I’m not sure what kind of pictures a girl like me would use for a post like this, but it’s the 21st century so I can’t exclude them. Pictures of me looking repentant or forgiving? Yipes… Doesn’t feel right. How about pictures from my snoop around the trails the other day? I was thinking about this post a lot during my snoop so it makes these pics relevant.
We’ve all had occasions in life when we’ve done the wrong thing. I mean, really gone and thrown out all the nice things we’ve ever learned about how to be a kind, considerate, patient, compassionate, graceful human being. Hopefully in our constant quest for refinement, these occasions become less and less often, but part of existing on this planet is making mistakes. And sometimes we make doozies.
This morning I was reading in my little love book, Alchemy of the Heart, when I came across this bit of wisdom, “Winston Churchill once said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” When we’re on a path of the heart and we “stumble” over a situation that needs resolution, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, we don’t just pick ourselves up and hurry off. For we know that we are not really free to make spiritual progress unless we stop and apply mercy.”
About a week ago I felt more intensely than ever, this heavy, sinking feeling in my chest that I needed to extend an apology to someone I’d wronged awhile back. And oh, man, I did not want to do it. I’d felt degrees of this feeling since it happened, but not this acutely and I could usually brush it aside easily, but I couldn’t brush this anymore. My tummy was ill at the thought of reaching out to this person. Why can’t I just NOT run around like a bull in a china shop and NOT hurt anyone or anything and then I wouldn’t have to do hard things like this?! I don’t know. I guess we all have our china shop terrorizing moments. Anyway, my “spiritual progress” depended on making restitution with this one. I spent a crappy night trying to rationalize that I could sort of telepathically apologize and this person would just FEEL it and I could call myself good and cleared. Yes? Anyone? Ugh… Nope. Sorry, Charlie. The next morning, sitting in my sister’s mini van, in full blown awkward, sick, don’t-make-me-do-it mode, I sent out “The Message”. A short time later I got “A Message” back. Reading between the lines…no…scratch that. I didn’t have to read between any lines…It was pretty obvious that this person wasn’t stoked to hear from me. I did my best to apologize anyway and then I sat there breathing and trying to feel better. And it took a few days. But this morning I felt a little lightness over the situation. And I’m still breathing. And the spiritual progress I’m working for is rolling forward.
This last year has been the school room of humility for me. Humble pie has been what I’ve subsisted on. It’s been exhausting, less than pleasant, and I created a lot of it for myself. Lessons learned for this year: ALWAYS be kind, withhold judgement, and, you know, just make better life decisions. Right? Right.
Because of just being alive and stuff I’ve had opportunities to learn a thing or five about apologies. I’ve made good ones and I’ve made crappy ones. I’ve known I’ve been wrong and also felt that I was totally in the right. And ooooowee… The latter is a tough son of a gun to work with. Can I lay my giant ego aside in all my perceived right-ness and still make peace? Tell me if you don’t agree with these guidelines for atonement:
When you’re in the wrong (or even if you think you’re right!), be humble.
When you do apologize be sincere.
For heaven’s sake drop the list of prepared excuses or explanations. I’ve found this to be a vital component for quelling the dialogue and making peace.
Do your best to rectify the situation. If it’s broken try to fix it.
Move forward with a conviction to do and be better.
At this point in the process hopefully you’ve instilled something higher in your heart, perhaps built some character, and congratulations! become a little more humanized.
The most difficult part of this whole living with and around other souls, crashing into each other in pleasant and sometimes unpleasant ways, is that experiences had between people will always change your dynamic with them and shift frequencies. Every time. Sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes it’s for the worse. Of course the “for the better” option is preferable, but when we make mistakes with other people we risk losing trust, friendship, intimacy, etc., and that is always my biggest regret with mistakes I’ve made. The person offended hopefully can find it within their heart to forgive, but there’s no moral obligation for that person to continue on in pre-mistake energy and relationship. Man…what a hard pill to swallow.
Now the dust has settled from my doozer thing I did. I’ve done all I can do to make the situation right. Hopefully time will bring more and more peace with that, but in the meantime, breathe in…1…2…3…breathe out…1…2…3… and keep on keeping on doing the very best I can. I know that that will always be enough.
Juicy Jam Session: Forgive by Trevor Hall. My love affair with Trevor began over a year ago when my pretty little island friend posted on Instagram a pretty little yoga flow to one of his songs on the grass in pretty little Oahu. His voice did something to my soul. I listen to him almost every day now.