It’s not difficult to say “I’m sorry” and mean it. It is however not always easy to stop doing the things for which you apologize, but, it still seems a worthwhile effort. I think of myself sometimes as like the verse my Nana used to read to me: ~There once was a girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.~ I am as guilty as the next person in thinking myself “good,” but being well aware when I am unkind or wrong, or have not done unto others as I would have them do to me, and at those times, not liking myself one bit. Now, it’s true that some people are rather awful and simply don’t know it. This blog is not about THOSE people. It’s about us. You and Me. The amiable and the kind, the loving and the generous, who sometimes lose our footing and stumble off the track. You know the track; the nice straight and strong one, with solid anchor spikes and smooth rails that the goodness train runs on.
When we get derailed, through no fault of our own, or due to our poor engineering or awkward steering, the only way to get back on track is to right ourselves and rewrite our itinerary with a specific destination and route in mind. You can’t go forward unless you get yourself situated. You might think that you can move even if you are still off kilter, but you are wrong. It might sound elementary and silly, but it’s rather a matter of fact that you have to realign and redefine and get-right, before you can go on. I am very comfortable with accepting my flawed behavior when it flies into my consciousness, and don’t feel at all embarrassed when I say or write or admit with humility, or sometimes with humor, that I’ve screwed up. I am not fond of mistake making, but am pretty sure that mistakes build character and I generally am fond of the person I’m becoming, flaws and all… I’ve come to realize that people who play like they are perfect and have never made mistakes, and are quick to judge everyone else’s failings, and always jump up with enthusiasm to point them out, are either just hiding behind an image they are trying to protect or, who knows? maybe they’re aliens and really have achieved perfection, but I don’t think so & that’s not for me to decide and I certainly won’t waste more time pondering it. I enjoy the company of those who are comfortable with their humanness, the ones who can say, and mean it, ‘I am sorry, please forgive me.’
This week of Thanks and giving I am feeling profoundly grateful for so much. I also am feeling like it’s the right time for any of us to say ‘I’m sorry’ to anyone, and for anything, that we’ve done that was less than kind, or thoughtless, or well, you know, any of those things for which a reasonable person would think an apology is warranted. I have learned that a ‘mea culpa’ does wonders for your soul. Lots of people use a new year to start fresh, but for me, Thanksgiving is really the “right” time to get right. My Dad is one of my favorite humans and his favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, so it seems sensible to me that this week is my week to realign. I have apologized to everyone I have ever been involved with or related to, when I have done wrong. Truth be told, some cases of apology have been forced out of me, when I really didn’t think anything was wrong with my actions or choices, but then came to believe otherwise upon prodding and discussion. I think the holiday is filled with stress and tension for some families because of this very issue…deep feelings of anger or regret or long ago wrongs and if at the table somebody just could gather the strength to say, “I’m sorry for ____” it would probably do the person to whom the apology is extended, a world of good. Sometimes digesting the truth is much harder on our bodies than an enormous plate of deliciousness.
My apologies in this life have been heartfelt and honest because I ultimately knew I had done or said something for which I was truly sorry. I have said “I’m sorry” and meant it, to my parents, my sister, my daughter, my grandchildren, my aunt, a boss, a friend, a boyfriend, a neighbor…I have many times in my life done things, or uttered things that I immediately wished I hadn’t, or even much later in time, upon deep reflection, truly wanted to take back & re-do, so in those circumstances I am genuinely sorry and then, here’s the best part, you just go on. I have learned that a humble and honest apology is all you need to move on. No need to dwell and contemplate and over think and over analyze, just go on. In this week of giving thanks don’t hesitate to give an apology if you think one is needed, it’s a pretty great way to move forward and it’s just two words. Think of it as a second helping of dessert to your soul. Gobble gobble!