Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Art of Apologizing

Today we were supposed to move my mom's stuff into her new apartment in an amazing retirement community but the person we hired to move her got sick, so all the planning, organizing and preparations were shaken up and had to be shifted to another day.  When I got the call, I was really irritated and felt myself freeze up into Mrs. Inflexible!  I caught myself hardening my tone with my mother, as I do far too often, raising and tensing my voice as I do when I'm frustrated.  "No, I can't do Thursday!" I said, knowing that I probably could do it with a few texts to babysitters but just feeling down right childish and wanting someone else to feel how frustrated I felt.  And really, what did it matter!  It's not even me moving.  I may have coordinated a good portion of this move, but at the end of the day, I wasn't even planning on lifting any boxes and at the last minute, even I got sick and wasn't going to be there for the first part of the day.  But I wasn't in control anymore and things weren't going as I had so delicately planned!!!  Finally, after a few calls, my mom and I rescheduled everything for Thursday, the day that the freight elevator was available at the apartments.

I still felt myself wanting to be inflexible, digging my heels in and pouting because all my hard work was ruined... as if rescheduling to a different day really ruined anything.  As a matter of fact, because of the rescheduling of things, I actually ended up having practically the whole day to myself.  I was feeling better from the stomach bug I'd had the day before, Rishi had planned a big morning out with Anjali, since I was supposed to be moving my mom and then now, I didn't even have to do that anymore!!  What was I gaining by staying so irritated at this whole situation and at my mom?  As I was driving to a coffee shop to get some work done, I realized what a jerk I'd been to my mom, again!  Those of you who know me, and most of you do, know that I've got some issues with being nice to my mom.  I'm fully aware of them, but completely out of control with them.

One thing I've learned over the years is how excruciatingly significant and utterly beautiful apologizing can be, not only for the person who received the wrong doing but especially for the person who's done the wrong doing.  I think I learned to apologize at a much older age than most people and still sometimes find it to be one of the most difficult things to do but when I do it, and I try to do every time I 'should,' I remember how simple it really is and then that magical sensation of calmness comes from having humbled myself away from the arrogant, inflexible person that desires to brood in her corner and into a person who takes responsibility for what she's done and recognizes when she's done it and then let's the other person know.  I have been the victim of having someone very close to me, in the past, who would lash out and almost never apologize.  Being treated this way is no fun and can make one feel a little alienated and crazy.  The apology definitely doesn't excuse the "undesirable" behavior, but it does help heal the hurt it has caused!  And both "sides" are hurt, so both sides get to heal when those simple words pass from one's mouth.  I know it helped me today and I hope it helped my mom.

Breathe.  Smile. Apologize. Recognize. Energize!

The picture for this post is from Juan Gnecco's profile on Free Digital Photos.


Vita Plastica said...

It's so brave to admit to this! I don't know why more people don't look at themselves, see they're feeling stressed or irritated and really think about their behavior. We can all make ourselves and our lives so much more peaceful!

Honey, I know all about Mom issues so I feel you there! I'm glad she found a good nursing home.

Jyoti Kaneria said...

Thanks Dani - Vita! I LOVE hearing from you!!! I feel like it's my duty to just lay it all out... and that's just what i'm doing. I think it's because we don't say these things that others don't even take the time to notice them in themselves...