The Gift of Saying Sorry

The Gift of Saying Sorry

The opportunity to say “I’m sorry” is a beautiful gift for both the apologizer and the recipient.  The gift of saying sorry is in the healing – of course – but it’s also in the lessons we learn in the midst of regret, reforming behavior, and understanding human nature more clearly. 

We’ve all been in a position when we’ve cracked, lost our temper, and breathed a fire of rage on someone – usually someone we love.  Or, maybe we’re going through a tough time, and we’ve been a complete jerky jerk towards others in our lives. It happens.  For whatever reason, there are moments of unkindness we spew on others. So what are we to do?

The obvious action (at least in my way of thinking) is to apologize to those we’ve unintentionally harmed. But what if we’re consistently in conflict with some people? Or what if we’re cranky all the time? Or what if an apology isn’t accepted? Read more for thoughts about saying sorry while practicing self-acceptance – and how this leads to tremendous insights and growth.

Self-Acceptance and Admitting We’re Not Perfect When Saying Sorry

I guess this post boils down to a quote I was left with after watching that Steve Jobs movie.  At the end of the movie, Jobs and his daughter had a meeting of the minds.  She asked him why her own father was so distant with her.  Jobs responded with the most elegant and simple response.  He said: “I’m poorly made.”   That left me speechless. 

“I’m poorly made.”

Steve Jobs

There is something justifying and uplifting about coming clean about being ‘poorly made’ to someone you know you’ve damaged.  If you’ve not been on either side of this argument, then this post isn’t going to make any sense. But, if perchance you have been in this situation, please read on.

Admitting we are flawed to someone we have hurt is cathartic. It is cleansing and healing for both ourselves and the damaged party.  It mends fences and creates a new bridge that aids in bringing hearts back together.

The Gift of Saying Sorry
The Gift of Saying Sorry

The Gift of Saying Sorry

 When I know I’ve been a jerk, sometimes the last thing I want to do is admit it.  And I’m not talking about the occasional ‘I messed up’ kinda jerk.  I’m talking about being fundamentally damaged to the point when in certain situations I can be a raging jackass.

As a result, there have been a few times when I’ve had to do some major soul searching.  And yeah, I’ve made a few humble pies and presented them to folks I’ve hurt.  While doing so, I’ve made the same simple statement Jobs did in that movie.  I’ve clearly seen how impaired I am, and all I can say is: “I’m sorry, but I’m broken. Can you forgive me?”

The people who respond by saying: “I know. It’s okay. I love you anyway.”  Those are angels in my life. Those moments are the biggest gift life has ever given me.

On the flip side, when confessing that I’m just screwed up in some ways and the response is aggression or derision – well, I just chalk it up to those other folks going through their own life lessons.  I’ve done my best, and am also committed to not doing further harm in the future. If someone cannot accept my apology, I’ve got to respect that too, and consciously work to avoid repeating those behaviors with others.

The Gift of Saying Sorry
The Gift of Saying Sorry

Apologizing Without Compromising

At the end of the day, we’re all a little screwy. But we are all incredibly brilliant and gloriously wonderful too.  I suppose it’s all about staying in balance and coming to terms with the positive and negative sides of our personalities.

We’ve got to self-reflect and really get honest with ourselves.  Furthermore, we’ve got to practice self-acceptance and love the dark sides of ourselves as much as the light, bright, beautiful bits.  This leads to apologizing without compromising. 

It takes maturity and insight to say “I’m sorry” while still accepting oneself for who she or he is.  In other words, you can apologize without groveling or flogging yourself repeatedly about what you’ve done.  It happened. You took responsibility for it. Now it’s time to move on.  If you’re genuinely sorry and work to avoid repeating the behavior to others in the future – then the healing will begin.

Final Word About Saying Sorry and Self-Acceptance

This post isn’t meant to excuse clear abuse. It’s also not meant to say “oh we’re all broken, so let’s all behave badly to each other.”  No.  This post is meant to be thought-provoking.  I’m trying to point out that while none of us is perfect, we don’t have to be a slave to our flaws.

By accepting some parts of us are a bit poorly developed, we become incredibly stronger humans for it.  Furthermore, openly and sincerely apologizing is a huge step in mastering ourselves and evolving into the incredible humans we’re meant to be. I hope these thoughts about saying sorry and self-acceptance proved helpful to you. As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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