Healing past hurts

Last week I visited Boston for the first time – what a great city.  Historic sites and monuments, chowdah, and Matt Damon.  OK, I didn’t actually experience the last one, but I tried like hell to summon him to show up in Boston.  Spoiler alert – it didn’t work.

One of my explorations was through the Boston Public Garden, where I experienced something that seemed to casual, and yet was so extraordinary.  As I walked the garden path, I overheard two ladies behind me talking.  It went something like this:

Boston Public Garden

Boston Public Garden

Lady 1:  I just feel so bad about what happened back then.

Lady 2:  What do you mean?

Lady 1:  That time you asked me if you could use my closet because your closet rod broke and I just said, “No, that won’t work.”  I just feel terrible about that!

Lady 2:  Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you remember that!  I haven’t thought of that since it happened.

Lady 1:  I’m just so sorry.

Even though my back was turned and I only heard this small part of the conversation, there was so much richness that came across in this short dialogue that really stuck with me.  The way the first woman spoke, it sounded as though she has held onto this as a betrayal of her friend when she didn’t agree to help her and it weighed on her heart all these years later.  And I witnessed the beautiful moment of apology and acceptance that may have helped at least one of the women move forward from the incident, even one so old.

This brought the forefront for me a few realizations:

  • It’s never too late to convey regret or to clean up past transgressions
  • Carrying around old hurt is heavy; it weighs on our hearts in addition to our minds – find a way to let it go
  • Vulnerability is tender and invites those around us to act with vulnerability as well – if we want to see more of that in the world, we have to bring more of that TO the world

What does this bring up for you?