Great intentions framed my Thanksgiving Day. I was going to write a beautiful blog gushing with gratitude toward each of you for the support, encouragement, and strength you’ve offered me through these last few years.
That didn’t happen though. Instead of writing my blog, I spent time in the kitchen preparing a feast and enjoying every minute with my family.
So, then I was going to write you an apology to let you know how sorry I am I didn’t write you like I had planned to, but that kind of seemed to be going in the wrong direction. Many times, I think the guilt, sadness, and even anger lurking behind my “I’m sorry” would be better dealt with by focusing on gratitude.
Here’s an example. I come home and find my husband doing the dishes I’ve left undone. Instead of being excited I don’t have dishes to wash, I get this annoyed, angry feeling. What’s that about?
(Despite my strange reaction, let’s note that it’s always good to be able to identify your feelings, even if they may not make much sense at the time.)
Far too many roads exist for me to examine why a certain action elicits a particular feeling in me. It’s tricky. You really have to know yourself and what makes you tick. For me, negative feelings usually point toward insecurities of some sort.
In this situation, I can pinpoint that the angry feeling came from guilt. Seeing him do one simple chore somehow meant I might not be pulling my weight around the house, and I felt bad about that.
Now, how to respond often trips me up. My “go to” reaction to feelings of guilt, anger, annoyance, etc. is to say “I’m sorry.”
Just picture it …
Someone yells at me. I say, “I’m sorry.”
A stranger holds a door open, and I say “I’m sorry.”
My husband does the dishes, and I tell him how bad I feel about that.
I think I wrote a blog once about saying I’m sorry too much.
Getting past this hurdle took stepping back a few feet from myself and seeing the bigger picture. It’s simple really. Someone does something nice, you should say, “Thank you.” No rocket science here, people!
Apologizing diminishes their service and elevates you. Suddenly, this dishwashing thing isn’t about my husband doing a normal chore. It’s about me. And one of the most wonderful lessons I’ve learned in life is that it’s not about me. There are bigger things at work here. And I can either join them and take part in the process or bring it all to a halt to manage my insecurities.
I choose to join in the adventure.
And that leads me back to you. You deserve a thank you from me. Thank you for reading. Thank you for helping me think of someone besides myself. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for being there. Thank you.
Thanks you, Mary Beth! I relate so to saying “I’m sorry’ at the drop of a hat except maybe sometime when I should apologize and instead dig my heels in. Such fickleness!!
Thank you Tammy! Can’t wait to see you soon!