People today throw words around and carelessly handle concepts such as love, promises, and honesty. But one that is especially maddening that I’m going to focus on is saying, “I’m sorry.”
Apologies, like promises and love, shouldn’t be taken lightly. Oftentimes people throw them out there simply to cover their asses, as a quick obligation of remorse, or as a weak assurance. Apologies, like anything else, should come from the core, come from the heart, and be something that the receiver can depend upon.
There are many definitions to the word, “sorry.” The one my mom always gave me growing up I don’t think is a technical definition, but it should be: When you say “I’m sorry,” not only are you expressing repentance and remorse, but you are saying “I will never do it again.” I think there are very few, including myself, who have lived by this idea, but it’s one we should think about more often. If you have something to apologize for, you did something that upset, hurt, or angered another person in some way. We shouldn’t want to repeat those mistakes. We shouldn’t want to have anything to apologize for. We should care more about not hurting the people in our lives. We always say, “Sorry,” and then toss it away with the mindset that everything’s ok so we’ll just put it behind us and it won’t matter.
…Yes…to an extent.
Yes, you should put it behind you. Yes, you shouldn’t let it affect your future negatively. But you should still remember and use that memory and use that apology to live your life in a way that makes you a better person. Yes, we’re human and yes, we do make mistakes, but in my observations I get the impression that lately there are more and more people who don’t learn from those mistakes, and it all starts with a half-assed apology.
I think by now you’ve caught on that I’m not necessarily talking about “Oh, I’m sorry I left my socks on the bathroom floor,” or “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t rinse out my dishes,” or when you fling a “sorry” into the wind as you bump into someone running down the street. While we should still be mindful and respectful in these situations (especially if it’s with the person you live with or if your collision caused them to spill coffee on themselves), I’m speaking more towards the things that hurt the soul or bring someone to tears.
This post is beginning to bring me down – am I the only one? To turn things around, let’s not forget that saying “I’m sorry” is a beautiful thing! It shows that you care, that you want to move forward, that you wish to make amends. It can also be spoken empathetically. It gets thrown around this way too, but when it’s not it can show that you want to be there for somebody who’s hurting.
I know, apologizing can be scary. But so are so many of the things in life that truly matter! Falling in love, following your dreams, living life in general…it is scary. I’m not good at apologizing. I hate admitting when I’ve done something wrong, even to myself. But nothing can be mended if that step isn’t taken. That’s the first thing that starts the healing – followed by forgiveness, but that’s another post for another time.
Even as I write this and write my own apology I can’t properly express all that I would like to. Apologizing is a very personal and individual experience, and it is often hard to find the words in a language that I find to be extremely limited. But we do what we can, and remember – actions speak louder than words. My Stage Combat teacher said “We fight when words no longer suffice.” This is true in any other aspect of physical communication – not just fighting. Ha, brings me back to when we were kids with playground fights or sibling squabbles, and parents would say “Now now, use your words.” I’m awful with words. Maybe that’s why I’m such a touch person. Touch is my love language because I have no other way to properly or actively express how I care.
Apologize to someone this week. It may hurt the pride but it may also help other things in the end. Don’t forget about the hidden meaning, and don’t just toss it at them. This is my current, if highly inadequate, apology and promise, to both myself and to others:
*I’m sorry. I won’t apologize for being human, but I will apologize for the hurt it has caused. I apologize for how inconsiderate I can be and how disrespectful I have been. I apologize for any pain or insecurities that might have been brought to light by my actions. Sometimes I lose my way but I’m slowly finding my way back, and sometimes I might need some help or support. All I can do is try to be better and selflessly give and grow with time and patience. I need to be believed in and I make a promise to believe in others and have faith that things will turn out how they’re meant to. I grew up being taught that every day is a new beginning, a new opportunity, and I promise to be mindful and not throw those beginnings away. There are days I will fall short, and while I’m sure my future is going to be filled with other apologies, being human won’t be one of them.