Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.
Why do you say sorry? What does “sorry” mean to you? What is the purpose of the word, “sorry”? In this episode, Jodi discusses the power of the phrase “I am sorry” when used in Truth vs in distortion. When “sorry” is backed up by action, it has the power to heal. When it is insincere, it is like pouring salt in an open wound. “Sorry” has the power to heal or hurt.
Episode 73: Connecting Language—“I’m Sorry”
Jodi: Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. I am Jodi Hildebrandt. It’s June 20th 2016.
I would like to invite all of our listeners to our latest creation. We have created a classroom. It’s called ConneXions Academy. The classroom is an opportunity for anyone in the world who is enjoying these podcasts and would like to learn a little bit more about specifically what’s transpiring in your own life and how to apply these principles into your own life.
The classroom is set up on a 12-week course. It’s two hours throughout the week, and so it runs for three months. And depending on where you’re at, we have a classroom in Utah that you can come be a participant live or we have a classroom online. The online class runs on Saturdays. If you’re not living in Utah and it’s not convenient for you to come to the one in person, then please join us online. They’re very affordable. We want to make these available to anyone who has the desire to come.
Again, they’re 12 weeks, two hours a week, and we talk about foundational principles. So, we talk about distortions, we talk about false beliefs, triggers, boundaries, how to communicate with each other, how to recognize that we’re all vulnerable and that we need validation.
So, the fact that we need validation, how to validate, what are the enemies to validation and vulnerability. We talk about addictions. We talk about co-dependency, drama, forgiveness, repentance, surrender, distractions. All sorts of concepts that are in these podcasts.
So, as I’m teaching these podcasts, there’s probably questions that you have specific to your situation, so I would invite you to come to the classroom. You’ll have access to me, you can ask any of the questions you have that you would like a specific answer to, because most times, if not every time, the question you have is also a question that benefits everybody in the classroom.
We’ve been running these for approximately nine months, and we have run a couple of hundred people through the classroom as a pilot program. We’ve had just amazing feedback. I mean, people’s relationships are changing very quickly. Within weeks, people are able to use the skills that we teach them.
So, it’s not just a feel-good class, you come and you feel good, it’s actually a class where you’re going to be asked to work, and become conscious, and you’ll always walk away with homework. I’m famous for giving people lots of homework because I understand that if we will practice principles that have Truth in them, then we can start creating a lifestyle that has Truth in it. And that’s what people who are interested in these kind of podcasts are wanting, is a way to start healing not only themselves, but also their relationships and invite spouses, and children, friends, extended family members, and maybe even employees. Anyone in their life that they have an intimate relationship with or want to have more closeness around, it is imperative that you learn particular principles. Because we’re all human, we all operate the same way. We’re all needing the same thing, and that is we need to be seen, we need to be validated, we need to acknowledge that we’re vulnerable, we need to have compassion, and we need to have connection. And so, all of us are searching for that.
So, I invite you to come. Get on the website, www.connexionsclassroom.com and click the “Go To The Academy” button, and when you hit that scroll down and you’ll see all the classrooms. We have I think four different classrooms that are on there right now for upcoming classes, and we have them scheduled throughout November of 2016. And probably around August, we’ll put down the winter schedule that will roll into 2017.
We’d love to have you. Check it out and email us if you have any questions. Love to see you there.
In today’s podcast, I’d like to again invite you to raise your consciousness because that’s what this whole process of these podcasts are about, is to teach principles that have Truth in them so that you can raise your awareness.
I’ve been asked many, many times to talk about this particular topic. It’s something that I think most people would relate to, if not everyone. And that is the awareness around three little words. The three little words, I am sorry. I am sorry.
Let me stop right there and say to you I am not suggesting that you stop saying I am sorry, quite the contrary. I am interested in raising your consciousness around those words, so that when you do say I am sorry to either self or someone else, it has meaning. Meaning that says I get what it is I’ve done, I understand how I’ve affected you, I have made a plan so I won’t repeat it, and you won’t see me behave that way again.
Now, I’m very aware that sometimes people use the words I am sorry when they’re in the act of validating somebody. That’s fine, just make sure that you really are sincere when you say the words I’m sorry instead of it just being filler words, because sometimes we like to do that.
So, words, any words, don’t have any power if actions do not follow the words. Appropriate actions, congruent actions. So, saying I’m sorry doesn’t have any power at all if you don’t follow through with appropriate behavior.
