You can’t just decide to do one good deed in order to cancel out the karma of your bad deed….a friend so intelligently pointed out today.  “It doesn’t work that way.”

Here’s the thing.  If you really want to erase your guilt, you need to attempt to be absolved.  You can only do that by telling your harmed party what you have done and that you are sorry. Then, it must never happen again.  Bonus points for trying to help others do the same and letting them know their bad deeds get no audience with you.

This is hard work.  Most people don’t have the stomach for it.  I admire recovering alcoholics and addicts who go through this multiple times if they are 12 stepping it.  It’s the only way to move on and forgive yourself even if the harmed can’t forgive you.  The hurt you cause can run incredibly deep…maybe even opening childhood wounds that cannot be un-wound.

So no….an ice breaker, a compliment, a night of drinks cannot cancel out the terrible thing you did.  It may make you feel better but that’s not the entire point of it.  The harmed party has not forgotten, has not been asked to forgive.  The thing you won’t admit will always be sandwiched between you.  So sturdy your stomach and get to the hard work.