I remember reading a book to my daughters where we had to find the tiny mouse on every page. A tiny hidden mouse amidst a cacophony of colors and characters. The presence of finding the mouse made the book fun and everyone participated with the goal of finding it.
This little tiny character came to mind this morning as I thought about a core belief that keeps showing up in my life. This tiny character is on every page, every scenario I have lived through, every replay of circumstance, every interaction. She’s cute until you look closely and realize she is raggedly dressed, haggard looking but always there. She does not look happy. She looks like she wants to be invisible. She looks sorry.
Her name is Sorry. She believes she is wrong. Every action every thought, every feeling is wrong. Her job is to figure out what is wrong and change it. Her job is never done. She can never relax because right has to be found. Right has to be achieved.
As an adult, I continue to gather more understanding and cultivate compassion as I envision myself one of five innocent hypersensitive children within a dysfunctional family unit. I can only speak for myself. I felt things—things happened—they were my fault. I see now blame didn’t belong on anyone’s shoulders. Deep wounds were carried forward by my ancestors through generations until now. I’m working on the forgiveness part.
Without awareness, I have lived my life believing I’ve done something wrong. I am changing that.
With awareness, I face every situation with an intention to discern the facts and with expectancy, strive to get results that are for my highest and best good.
With awareness, I help those I love with an intention to discern the facts, do the best to problem solve, and trust the outcomes will be for their highest and best good. I cannot control their destiny. I can control my attitude.
I set goals and make plans and am open to all possibilities as they develop. I am free from any label. I am a good problem solver. I deserve goodness in my life. Difficult things will arise and I do my best in facing them.
"Most people do not see their beliefs, their beliefs tell them what to see. This is the simple difference between clarity and confusion." - Matt Kahn
The Art of Load-Bearing and Distribution
by Jules Bubacz (from We’Moon 2020: Wake Up Call, p 169)
Last night under a sky That was filled With more starlight Than blackness I threw up my Attachments Aiming the big, Heavy bundle At a shooting star In a hope It would take My burden With its burning speed Dispersing it into The universe Shredding it To pieces
Yesterday (see Dec 8 blog), we talked about names and I love the name that means “the beloved.” The people here who have that name, I’ve decided to see them as reminders of my desire to be closer to the beloved.
That was an interesting little children’s book you talked about, and I can just imagine you as a grandmother reading it to your grandchildren. The little mouse that is sorry for everything, I am relating to that. I think it’s important that we practice self-forgiveness. That image you had of throwing something up to the stars, that’s a good thing in a way because it’s dark and it’s a guide. Let that star be a guide to self-forgiveness.
The line that stuck out for me was ‘I cannot control their destiny; I can control my attitude.’ There’s so much in that sentence. It’s something I remind myself all the time. I translate that into ‘thy will not mine be done.’ When I want someone to be different, to act differently, all I can do is control my attitude towards them. I have two choices, to live in acceptance or to beat my head against the wall trying to change someone. I love that reminder.
I woke up at 1:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’ve been meaning to read Viktor Frankl’s book about his experiences at Auschwitz. That was the key point that you can’t control anything else but you can control your attitude. Those that survived, in many cases, it was because of their positive attitude.
I could say ditto to everything you said. I can think I did something wrong, that it’s my fault. I’ve learned to question that, like the bumper sticker ‘question authority.’ Usually, it’s because I spoke up or I’ve expressed something. Other people sometimes don’t like that. It’s such a process. That thing about not being able to control others, only ourselves—sometimes I can’t even do that. I have to ask for help. I use others’ sharings to be mentors or guides. I didn’t have good role models. I do have good role models today. There’s a lot of people who like to blame, and it’s not always our fault, and it’s okay to make mistakes. I didn’t know that either. It took me a while to learn that. I’ve heard ‘when we know better, we do better.’ It’s a wonderful statement; it’s so gentle. I need that gentleness. I was always told what to do. One of the things I’ve learned to say to my children is ‘I trust that you’ll figure it out.’ I say it to myself. It’s a loving thing to say, it shows my trust.