Those three little words can, if I’m unconscious, carry a whole lot of meaning. So, if I’m not paying attention and let’s say that someone’s walking up to my front doorstep and there’s ice all over the patio, and the steps, and the walkway, and I have been asked numerous times by one of my family members to clean that thing off, and I have committed that I would, and I was a bit annoyed when they were asking me, I’m like, “Okay, okay, I’ll do it.” And I never cleaned it off, and someone shows up on the doorstep and slips. I go rushing out and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
I ought to look at that behavior. Now, why exactly am I saying sorry? Am I saying sorry because all of a sudden I now have consciousness that that was dangerous and that’s what my family member was trying to get me to see on the front end but I was being obstinate and a bit arrogant, and wouldn’t listen? Am I sorry because I don’t want this person mad at me? Am I sorry because now I feel really shamed, I have a lot of distorted thoughts running through my head like, “Oh my gosh, it’s my fault they fell.” And, “I’m the cause.” And, “They’re’ never going to feel comfortable coming over to my house again.” Or maybe I say I’m sorry, but really in my head I’m thinking, what a klutz, couldn’t they see that there was ice on the ground? What were they thinking trying to walk upstairs when there’s an inch thick of ice on the steps?
So, there’s all sorts of different ways that I can interpret “I’m sorry.” And, those words have very specific meaning. It says I’m, that suggests that I’m aware. Like, I’m owning whatever it is. And then, I say sorry. Like, I am feeling this emotion and I want you to know that from my heart to your heart, I recognize whatever the thing is, I feel deeply about whatever the thing is, and I feel remorse, I feel sorrowful. Sorrow. Sorrow.
That is what people assume when they hear the words I am sorry. Now, because we use that phrase sometimes really flippantly, it’s very similar to saying, “I love you”. Those are three little words and yet those words are used so casually and randomly, that for many of us, saying I love you has lost meaning. Very similar to saying I’m sorry.
So, now, all of us, or many of us, depending on who we’re interacting or even or own selves, we have to say, what do you mean by that? You said I’m sorry and I don’t know what that means because I don’t feel safe with you. I’ve watched you say I’m sorry but you keep repeating your behavior.
So, unfortunately, many of us are in relationships where we question those phrases: I love you and I’m sorry.
So, people use the word love in lots of different contexts, such as, I love my friend, I love my nail polish, I love looking good, I love being beautiful, I love feeling powerful, I love this food, I love my dog, I love my cat, I love my pet snake, I love the outside, I love being warm, I love not working, I love having my nails cut short, and oh, I love you.
So, lots of different contexts for love, and again, it’s not an inappropriate thing to say, it’s just that you need to be conscious of what you mean when you say that word, and your relationships, especially your intimate relationships need to know—and a lot of the ways they’re going to know is by your behavior—what those words mean.
I am all about consciousness, all about consciousness and all about Truth telling. And so, I want to make sure that my relationships that I’m close to, when I say something, they will know what I mean because I’m very consistent and constant with my language and also my behavior. My behavior will absolutely backup my words.
So, it’s like putting a cement wall behind my words, so my words have this sturdy foundation right behind it that is immovable because I am so constant and so consistent.
The word sorry is similar to the word love. Sometimes, we’re really casual and we use it randomly. Sometimes, we minimize the power of the meaning of sorry. So, I could say sorry for interrupting you, sorry that I was late, sorry I can’t (fill in the blank), sorry for yelling, sorry you lose, sorry you’re not capable or you’re not competent, sorry you can’t understand, sorry for being born. You say you’re sorry just to say sorry so that you can appear connected. That’s kind of one of those things where people just fill that word in. Something happens and they just throw in the word I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Like the tripping down the steps and the person runs out and says, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” It’s like, why are you sorry, I’m the one that fell down the steps.
Sorry you embarrassed yourself, sorry for laughing, sorry I didn’t follow through with my commitments, sorry you missed it, sorry I hurt you, sorry I want to understand and not repeat the offense. I’m sorry. I am sorry. What does that mean?
I want you to think about it for a minute. What does it mean to be sorry? I read a whole bunch of statements, the things I’ve actually heard spoken whether they’re to me or just about other people, but all those things that I just read people have said. Some of them don’t even make any sense. Like, sorry you can’t understand? I’ve heard people say that in a very snide, condescending way, like, “Sorry you can’t understand.” It’s meant to demean and to insult, but they throw that sorry word in there. And so, it’s really hard to be able to recognize what the word means when it’s being used in so many different contexts.
