How to *really* apologize. Own your shit.
A few weeks ago, I felt like an adolescent girl held hostage by hormones: on the verge of crying every few minutes, super tender, for no reason at all.
I. Was. Just. Over. It.
Overworked. Overstretched. Over dead-lined. Overtired. Overexposed.
When a male friend of mine, on a one-cup-of-coffee morning, made a sarcastic, “half-joking” uncool, personal jab. . . instead of feeling centered and grounded and then being able to set a nice boundary, I let him have it. On no uncertain terms, sternly: “Not cool. Don’t do it again!”
Then, he blew up on me.
Like attacked me personally. It was not how I expected it to go.
I thought about how the whole thing went down. Was what I did wrong? Uncalled for? No! Was setting a healthy boundary appropriate? Totally! Could I have handled it mo-better? More lovingly? AB-SO-FREAK-ING-LUTELY!
And, because I am committed to owning my shit, I knew I had to apologize. Not just for him, but for me too.
Within the hour, with uncontrollable tears streaming downing my face I said: “I am sorry! I could have handled that better. I could have said, ‘please don’t say that to me again.’ I understand if you felt attacked.”
I didn’t add any “buts,” no justifications, no pointing the finger back at him. It was just about the fact that I could have been more loving.
I believe he must have felt totally seen and understood because he gave me a big ole’ hug and said: “it’s okay.” In fact, he’s been super tender with me ever since.
Were there issues with the way he handled it? Arguably, many.
But it is not my job to retrain adult men how to deal with their stuff. And thankfully, because I am comfortable with who I am, and I know where my realm of power lies, I was able to comfortably just take responsibility for me.
In my experience, we feel love most profoundly when we are participating in Love purely; when we don’t actually need anything from back from people. This is what is meant by being “whole,” or fully resourced from within: we are our own containers of validation, worth, approval, happiness, and love.
It doesn’t mean we are perfect or don’t have any soft spots, or won’t ever be triggered again. But we are clear that the world is not responsible to provide us with our basic sense of Self. We aren’t relying on other people to make us feel better.
From here, from this kind of self-connection and wholeness, we can be present. And presence always gifts us with clarity; with access to the most loving way to proceed forward.
It is way more empowering to see where we could have acted more in alignment with love, overstaying stuck in the obsessive rumination of “why we are justified” or “why so-and-so shouldn’t have talked to me that way.”
Own your shit, because I promise, this always feels more loving.
Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach
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