Saying “I’m sorry” is seldom pleasant or easy, so if you’re going to do it at all, let’s make it count!
We can get scared and do or say something hurtful,
And, rather than facing the incident head on with a sincere apology or checking in with our hearts to realize we did nothing wrong and feel no need to apologize, we get can get angry.
We make a whole lot of noise because we feel bad about hurting someone’s feelings and avoid taking the time to get quiet and figure out how we really feel. We are deeply afraid of hearing the tiny voice inside us whispering that we screwed up.
Shame and guilt are challenging. They can paralyze and motivate, and transcending them means making a choice to move forward. I can remember many occasions of experiencing guilt and shame and not moving. Apologizing can be hard to do without digging a deeper hole. It’s also scary, and that’s why we avoid the pain. We want so badly to tell our story, but the thing is –everyone has a story. We all have our version of what happened and how we participated.
Unraveling feelings from facts is precarious work, and at the end of the day you’re responsible for it all anyway.
Excuses merely deflect responsibility and offer zero healing. So next time you’re tempted to plead your case, lie a hand on your heart, check in with that inner barometer and listen to the truth. If an apology is called for courageously, offer one (minus the excuses); the knowledge that one is heard and valued has incredible healing power.