So, you—each one of us—gets to place the meaning on those words, I am sorry. You get to become aware of how you’ve been using that phrase I’m sorry. And you get to become willing, if you choose, to make those words I am sorry mean something to yourself and to the people and relationships you engage in.
These people that you “connect” with and claim you have a meaningful relationship with, you get to say what I am sorry means. And so, you have to be conscious about when you use that phraseology.
So, when you’re in a relationship, any relationship, you are responsible for yourself and how you show up in the relationship. So, basically, how you present yourself: what you say, how you behave.
Are you willing to be responsible for yourself and the choices you make, and the outcomes of those choices? Let me read that again, it’s a very important statement. Are you willing to be responsible for yourself and the choices that you make, and the outcomes of those choices?
Are you open and willing to accept feedback from the other person in the relationship with you?
Will you, or are you willing to feel emotions and recognize how you affect the other, and o
wn what is yours and surrender what is not yours.
Will you be honest in your dialogue with them and not say you’re sorry unless you have actually done something—behaved a way that you need to change?
Now, I understand that sometimes we use the word I’m sorry to validate, and that’s fine. But I’m talking about when you use the phrase I’m sorry and you’re throwing it around really casually. You need to be deliberate. If you’re going to say I’m sorry and you’re using it to validate, that’s fine. Just make sure that you really feel that. You really feel sorrow for the person, and you’re not just inserting it to take up space because you’re uncomfortable.
So, being able to recognize if you’ve done something or behaved in a way that you desire to change.
The focus of this podcast is to draw your attention, to see your actions, to see your choices, and acknowledge them. See them, feel them, validate them. And offer repentance to another person and a plan of change. So I don’t repeat the behavior again, I don’t repeat it, I don’t repeat the offense. When I use those words I’m sorry, the assumption made is that much thought, time, emotion, effort, and realization has gone into those three little words, and that I will not repeat the behavior. Or at a minimum, you and I have discussed the situation and I feel that you know that I know how it affected you. Okay?
So, at a minimum, you and I have discussed it, and my behavior that has affected you / offended you, or hurt you, or harmed you, you know that I know that you’ve been affected a particular way, so that the next time I say I’m sorry it will mean something. I’m sorry might mean it was not my intention for you to interpret it the way that you did, and so I’m sorry means I get it, and I know, and you know that I get it, and things will be different from here on out.
So, when I say those words to someone, I’m saying to the other person, “I’m conscious, I’m being deliberate, I’m aware, I am willing to validate you, I understand, I acknowledge and I accept that you’re vulnerable and so am I.” I show compassion, and the outcomes of those things will be that that we will connect and live in Truth, or be in Truth, at least for that moment in Truth.
And remember, when I use the word Truth, it means I’m being emotionally honest, I’m being responsible, and I’m humble. That’s what Truth encompasses – honesty, responsibility, and humility.
So, I hope that I’m positioning this phrase correctly for you, so that when you use the word I am sorry, you become really cued in to that language, kind of like the last podcast I did around the word but, inviting you into consciousness around that word, so that when you use the word but, B-U-T, you can replace it with the word and, and allow for your sentence to become much more connected, and congruent, and Truthful about what it is that you’re saying when you put that word and in there. It’s the same thing with I am sorry and also I’d put in there I love you. Become conscious of why you use those words, and what you’re actually trying to tell the other person.
[00:20:04] What Sorry is Not
Let’s talk about what sorry is not. Sorry is not about acting defensive. So, when I say I’m sorry, it is not about me acting defensive, so if somebody goes, “Sorry.” Right? Or, “Sorry.” Okay? That kind of tone, just the tone is pretty obvious that the person doesn’t feel sorry.
Sorry is not about acting defensive. For example, I drop the couch. As I’m moving it, I drop it, and the leg breaks, and I say, “I’m sorry.” Or, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” Or I didn’t get the part in the play, and you did, and you say to me in an act of manipulation, you say, “I’m sorry they didn’t think that you were very well suited for the play.”
Or you find out that your partner has been cheating on you, and you launch into some kind of diatribe of sarcasm, and very insincerely you make statements all beginning with, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I cooked for you. I’m sorry I cleaned for you. I’m sorry I was there for you every moment of every day. I’m sorry.” Right? I get really dramatic. There’s not an ounce of sincerity to those words at all. I’m angry that I found out that the person cheated on me, but I’m sitting here saying I’m sorry I did all this stuff for you, that I was loyal to you, that I stood by your side. And really what I’m saying is I’m ticked off. Okay?
