Well, I do it often… but my foot in my mouth. Not intentional! I am beginning to think it happens so often, that is where my foot believes it belongs. I say things with thoughtfulness in mind, but the receiver takes it as a jab. It is hard work always monitoring your thoughts before the seep out. But once released…. (a little more on that later).
It is really hard to also sit back and know that misunderstandings happen. Even harder when it is happening to someone you love and you have to sit back and watch. Let them learn. When really you just want to jump in and fix everything (maybe the nurse in me or the peacemaker in me)! I want to talk about the issue, but each time the conversation closes and I find myself saying “keep your mouth shut!” (of course that is the best way to keep my foot out of it). It is hard to say you are sorry when you don’t really feel sorry about how you felt. It is hard to make the first move… and even harder to encourage someone else make the first move. I know of incredible friendships being destroyed over not wanting to say I am sorry or feeling like they shouldn’t be sorry. But, it comes at a cost. I am learning that I don’t need to apologize for my feelings, but I do need to apologize if I hurt another person. Benefit (regaining a friendship) over Risk (admitting the other person was hurt). Did you note that I did not say the risk being admitting that I was wrong! It isn’t always about right or wrong, because I can’t blame them for how they feel and I can’t be blamed for my feelings.
A perfect scenario, I was hurt recently and even wrote a blog. In my gut, I felt like I was owed an apology (a big one). I even said to the person, “I never got an apology!” I recall the look on their face… the look like I was an alien and had fallen and hit my head when I landed on earth (I know the look because our daughter sometimes gives me that look – of note, she is NOT the one who hurt me). I couldn’t believe it! I DESERVED an apology. The problem is I have STILL been brewing about it! CRAZY! So, as I listen to my book on Kindle, she (my kindle has a female voice) talks about it is up to ME to change my attitude and NOT expect from someone anything, and it hit me, not even an apology. I am thinking, I owe them an apology for brewing and stewing and letting it interfere in my relationship… at what cost? It is a loose-loose!
A couple days ago I posted a quote about what we say to our children becomes their inner voice! YIKES! After a day at work, being tired, no sleep, etc and a list of things to do, I know I become short in my words. In fact, I have heard out of our daughter’s mouth “What is your problem?” I could give her a list of problems and sometimes do. I need to catch myself and prepare to say “I’m sorry”! Sorry that I made her feel like she was my problem. Last night, I said something to her truly meaning to help but it touched a nerve and she walked away. I knew I wounded her but not intentional. Before she went to bed, I knew I had to say I was sorry. I didn’t want negative thoughts to be in her mind before she went to bed and I knew I worked today and didn’t want her brewing over it all day. In scripture it says not to let the sun go down on your anger – often interpreted as don’t go to sleep angry – and my solution is, then don’t let them go to sleep (LOL).
Our son can be super sensitive to words and gets his feelings hurt very easily. First, note that one of the traits of Autism is not to “get emotions”. Let it be known, he “gets emotions” and he “expresses emotions”. In fact, my children are both gifted in the drama – when an emotion is expressed, it is expressed BIG. Anger, laughter (the snort laugh), sadness, love, etc.. I am not big on emotions, pretty flat in some ways. If I cry, it is alone. If in anger, I am quiet. If I am sad, it is not shown. The beauty of BIG emotions, is I never have to guess how they are feeling. The bad news is, when I hurt them, I hurt them BIG!
Today, in fact, I felt hurt a couple times. But, it gave me a good chance to step back and examine if I had done that same act to someone. All of it has to do with expectations – MY expectations that the other person does not even know exist. Also, jealousy (but don’t want to get into that in this blog). It just seems that everything is magnified for me now – little things that I once would have blown off, HURT! It’s just like taking the kids to the doctors for shots and they say it is going to feel like a bee sting and it really feels like your limb is going to fall off. The little things should be like the bee sting, but my heart feels like it is going to fall out. I do know one thing, some things have to change.
I have also talked previously about mentoring our children. If they see me apologize, they will learn the importance of saying I am sorry. It is not always being right or wrong (when it comes to my feelings). Sometimes it is about that, but what is more important the words or the relationship? Truly, it is about my soul being right everyday. My soul is not right. I need to prepare to say I am sorry! The power in those words… the healing power. The words are so worth saving a priceless relationship! I’m sorry will help heal my heart, so it will have more room for love! I’m sorry will place peace in my mind and soul. I pray some relationships will be healed…
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” ~ Kimberly Johnson