I was thinking about ‘sorry’ and saying ‘I’m sorry.’ There’s a lot of people who are always saying ‘I’m sorry’ and excusing themselves. I was thinking about how very rarely people give you a genuine sorry and apology. I don’t know whether it’s modelled well by parents. Kids will fight. You get both of the kids by the scruff of the neck and say to them, ‘say you’re sorry.’ Well, they aren’t sorry, they are mad, and they are just saying it because you as the parent made them do it. That’s not genuine at all. We as a society need practice being more genuine and authentic so that we apologize for things where we really feel we’ve done something wrong versus being sorry for things that we can’t even control. I’m not saying ‘I’m sorry’ when someone dies anymore. I say ‘my heart goes out to you’ but I didn’t do anything to make their loved one die. I realize it’s a different use of the word ‘sorry’ but I decided it is overused. I want to think of different ways to get across my genuine feelings.
This conversation is interesting because I often feel responsible for what is going on and I tend to apologize. If there is a misunderstanding or if I’ve inconvenienced someone else, I now try to say ‘excuse me?’ instead of ‘I’m sorry’ For the same reason of overusing the word.
I remember when raising my children, one of them said ‘I’m sorry’ so much, I started a sorry jar. Every time ‘I’m sorry’ was said, a penny was put in the jar. It created an awareness. Saying sorry most likely started from me feeling that I’m responsible for everything. That discovery took me a while to forgive myself for.
I’ve been on a campaign with women who say ‘I’m sorry’ while they are in the middle of speaking and are formulating their thoughts. I catch them and say ‘why are you saying you’re sorry?’ I agree that we overuse a sorry word. When I call a business because something is not working, the person will say ‘I’m sorry’ and they aren’t even thinking about what they are saying. I’ve done it myself. I’ve broken my habit. We have to be creative in ways we speak from our hearts, to be sad and sorrowful for what we have done.
I love this conversation. There is so much misunderstanding around the word ‘sorry’. I’ll start a sentence ‘I’m sorry…’ and I’m interrupted and told that I’m not sorry. I mean ‘I’m sorry for your pain.’ ‘I feel sorrow.’ It’s not that I am apologizing, but that I feel sorrow because you are sad. Sorrow can be a wonderful thing, very deep. Sorry can be a negligent thing.
It’s so much more authentic to say ‘I feel sorrow for you’ and ‘I hold you in my heart.’
It never occurred to me that sorry and sorrow are forms of the same root, that they have to do with sorrow and not apology.
One of the broad lessons to today is precision of speech. One of the things I get out of this group is looking closely at my thoughts, actions, and assumptions. Assumptions will get me every time. Being more thoughtful and aware constantly is important. This group makes me aware.
I’m glad to be here. I was late. In the time I had the silence to myself and didn’t know what the reading was about, I sunk into what my body is telling, what are my thoughts telling me. The message that came out is an appreciation for the frustration I had trying to get online. It was gentle, an appreciation, a collaboration feeling. Often I say I’m sorry when I’m feeling shame or something more primitive in me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that” as opposed to the awareness, it’s an act and I’m having a big feeling. What might that feeling be? I don’t come up with it immediately. I have the option to say, wow, I can see this impacted you, let me sit with it; let me figure it out. Sorry is a way to move on. It’s important for me, in my close relationships, to figure out what it is I’m feeling. It’s far more important for me in order to be real.
I found the word ‘worry’ popping up in relation to the word sorry. As everyone is saying, authenticity plays such a big part in using our words, and it’s good to be reminded of how to use them. Awareness is the key to life.
What my mind went to was that line ‘throwing up attachments to the stars.’ I don’t know how to do that. I’m attached to my attachments, the rain, the smell of the Earth and the grass, my cat, the people I love. I’m not ready to throw them to the stars. I guess those are good attachments. It’s the ones that don’t work for me like my believe that I should always be right. That’s a good one.
Thank you for everyone’s sharing and thoughts and laughter and authenticity which is just gold. I hope you have a wonderful day.