The Power of Forgiveness
When I left Las Vegas for a new life in Utah, I also left behind several friends. Just prior to moving, I'd had a falling out with one of them that bordered on epic. Since we both had mutual friends and I was the one leaving town, it pretty much cut me off from all of them. After arriving in Salt Lake, I had contact with him a few more times, mostly to close up some loose ends like domain registrations and the like. (When you're friends with someone for nearly a decade, you tend to get some things mixed up.) It had been left at that for almost three years.
During that time, I had a few domains of my own that still pointed to his server. I still got a few e-mail messages on one of them and several of our mutual friends were still using them as well, so I'd left them as they were the entire time. Just this week, he contacted me out of the blue to mention that he was planning to retire that old server. We had built it together in 2004 (I think?) and he decided that the monthly fee for co-location was way too much money for what he was doing. He also added a small aside at the end that signaled to me that our conversation didn't have to be all business.
I decided to take the opportunity to do something I rightfully should have done a long time ago: apologize for the things I did that precipitated the falling out and ask for forgiveness. Not only did he accept, but he offered an apology of his own for how he reacted and we both happily swept the 3-year-old rift under the rug. It was like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders as I had been carrying around the guilt of my own actions the entire time.
As we exchanged e-mails and IMs, it became obvious that we had both grown up a lot, no longer subject to "the stupidity of a couple 20-something males who were all too interested in chest beating." (His words, not mine.) Oddly enough, we both found that our own thinking had evolved in similar manners, certainly evidence that we thought alike not just because we were friends.
I've learned once again that forgiveness is a powerful thing, in the asking, the receiving and the giving of it. It mends wounds that nothing else can mend and can right things to just the way they had been.