Those are all ways I can act defensive: I drop the couch and I act all sheepish or something, and I say, “I’m sorry.” Like I’m scared. Or I don’t get the part in the play, and someone’s like, “I’m sorry you’re not very good.”
Or I say I’m sorry just to get you off my back. I distract the attention elsewhere, I say I’m sorry you were incapable of understanding. Or I’m sorry I’ve never been enough for you. Or I wasn’t what you needed or wanted.
So, those are all acts of manipulation, and all of those statements are a way to use the word I’m sorry to defend oneself, to distract the attention away from the real emotion that I am feeling.
The first one, when I dropped the couch is I feel fear, and so I use the words I’m sorry.
The second one, when I don’t get the part in the play, my friend is—who knows what they’re feeling—maybe they’re feeling self-adulation, so they think they’re better than me, so they’re like, “I’m sorry you weren’t good enough.”
The third one, where I find out my partner’s cheated on me, I’m livid angry, and so I’m going off on this diatribe of all the things I’m sorry about, of how I showed up in his life, or her life.
And the other one is just trying to distract you, to get you off my back. So, I say, “Sorry I was incapable of understanding.” Or, “Sorry, I’ve never been enough for you.” Or that I wasn’t what you needed or wanted.
Those are all acting defensive or another way to say it is to distract someone’s attention away from what the Truth is, which is I’m feeling emotion, and I’m not either 1), connected to what I’m feeling or 2), not willing to be honest about what I’m feeling, and maybe it’s a mixture of both.
So, number two: sorry is not about having a timeframe. When I say I’m sorry, and I really mean that, that I am sorry, I do not say that with a timeframe. So, I feel sorry now, and tomorrow, and maybe next week. However, don’t bring this thing back up in a month when you’re reminded of something, or you feel the emotional pain again because of something I did.
So, for example, I say, “I apologized already, so why are we rehashing this?” That would be inappropriate. That would be what sorry is not about. When you are actually sorry, and you say, “I am sorry,” there are no strings attached to that. What you saying is, I get it, I feel it, I want to make recompense and reparation for it, and there’s no timeframe on it. You can bring this up whenever you feel triggered, or reminded, or whatever it may be.
Here’s an example, I know somebody whose spouse was a pornography addict, and they had gone to Disneyland one year. They were in Disneyland, I think she found out about the addiction actually in Disneyland which kind of ruined the happiest place on Earth for her, and then they did a whole lot of work over the next handful of years. He was in really some good recovery and so was she, and they went back to Disneyland with their children, and they walked past the park bench that was the same park bench that she was told that he was cheating on her, you know, by looking at porn. She sat down and all of those memories came flooding back to her, and she started crying, and she felt the same anger. He sat down with her and he was so, so connected. He had done so much work and was so aware of the vulnerability, and he had been taught through all of his group work and education of being a part of the classroom that this is bound to come up for both of them, and when it does, not if it does, but when it does that they need to be compassionate with each other, and that that trauma— because it is, it’s a trauma—is very real. And when that comes back up for her, he needs to be there again, and listen, and validate, and understand her vulnerability, and her fear. And just continue to be compassionate and she’ll be able to move through it.
If you show up and say, “We’re already over this, I mean, I’ve already apologized a thousand times. It’s been a year. Why are you having a problem?” If he would have gone into that, oh my goodness, that would not have been bueno because she would have felt that possibly all of his behaviors of really sincere acts of repentance were in vain or were false.
And so, being able to say I’m sorry, and not have a string attached to there’s a certain timeframe that you’ll never bring this up again. Very, very important. So, saying I’m sorry is not about a timeframe.
Number three, saying I’m sorry is not about being in drama. If you do not know what drama is, please listen to podcasts 25 and 26, those are about drama. There’s also a podcast called Mommy Drama, so listen to those if you don’t know what drama is.
Saying I’m sorry is not about being in drama. So, if you are in drama, you are in distorted thoughts while you’re saying sorry. So, if you’re saying sorry, and you’re saying it from a place of victim, or a persecutor, or rescuer, stop yourself. Okay? Because any time you’re in drama, you’re in distortion. And your sorry will be loaded with distortion, and so stop, acknowledge that you’re not in a centered place, and go get some help. Call somebody who knows how to be centered. Have them help you get back into the Truth. If you continue trying to push I’m sorry and trying to talk the person into your sorry and you’re in drama, it will go nowhere really fast.
