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  • Writer's pictureLeanne Psychic Medium

I'm Sorry!

We say these words a lot in our lives. We’re trained to say them when we are a little kid to say it for hurting our friends’ feelings, or for acting out. Sometimes we even had to say sorry even when someone else started it or when we didn’t feel like we should.

In “You’ve Got Mail”, Tom Hanks writes an email to Meg Ryan: “Do you ever become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s Box of all the secret hateful parts— your arrogance, your spite, your condescension— has sprung open. Someone provokes you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. Hello, it’s Mr. Nasty. But I have to warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.”

Apologies are more than just saying sorry. It’s about owning the injury that we caused someone else, admitting that we were wrong, or just letting them vent to you about how they felt hurt by what we did. When they are trying to share their hurt, even if they are doing it badly, we need to stay with them and their pain. This doesn’t mean that we should put up with abusive behavior. When we hurt or betray someone, whether we meant to or not, if we want to get the relationship back on track, we have to hear their hurt without making excuses. We also have to hear their pain behind the hurtful words that they may be saying. We can’t put a timeline on when they will stop feeling hurt. Sometimes that may take days, weeks, or even years. Sometimes the person we hurt doesn’t want to hear our apologies and we have to be okay with that too— apologize anyway.

In “Atlas of the Heart” by Brené Brown she stated that the average person only has 3 to 4 feeling words in their vocabulary (These can be different for different people but generally they are fear, anger, happy, and sad). Not everyone is able to describe even these emotions because they aren’t socially acceptable such as Sad for men (Suck it up) or Anger for women (because it’s not ladylike). Because our emotional vocabulary tends to be so small, it makes being able to describe how we’re feeling very difficult and frustrating and may lead to people saying hurtful things when they try to express their feelings. They can also come out as attacks against us personally, calling us names, using profanity, saying things like, “I wish you were never born/that we got married or that I met you”, “I hate you,” or “I’ll never forgive you.”

When someone is sharing their pain, anger, hurt, or betrayal, this is the time to just be with them and their pain. They need to know that you hear them. Once you start justifying your part, clarifying, saying, “I was just,” are all ways of excusing your behavior, minimizing their hurt and pain, or that what they’re feeling doesn’t matter. Apologizing and listening to someone we hurt is about making it right, not being right.

When I was in high school, I used to vent my feelings, say whatever hurtful thing came to mind, and beat up people for not showing me respect or being disrespectful to my friends. After one really bad day, I realized I was out of control. It wasn’t giving me the satisfaction I thought I wanted or needed by rendering my justice or having them pay for their bad behavior.

I finally went to my mentor, Lindell, who had me put a nail in a fence every time I was angry and took it out on someone. I didn’t realize it at the time but this was his way of giving me a visual representation of what I was doing. It wasn’t long before the fence was full of nails and became obvious that I needed another way of dealing with my anger besides lashing out at people. When I talked to Lindell about this, he told me that when I apologized or made amends, I could start taking the nails out. It didn’t matter if they accepted my apology or not, I just had to make it, sincerely and honestly.

I wrote apology letters, told people directly, and asked people what I could do to make it better. I apologized to people I got into fights with, I wrote an apology letter to my parents for being such a difficult daughter, I apologized to old friends and I even wrote an apology letter to myself.

As I started taking the nails out, I was feeling much better and lighter than I ever had before. As the nails were starting to come out, I started to notice something else no matter how careful I was to get the nails out, they always left a scar where the nails used to be. This was an unforeseen consequence of lashing out at people. No matter how sorry you are, you can never really take back what you say in a moment of anger.

So while it's important to apologize to the people in our lives that we hurt, or ask for their forgiveness, the truth is you can never really make it right because there will always be a scar. It doesn’t matter if we meant to hurt them or not. This is why it’s so important that when we are angry, it’s better to ask for a timeout to slow things down so that we don’t say or do things that we can’t ever really take back. If we have hateful thoughts and feelings we need to get out, it’s better to write them down and burn them later, talk with a friend or counselor. Another way to take the edge off of feelings is to tap or use EFT. (There are videos on YouTube on how to do it and The Tapping Solution is a great place to start.) If it’s time to leave a relationship, it’s better to go while there’s still some goodwill.

While apologies are the best way to start making amends, the best thing is not to need to apologize in the first place.

I would love it if you would share with the group things that have worked for you, being supportive of each other and cheering each other on. I usually blog a couple of times a month.

I will be running a Clairs Class at AIMS on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 on the Loveland Campus from January 24th - February 28th and on the Greeley Campus from April 3rd - May 8th, 2023.

Looking forward to seeing you next time.

Leanne Psychic Medium

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