I sit at odds today. Possibly the wind brings in a storm front. Perchance the shadows push the edges of changing seasons. Then there may be an emotional storm brewing on the threshold of planetary shifts. Then the very real possibility of the swirling opinions in the eye of political distress. Or, I am just feeling at odds. Be still, listen to the breath, and ask questions so as to understand. Personal boundaries feel violated when emotions feel trampled. Yet the simple act of speaking out may clear the air, but still harbors unpredictable consequences.
The simple acknowledgment of an emotion pacifies the soul. Yes, anger. Yes, sadness. Yes, peace. Words held close to the chest once spoken betray the heart to blur emotions and consider chaos. Moving under the veil of emotion allows freedom to swirl instead of act. Sidestepping emotions allow issues to continue spinning in and out of focus. Today, the words feel different. The words form an apology to the self. Yesterday was aggravating, today is sorrowful.
A teacher shared a story about handling conflicts with students and their parents. She used to take disagreement personal. Now she acknowledges the other’s point of view and then remains firm in her role as the teacher. She did this to be able to spend the rest of the school year in the same room with them. This is the same approach she expects her students who disagree to follow. The young ones need to figure out the upset, make amends, and get on with their education. The solution is to accept the differences and re-engage with each other.
The fear of being wrong stifles apology. A modern definition of an apology is the admission of guilt or confession of wrongdoing. The three words “I am sorry” may share a regret that the current situation is unfortunate. An apology is a miracle that stitches words and actions together with a thread of humility to dress the mistaken intention.
A real apology contains an element of sincerity. The apologist accepts responsibility for the situation as missing the mark. The apology is not an excuse nor an attempt to shift blame. Beware the words if, and, or but as weasel words that weaken the moment. The focus of the words is to appease the sense of wrong felt on the part of those hurt. The purpose of an apology is to offer a sincere intention to soften the offense to move beyond the incident. The aim is to understand the issue and avoid replaying the scenario.
Apologies are important. Forgiveness is greater. Let it go, let it be. Perhaps I didn’t need an apology, but a warm hug or a good laugh.