So, it will not be the Truth and the person that you’re experiencing this dynamic with that you’re trying to say sorry, they won’t feel the healing power of the words I’m sorry if they’re spoken in distortion. So, go get some connection, go get some validation and come back and try it again in Truth.
Saying sorry is not about filling the space because I’m uncomfortable somehow. What that means is, there are people in the world that just out of a nervous habit will say, “I’m sorry.” You can be sitting there doing something, let’s say you’re grating cheese and you dropped the cheese on the floor, and the person next to you goes, “I’m sorry.” And it’s like, why are you sorry? What is me dropping the cheese on the floor have anything to do with you? And what they’re saying is, I’m uncomfortable. You just dropped a whole plate of grated cheese on the floor, and I can appreciate how long you’ve grated that cheese. Or maybe they’re afraid I’m going to get angry, or maybe they’re afraid I’m going to cry, or whatever, and so they’re feeling uncomfortable and so their sorry is just a filler word for their discomfort.
And so, what they’re saying is I want you to get over this. You know? So, they’re giving the illusion that you are connected, like they’re really having sympathy for you, when they’re actually not. They’re just uncomfortable with their own emotion.
So, we say the words I’m sorry to take the focus off of what we did, possibly. Or we say I’m sorry to give the appearance that I’m remorseful. Or we say I’m sorry to distract ourselves from the pain we’ve caused another person. Or we say we’re sorry because I, the person who’s saying I’m sorry is anxious, and I don’t want to feel the weight or the pain of what the Truth is possibly. Or I don’t want to feel the weight of the discomfort, whatever the discomfort is. I mean, it can be sadness, it could be loneliness, it could be confusion, it could be isolation. I just don’t want to feel those emotions, and so I use that word I’m sorry, and what it does is it distracts the person I’m sitting with that’s listening to me to wonder what my motive is. But when I say I’m sorry it really sounds sincere.
Most people are not going to go, “No you’re not.” Most people aren’t going to say, “What does that mean? Why did you say that? “Most people are going to just go, “Oh, thank you.” Or they’ll feel like there’s some validation there. It’s fine if you use the words I’m sorry and you sincerely are connected, and you want the person to know that you really do feel that. And the whole point of this podcast is to raise our consciousness and make sure that that’s really where you are, and you don’t just throw those words around because we want to create meaning behind those words, so that when I say I’m sorry, the people that I interact with know that I am sincere.
Saying sorry is not about:
- Acting defensive
- Having a timeframe
- Being in drama
- Filling space
So, if you have said you’re sorry, or if you’ve done something and then you’ve said you’re sorry in any of those four positions, go and get some support from another person who can help you. Get some feedback, get centered, and then go back and make it right with the person. Language what it is that you did, language how you used the phrase I’m sorry and it wasn’t really sincere. Or you said it do distract, or you were in drama, or you were acting defensive. Whatever it is that you did that was inappropriate, tell them.
Saying sorry in compliance is so hurtful to yourself and to the other person. It’s so hurtful. Compliance is another defense posture. Like, I say I’m sorry because I’m supposed to, or I should, or it’s what nice people do, or I want to be kind. And I’ll tell you, if you do that in compliance and you really don’t have feeling behind it, you really don’t mean it, or you’re not even conscious that you’re saying it, you just kind of throw it out there because you were raised with somebody saying I’m sorry, and so you just picked it up and it’s just a habit you use, and you’ve never thought about it, it’s very painful to yourself. You’re doing damage to yourself and to the other. I mean, I feel like it’s the equivalent of pouring salt into an open wound, right? Many of us have heard that analogy. Pouring salt into an open wound, someone would jump through the roof if you did that. That would be so incredibly painful. So, don’t do it. And if you’ve already done it, clean it up as quickly as possible. Acknowledge you weren’t sincere, you weren’t centered, you were in drama, you were in denial, you were in compliance, and that you’ll be back to acknowledge it. And do it soon. I would say don’t give yourself more than 24 hours to clean that up.
[00:34:52] What Saying Sorry is About
So, let’s talk about what saying sorry is about. We just got done talking about what it’s not about. Here’s what saying sorry is about. Saying sorry is about a commitment for change. It is an invitation to become aware, and to do, and to think, and to feel, and to choose differently. Saying I’m sorry invites us to feel remorse, sorrow, to be different, to be more conscious, to be more awake.
