Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Pardon me!…

sorryIf you step on my toes and hurt me (and I wasn’t exactly in your way)… do I owe YOU an apology? Historically speaking, I always have — because once upon a time that’s how I was wired. A lifetime of not wanting to be a dust speck in anybody’s eye, I have always had a tendency to manically bob & weave to avoid causing any kind of fuss or confrontation. Saying “Sorry” preemptively somehow seemed to help with that. I cannot begin to express how much chaos pains me, so it just boiled down to this: if I had to take one for Team Peace now and again and apologize for nuthin’, well there you go. There is a long road behind me paved with the stepstones of unnecessary admissions of guilt.

But as the dust of age and wisdom settled on my windowsill a decade or so ago, I found that I didn’t want to apologize for the inconsequential or winky incidental happenings (or things I didn’t even do), for a couple of reasons:

1) Mindless apologies cheapen the big ones. On the whole, when I do owe someone a sincere and necessary apology, when I am truly sorry and want to make things right, I want it to come from the core of my being. It breaks my heart when I see/hear calloused, blasé users of the word “Sorry” as they commit serious crimes of the heart and then flippantly, without looking at you (or even taking a peek to examine their own soul), utter the word weakly and move on with their lives. Tsk-tsk. Applying a tiny, diluted amount of apology salve to big psychic wounds ends up hurting, more than helping (like when my Grandpa Andy used to but butter on a burn).

2) Expressing remorse for something you didn’t do is wrong. W-R-O-N-G, wrong. No one should apologize for the bad behavior or judgment of another. More than once, I’ve had people look me in the eye, say something unsavory or indelicate to me and when I repeated the story (oh, and I will tell your story, people) they were upset with me and wanted an apology. Excuse me?! YOU metaphorically spit in my eye/on my shoes/in my food and you want me to be repentant? Oh, I see — that’s what unmitigated gall looks/sounds like.

I do believe Sir Elton John was right when he sang the words of Bernie Taupin, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” Sorry is a hard word to measure, difficult to distribute judiciously and tricky when trying to determine proper application. While I believe that words have power, I believe “sorry” is a word that needs to get its power back. Sorry is a word that should have great value and worth and as such, needs to put back in the precious words-we-use jewel box; voiced on appropriate occasions and guarded a bit more carefully (and not just trotted out for no reason at all). I want to weigh the word “sorry” extremely carefully before I hand it over to you. After all, I want my words to ring true and as Lord Byron once said, “Truth is a gem that is found at great depth…” You’ll forgive me, but I think “Sorry” should be, too.

xo – t.

Chocolate says ‘I’m sorry’ so much better than words.” ~ ― Rachel Vincent, My Soul to Save

If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.” ~ Henny Youngman

When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet.” ~ Steve Maraboli (from Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)

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