The two words clung to the tip of my tongue, hanging on for dear life. “Why should I be the first to make a move?” my brain screamed. “I didn't do anything wrong.”
But as I took a breath and reluctantly started to soften, those words still hanging on, I had to ask myself what I had done right. Was it worth having the upper hand if it meant a wounded opponent? Had I indeed done something I should apologize for?
I should be sorry for hurting his feelings. I definitely could have been a better listener. I probably shouldn't have interrupted his train of thought.
But part of me also felt wronged. Shouldn't I get an apology? I was hurt, too.
And there we sat. Friends separated by a chasm of pride. Each with too much at stake, guarding our individual mountains as if our very lives depended on it.
But in reality, our lives and livelihood depended on each of us coming down from our mountains and meeting in the middle. A true act of humility. When you have so much to give up, who wants to do that?
I decided to make a move and slowly, ever so slowly, inched my way down my mountain, secretly hoping he'd do the same.
Once I reached the bottom and didn't see him there, I let the momentum continue to carry me. And before I knew it, those two words escaped my mouth, “I'm sorry.”
That was too easy. It should have been much harder. I suddenly felt at ease. Why had I wasted time holding those two simple words captive?
If only I had held so tightly the words that had caused the damage in the first place, I wouldn’t have felt the need to climb that mountain of pride.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"