Recently, I received an apology necklace from my dear friend, Dr. Shawne Duperon. She sells these necklaces as part of her movement called Project Forgive. For me, It represents strength and fresh beginnings and serves as a reminder to practice forgiveness.
The necklace held more significance than I could have imagined, and I had to fight back tears as it was placed in my hand by my boss, Dr. Ray Foxworth. I received it one year ago after sitting in Dr. Shawne’s session on leadership and forgiveness. It deeply impacted me.
I met Dr. Shawne in Chicago at a seminar 8 years ago. I suffer from a debilitating fear of speaking in public, ironic since I spend many weekends traveling the country speaking at seminars and conventions.
During her presentation, Dr. Shawne took us way outside of our comfort zone with a series of exercises to help us overcome the fear of speaking in public. I made it five-minutes and then hid in a bathroom for the remainder of her session. Several months later, Dr. Foxworth sent me to a two-day High-Pressure Bootcamp with Dr. Shawne to address my fears. Luckily for both of us, Dr. Shawne enjoys a challenge, and I was definitely a challenge.
Last year, as luck would have it, Dr. Shawne and I were scheduled to attend the same convention. I couldn’t wait to see her and attend her leadership session. I should have known that things are never quite what you expect when you attend a session with Dr. Shawne. The focus was on forgiveness. Past hurts, both personally and professionally, impact our leadership and decision-making.
She walked us through an exercise to unearth a situation where we would like more peace and forgiveness in your life. The activity is called “The Apology You’ll Never Receive.”
We were instructed to write out an apology that we wanted to hear that we hadn’t received yet. We then read it out loud with a partner. My partner (a friend and co-worker) felt a little disconnected from this activity since it was specific to chiropractic, the industry that I work in. We were just chatting about the weekend. When it came time to read our apologies to our partners, she looked at me and delivered the apology I had not received, nor even never knew that I needed.
Our relationship over the years had been filled with strife, to say the least. Personally, she is one of my favorite people in the world. Professionally, I wanted to strangle her, almost daily. I’m sure some of you reading this can relate.
I wish I could pinpoint the source of our issues, but it really came down to communication and understanding. In that moment, when we were to read the apology we would never receive, and she apologized to me, I was instantly sobbing.
I couldn’t breathe, either. We quickly left the room (before Dr. Shawne asked us to share what had just taken place) and sat outside. We talked and listened to one another. I’ll never forget that exchange and today, our relationship has never been better.
Do we still disagree? Absolutely. We are human. That moment of apologizing helped us to refocus our energy on common goals instead of focusing on what divided us.
My dear friend and I don’t talk about that crazy day. We were asked by someone “what changed in our relationship?” We simply stated, “forgiveness.”
I had no idea how much meeting Dr. Shawne would impact my life. I will always be grateful that she took me outside of my comfort zone and gave me the courage to speak. But more than that, I am forever indebted to her for teaching me the importance and power of forgiveness.
I encourage you to be happy and forgive more. Forgiveness has enriched my life and it can do the same for you.
Dr. Shawne Note: Thank you Kristi, for your heartfelt sharing. We love you and appreciate you.
Kristi Hudson is a Certified Professional Compliance Officer and host of one of the largest chiropractic webinar series in the country. She is the Vice President of Business Relations at ChiroHealthUSA, Administrator of the Foxworth Family Chiropractic Scholarship, a speaker, mom, and writer.