Number two, saying sorry is about being impeccable with your words, and honest about your emotions. So, for example, I feel hurt, sad, angry (if you are), and I didn’t complete my commitment, and I’m angry that someone is confronting me, but I say I’m sorry and lie to them just to comply. So, you’ve got to be impeccable with your words, so being able to say, “I feel hurt, sad, angry.” And if you are, you are. Right?
So, not to go into some kind of compliance around that, you just are honest.
Saying I’m sorry in that situation says I’m acknowledging that I’m this spot, this spot of lots of emotion, and I can tell that it’s affecting you because of where I’m at.
So, saying sorry is about being responsible for my commitments and outcomes of choices made.
Here’s an example, being responsible for commitments and outcomes of choices that I’ve made. So, I couldn’t find time. These are examples of not being responsible. I couldn’t find time. Time got away from me, I lost track of my day, things just happened, it fell to the bottom of my priority list. So, those are all examples of saying I’m sorry, and here’s the reason why—I make all these excuses. But saying sorry is about being responsible for my commitments and my outcomes of choices, and so instead of saying it fell to the bottom of my priority list, I say, “I chose not to follow through with that.” Or I say, “I am sorry, I was not willing to be responsible for my hours during the day, and I didn’t complete that task.” Things didn’t get away from me, and nothing just happened. I was not willing to be accountable for what I committed to, and I apologize.
Now, remember, when I say I’m sorry in that context, I change. I mean it. So, I’m being honest about how I feel, and I’m being responsible for what I do.
Number four, saying sorry is about feeling remorse, feeling sorrow, and empathy for the vulnerability of myself and others. That’s the whole point, is I need to feel—I am sorrowful. I feel sorrowful, I feel sorry.
Number five, sorry is about walking through the Steps of Repentance. If you’re not sure what the Steps of Repentance are, listen to one of the podcasts [Episode 14: The Power of Repentance]. I go through very thorough steps of repentance. Or another way to call it is I go through the 12 steps, the 12-step process is another way to say the Steps of Repentance. I don’t know what number that is, but it’s on the podcast list if you want to look it up. I think it’s called Forgiveness and Repentance or something about humility.
Number six, saying sorry is about being very specific about what I’m sorry for. Where I ask curious questions about what and how I’ve affected … whatever. How I’ve affected you, or them, or it. But I need to get very specific. Let’s say that I ask someone to come help me move, and I only had one person show up, and I’ve got all this heavy furniture to lift. And so, someone comes over later on that day or maybe the next day and says, “Oh, sorry I didn’t show up.” It doesn’t feel very sorry at all. If they were to say, “You know what, I am sorry. My wife went into labor.” Something significant like, my house burned down, or my son was playing with matches, or he cut half of his finger off, or something that really indicates that they really couldn’t keep their commitment because they had a higher priority.
And so, they need to be very specific about that when they say I’m sorry, not just like, “Hey, sorry I didn’t show up yesterday. Hope you get the move done.” And you’re going, “Uh-huh, right.” Note to self, that particular person doesn’t feel very safe to me.
Number seven, saying sorry is about offering validation for the feelings of the other person and also offering validation for the feelings that I have, and the effects that this has caused. So, being willing to say, “Okay, here’s how this affected me, and here’s how I feel like I was affected.”
[00:40:55] The Seven Steps
So, there’s seven steps. Saying sorry is about:
- A commitment for change, it’s an invitation to become aware.
- Being impeccably honest with your words and honest about your emotions. So, saying how you feel, and letting people know how you feel. And you might say sorry in that context. I didn’t complete my commitment, and I’m angry that someone is confronting me, but I say I’m sorry because I’m lying to them just to comply, instead of saying, “I’m angry.” So, you’ve got to be honest with your words.
- Being responsible for my commitments.
- Feeling remorse and empathy.
- Going through the steps of repentance thoroughly. Thoroughly.
- Being very specific about what I’m sorry about and for.
- Offering validation for the ways that I’ve affected that person or that thing, and knowing their feelings around that.
I talked about this a minute ago, filling in the space because you’re uncomfortable, giving that illusion that you are concerned and empathic when you’re not. Saying sorry sometimes is used as just a filler for many of us. We say it, like I said, to take the focus off of us or to distract ourselves, or to be disgenuine. There’s lot of reasons why we throw that word in, so please stay conscious about that.
