When Sorry Isn’t Enough

OK, we’ve all said it when we didn’t really mean it, when it would make us look good, we wanted something, or just wanted someone to go away, but, sorry isn’t good enough, even if we do mean it, what we need to do is amend the behavior that caused the incident in the first place. All too often we throw out ‘I’m sorry” without giving it much thought, like putting a band-aid on something without treating the wound. What we really should be doing is striving to do better, and to amend what got us there in the first place.

This falls under a lot of the things I’ve already talked about, was it acceptance, did we not accept a person or situation, did we manipulate, lie, or steal, or is it our people picker, is our “people picker” still off and we chose to get involved with someone who is not honoring our authentic selves or the way we’re living our lives, did our expectations get us in trouble, did we have expectations around something or someone and felt let down, what were our intentions, were our intentions true, and did we get the facts to find out what the other person’s intentions where? All of these things, and more, can get us in sticky situations which may need to be corrected, but sorry isn’t enough.

Sorry to me is something you say when you bump into someone, or speak over them by mistake, not in situations that involve decisions we’ve made or situations we’ve chosen to participate in. If we’ve made a conscious decision to engage and we’ve messed up we need to make an amends, not just say sorry.

So, what is the difference? Making an amends to someone, or yourself, is making a commitment to do better in the future, to work on not getting yourself in that situation as you move forward, and to repair any damage you may have caused. Sounds heavy right? Well, here’s the deal, it may sound like heavy lifting but what it truly does is lighten the load. Making an amends to someone is really the gold medal of apologies because it not only says “I’m sorry” but it takes it one step further by saying, “and here’s what I plan to do about it.” An amend takes action! And, that’s what we’re all about SLAYERS, taking positive action in our lives. I have seen firsthand in my own life how, seemingly irreparable relationships, or situations become not only fixed, but stronger after an amends. It can be scary to stand in front of someone and say, “I messed up, I’m sorry my actions caused, x, y, or z, but, here’s what I’m going to do about it.” I’ve seen miracles happen. Now, in making this declaration at no point do we make excuses for our behavior, we, using the “just the facts Ma’am” approach, declare what our part was, and then what we feel we can do to make it better. We also don’t point fingers at anyone else, remember, we are in charge of our own lives, who we are, what we feel, and what we do, so it’s not anyone else’s fault but our own if we messed up, and we all mess up, it’s how we deal with it after that makes us SLAYERS, or slackers. It’s about keeping our side of the street clean. We’ve worked hard on our streets, we don’t want to run around throwing garbage all over it.

Now, there might be times that we cannot, or should not, make an amends, oh, now I got your attention now, those of you looking for a way out, but we should not make an amends if it will hurt or do damage to the other person or persons involved, there’s a special amends for those things, a living amends. In those cases you can make an amends to yourself and make the commitment to yourself to change that behavior, continue to do better while moving forward. We may also find ourselves where we are not able to make an amends to someone because they are unreachable or have passed on, again a living amends works in those circumstances too, and, what I’ve done in the past is written a letter to that person then burned it to let it go.

No one is perfect, but a SLAYER doesn’t back away when ownership of a mistake needs to be taken, we stand up, explain what was done, and we take responsibility to do it right the next time. SLAY on.

SLAY OF THE DAY: Write down the names and situations where you think you owe an amends. Is there a person or institution you own an amends to? Are you hesitant to do it? Why? Next the names you’ve written down, what can you do, moving forward, to better the situation that has you owing an amends? Make a commitment to watch out for those as you move forward and instead of repeating it, do the next right thing.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

3 thoughts on “When Sorry Isn’t Enough

  1. In many instances making amends with others has been easier than making amends with myself. In making amends with others forgiveness and moving forward has been much easier. It’s much harder to forgive myself and move forward without being up the wrong again & making sure I change my behaviors. But I know I am better at it now than I was a day ago, a week ago & much better than 1 year ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Years ago, there was a movie, Indian In The Cupboard, about a young boy who receives a magical wooden cabinet that can bring toy figurines to life. So, he uses it on a cowboy and an Indian, and adventure is had by all.
    One part of the movie that stayed with me, is when the young boy, Omri, is walking to school with the cowboy and Indian in his pocket. He’s trying to be so careful, because he doesn’t want to hurt them, but the men are very small, not used to traveling so fast, and feel very uncomfortable, despite Omri’s tiptoeing.
    I’ve felt that way. I’ve felt small, and helpless, and like the people around me were bigger, more important, and stronger than me. Like they picked me up, against my will, and moved me where they wanted me to be. It has made me uncomfortable, angry, and at the worst, even physical ill. I felt too small to make them stop, and too insignificant to ask for their compassion.
    Then, it’s like I suddenly remember that I’m not some tiny toy. That I have a say in what I do, and where I go. So, I yell at them for not showing me compassion and empathy. I stand there, red faced, with the corners of my mouth foaming, gritting my teeth, and screaming at them for not seeing that I was in distress.
    I stand there, doing exactly the thing I’m yelling at them for; not communicating with kindness. If I don’t speak up, and tell someone how I’m feeling, how can I justify being angry? Expecting someone to just know how I’m feeling is unfair, and irrational.
    There is a fine line between righteous indignation and loss of control. That line, for me, is when I think I’m right. If I think someone has hurt me because they were too selfish to think about how I’d feel, I give myself permission to use abusive language, yell, cry, wail, accuse, and hurt them back.
    Sometimes, in the midst of my tantrum, I realize what I’m doing, and I stop, but by then, it’s too late. I’ve already committed those ‘sins’. Then, I’m too ashamed to apologize, because I’m sure I don’t deserve forgiveness, and I don’t think they’d believe me.
    I’m learning, finally, that I can always start from kindness. I don’t need to lean into my anger, just because I think I’m justified in being angry. And, now, I don’t turn away from apologizing to those I’ve hurt. Asking forgiveness is important, even if it makes me uncomfortable, or nervous about the reception. In fact, telling someone that I’m sorry has little to do with me, and more to do with them. I don’t let pride and fear stand in my way, as much, anymore.

    Thanks, Carrie. I always feel so much better when I read and contribute to StateOfSLAY.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s some serious growth!

      It starts with communication, as you said, we can’t expect people to know what we’re thinking or what we want, or how we want to be treated if we don’t tell them. That anger that comes up when we feel wronged is misplaced anger, we’re really angry at ourselves for letting it happen.

      When moments flair up, and our temper is on fire, take a moment to pause, to breath, and ask yourself who is really responsible for the way you feel, in the end it’s up to us to communicate, when we fail to do that, we fail ourselves, no one one is going to treat us with respect if we don’t love and respect ourselves. The job starts with us.

      You’re on your way, keep walking this path, the more we pause before letting our anger take over, the easier it gets to prevent, it’s not really who we are, and it doesn’t feel good after.

      Make a living amends to yourself to communicate your wants and needs to others, doesn’t mean their going to comply, but you’ve made your desires known, and if they choose not to listen, that’s a sign to step back or remove them from your life.

      Thank you for you share, you offer so much to those who also walk in your shoes.

      SLAY on!

      Liked by 1 person

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