God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
–The Serenity Prayer
What if the person to whom I’m trying to make amends is still too angry to accept my apology or doesn’t want anything to do with me?
This is an important question. When we speak our amends aloud or write them in a letter, as long as we have acknowledged the harm we’ve done and are committed to doing things differently, then our amends are genuine and we’ve done our part.
One of the things over which we have no control is the way another person reacts to our amends. He or she may be understanding, even loving and generous, or may not be as ready to forgive us as we are to acknowledge harm we’ve done. Hearing from us may revive old anger or pain. Some may think we’re trying to get off easy. Our recovery itself may cause resentment.
In time, friends’ or relatives’ attitudes may change – or they may not. We can’t force other human beings to forgive us or to want us in their lives, and we can’t make things happen on our timetable.
Today, I do my part by taking appropriate actions; I turn over the results of those actions to my Higher Power.
You are reading from the book:
If You Want What We Have by Joan Larkin
If You Want What We Have. Copyright 1998 by Joan Larkin. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.