Being willing to see and understand that your words have incredible meaning, and to take responsibility for them. This is a sign of emotional maturity, emotional wisdom, and accepting of your vulnerability. Again, if you don’t know what vulnerability is, go listen to another podcast on vulnerability. Being willing to say I’m sorry in Truth means that you must be willing to accept your vulnerability.
So, when I am being vulnerable, and I’m being wise, and I’m showing up as an emotionally mature person, I will say I’m sorry for things like this (and when I say I’m sorry, remember I go through a whole process of behaving sorry. In addition to saying sorry, I am behaving sorry.) So, I am sorry for ongoing addictive behavior. These are all invitations for change. When someone is saying, “Hey, you hurt me, you affected me.” And what they’re doing is they’re saying, “I care about you, and because I care about you, your behavior has affected me in this way, and so would you be willing to acknowledge that, would you be willing to actually go through a process that says and behaves in a way that I can believe your words when you say you’re sorry?”
So you feel sorry for offending another person in any way, shape or form.
I was in a grocery store the other day, and I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I ended up cutting in line. I didn’t even know I had done it, and the person behind me said, “Hey, I was standing there.” When they said it, I then registered that, oh that was true. I don’t know if they had just gotten out of the line to look at a magazine, I wasn’t even paying attention. All I know is that I walked into the line, and then I realized that somehow I was in front of them but I didn’t realize that until they were behind me.
And so, I had inadvertently affected them. I don’t know if I offended them or not, but somehow I affected them. And so, I immediately said, “Oh my goodness. I apologize. I’m sorry.” When I stepped behind him, I knew that I was going to be giving this podcast so I remembered, because I had just got done preparing it, and I remember thinking, I really do, I really do mean that when I just said I’m sorry. I said, “Oh my goodness, I apologize.” That’s what I said to him. It really was genuine, I felt that. I recognized that that was not my intention, and this person doesn’t know who I am, and if they did, then I hope that they would know by my behaviors that I really meant what I said.
Examples of Being Sorry
I’m sorry for not keeping my commitments or being irresponsible.
I’m sorry for being aggressive.
I’m sorry for, here’s a big one that many of us do, I’m sorry for going into victim.
I’m sorry for going into drama. And not just going into it, but staying there. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for not being emotionally honest.
I’m sorry for not getting out of this emotional dishonesty and being disconnected as a result.
I’m sorry for not knowing the story about something and acting like I did. I was super arrogant thinking that I knew what was going on, and I didn’t know what was going on and I found out later that I didn’t know the storyline, and me acting like I did know the storyline actually caused pain to you, and I apologize, I am sorry.
I’m sorry for not wanting to manage conflict. Like, I’m sorry for not being responsible for my part of the conflict.
I’m sorry for showing up late, for acting like my time is more important than your time. I apologize for that because it’s not, I don’t want to send a message that says I’m more important than anybody else.
So, I mean those are just a little tiny sampling of what we can apologize for. And remember, when someone is either asking for an apology or you desire to give an apology, to say I’m sorry, it is an invitation not just for change, but for connection. It’s an invitation, you’ve got to remember that. People want to be seen, they want to feel connected, they want to know that people see them. They want to know that they matter.
The guy that I “cut in line in front of” wanted to know that I saw him, and that it mattered that I cut in front of him. So, he was like, “Hey.” Now, did it do him irreparable harm? No. But that felt offensive to him, and maybe his shame was involved, maybe it wasn’t. And it didn’t matter, I wanted him to know I saw him and that I apologized.
So, you and I are responsible for the level of honesty inside your relationships. At least on your side of the dynamic you’re responsible. That dynamic I just had with that gentleman, there was some kind of relating going on even thought I only was standing there for 30 seconds with him, we were relating. And so, I was responsible for at least my end. So, be open, and be responsible, and know what you mean, and be responsible for what you say.
So, know what you mean, which means, be emotionally honest, and mean what you say. Be responsible for what you say. Have your actions backup what it is that you say.
I’m sorry, when you say it in Truth, has the power to support healing and connection. Or I’m sorry in distortion has the power to destroy safety, trust, vulnerability, and inflict pain inside of oneself and inside of any relationship.
It’s all up to you. Which are you willing to engage in? You choose to be awake or not.
Thank you for joining me. Bye bye.[ENDS]
See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast: