“to err is human; to forgive, divine” — Alexander Pope
In other words being human means we will all make mistakes, some little, some bigger, some to ourselves, some to others, it is a fact of life. We forget to do what we said we would do, we snap, sometimes we lie and so on and so on. And then, worse yet, we don’t admit it, apologize, or make amends.
Take Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, for example. He made the mistake of driving off a bridge and it killed Mary Jo Kopechne, but then he ran away and lied about the mistake, some would say it was the running away and lying about the mistake that was what people remember the most and what tortured him all the days of his life.
I recently watched an old I love Lucy Episode (great fun by the way), Ricky forgot the date of their wedding anniversary, which made Lucy mad. To make matters worse, Ricky wouldn’t admit that he forgot it and the comedy of the episode, was watching him and his antics as he tried to scramble out of the situation.
I am sure there are lots of reasons why we humans, don’t like to admit when we are wrong when we have made a mistake, but I think the most important one comes down to fear. Fear of the other person’s reaction, fear of our own self- judgment, fear of what others will think of us, fear of the consequences, fear of hurting the other person’s feelings, fear of not being perfect and on and on.
What if instead of holding on to our mistakes, we could readily acknowledge them , apologize, learn and move on? What would that mean to you, your relationships, your stress? For me it means a lot of freedom and a lot of love for self and for others.
I recently experienced this first hand. A person very near and dear to me, came to visit, and I was super cranky, almost so cranky that it would have been like a comedy show of someone acting cranky, if it hadn;t been so hurtful. I just had to admit I was cranky. I had to show up to the person and say I am sorry, I needed to own my crankiness. The result was amazing! The person reacted with love and understanding, the bond became closer and I grew in my own eyes!
I think that saying I am Sorry is easier if we have a set of beliefs that encourages this.
Need Some help?
Here are my 4 Tips:
- Accept in your heart : to err is human, to forgive is divine and to admit it is also divine. Let go of whatever beliefs you have about being wrong and embrace this one.
- Give yourself a big dose of self compassion! Most of the time we are doing the best we can at any given moment. Making the best decisions we can. As one of my coaches used to say, ” When was the last time you picked your 3rd best choice”. Don’t judge your self with hind sight.
- Love for the other person. By acknowledging your mistake, you are really showing love to the other person, you are freeing them from wondering what is going on. You are setting them up to be “divine by forgiving”.
- Learn from it! While making mistakes is human, repeating the same one over and over is, not so much! During my recent cranky episode, I learned that I should have been more honest with my friend about the stress I was under and it would not have come out as so cranky!
So next time you make a mistake, try owning it, try saying “I’m Sorry”. See where it takes you in your life!
As always all the best,
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Original article — “The Building Blocks Of Resiliency: I am Sorry”