letting go of your regrets.
The following guidelines will prove helpful when making difficult apologies to the parties to your regret:
• Prepare for the apology through prayer, creative visualization, journaling about your feelings, and discussions with your confidant.
• Approach the other parties as calmly, honestly, and openly as you can, focusing on your single goal: to make an apology and leave.
• In making your apology, do not grovel. You have not come to beg forgiveness but to offer an apology, describe the reparations you have in mind (if reparations are appropriate), and leave.
• Include all the components of an effective apology: acknowledgment of inappropriate behavior, acceptance of responsibility for that behavior and its negative consequences, expression of regret, request for a pardon, and assurance of nonrepetition and future behavioral change.
• Restrict your comments to what you have done wrong. Clean up your
side of the street without looking at his side of the street. Ignore his contributions to the regret, no matter how serious they were and even if they were the primary cause of the regret. Put aside the terrible things he has done to you. Acknowledge whatever responsibility you have in the regret, whatever mistakes you made, or whatever actions you took that created the regret, made the regret worse, or harmed the other party about which you feel guilty and for which you need to apologize.
• Refuse to get into an argument over your role in the regret or over his role in the regret. Do not become defensive, condemn him, lecture him, point out his faults, or otherwise blame him for any part in your regret. You have come to admit your mistakes, not to find his.
• Do not ask him to apologize or to make amends for his actions.
• If he becomes verbally or physically abusive, leave at once. He has a right to share his feelings about your behavior, but he does not have a right to call you names or to otherwise attack you verbally or physically.
Even if your apology is totally rejected, you will have accomplished what you set out to do. You will have completed this part of Step Five. And you will have traveled farther down the road to freedom.
Chris entered recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction when he was eighteen. His adolescence had been filled with anger, rebellion, problems at school, and minor run-ins with the law. After getting clean and sober at the end of the summer of his graduation from high school, he worked a year at construction to support himself while he tried to get his life together. At the end of that year, he decided to go to college and applied to a local community college, which accepted him. He worked at his construction job during the day, studied hard at night, and did well. About the same time, his regret over the pain and problems he had caused his parents while in high school grew into a burden that he could no longer tolerate.
Chris knew that he would have to make amends to his parents to let go of the guilt he felt and the regret he carried, but it would not be easy. For one thing, his parents were alcoholics themselves and were not in recovery. They blamed him for all the problems that he had created during his adolescent years and for many that he had not. While they were willing to see him, it had to be on their terms. It was clear that they had no apologies to
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