Warriors Know the Power of an Apology...
This past December delivered for me some treasured lessons I consider gifts. One of them was the Power of "I'm sorry" both given and received. I don't think I've realized before that apologizing is something of an art. Like the best things in life an apology is best kept simple and pure. A lot can be healed by just saying "I'm sorry".
I had two people in different parts of my life say the simple phrase, "I apologize"...Neither came with qualifiers, excuses, or explanations. One is a long term pal who said, "Dana, you've never been anything but sweet to me. I hurt your feelings and I apologize.". The other, a newer friend, simply said, "I apologize.".
It's so easy to accept a sincere "I'm sorry" if you are truly interested in your relationships and not drama.
I'm certainly not infallible and had to flex my "sorry" muscle when I hurt the feelings of my trainer and dear friend, Cindy. Mattie and I were both working out with her. The training I do is a very hard core, intense, circuit where by the end I usually want to puke. Over the summer Mattie trained with me daily but during school she can't so this workout was a shot to her system. My girl is a warrior in every way but lactic acid builds and there's no denying the green that invades 😂. I had one solution, my trainer had another, and my hackles went up a bit (read lot). I overreacted and told Cindy she could correct me in any other area but not where my children were concerned. We all took a moment and moved on but it was not settled in Cindy's mind. The next day she told me I had barked at her and it not only hurt her feelings; it embarrassed her. I held my tongue and took a beat. Before I let myself become defensive I sincerely apologized. I took a breath and thought of all the ways Cindy has been my friend since Warrior died. She and my dear friend, Jenniphr, are the reason I went back to the gym after I'd not walked through those doors in six months. My workouts breathed life into me again. Training was the salve that nursed me back to wholeness. Here was somebody who cheered me on all this time saying I had hurt her--all my reasons or rationale were unimportant because she was more important than me being "right".
Besides the fact I WAS WRONG!!
My sorry went something like this:
"Cindy, you have been a true and loyal friend to me and my girls. Please forgive me. I was out of line. I was wrong. I am alone raising the girls so sometimes I am overprotective of that role rather than receiving care the way intended. Thank you for telling me I hurt and further embarrassed you. My heart hurts that I hurt you. Please accept my apology.".
Since I had embarrassed her in front of Mattie I repeated my apology in front of her once boxing had ended. I modeled what I want my girls to do...Stand strong when necessary but humble yourself when wrong.
Cindy looked at me with such soft eyes. She felt heard, her feelings validated, and since it wasn't a pattern of behavior was quick to forgive. That moment bonded our friendship in a really meaningful way.
We are all flawed, we all err, but we need to own our flaws, make amends, and move forward. In that moment I realized clearly how much power there is sometimes in being soft.
People who matter in our lives are such treasures. In my younger days I was so much more stubborn. I think because I was never allowed to be mad as a child I never felt heard. I have kept parts of my stubborn nature which keeps me working hard and refusing to quit but I have learned to name my emotions appropriately and voice boundaries and needs.
As I type this I want to be clear I am not saying be anyone's door mat! It's quite the opposite. Every healthy relationship is a balanced account of deposits and withdrawals. If you feel overdrawn by a relationship you do not have to keeps racking up fees on bounced checks! I'm a believer in standing strong when necessary; I'm simply reminding us all of the Power we wield in a heart willing to be humbled. Happiness comes from vulnerability too. It's the balance and the yin and yang. It's what makes life feel sweet.
I believe we warriors make more sure steps than missteps. I believe we abide by a code and honor it. I believe when we make a mistake in life we are big enough to OWN it. I believe there is great value in the purity of "I'm sorry"...Always.