Friday, June 17, 2011

Saying "I'm sorry" is just the beginning of our commitment to behave......

"I'm sorry". We've all said it. We've all heard it. We've all meant it (or at least we thought we did). This simple phrase has always meant a great deal to me. Maybe it's because I have never had a problem saying it and then following through on this sincere statement. Or maybe it's because when I hear these words spoken to me I expect the very same sincerity in return and when this does not happen, I find myself disappointed and a little less respectful of the offender.

There are many motivators behind this phrase. Some are quite honest in sincere, while others are based in their own egotistical self preservation. In other words, the only thing they are sorry for is being caught behaving badly and not wanting to suffer any of the consequences.

To be truly sorry means that whatever it is that you are sorry for, after you apologize you are making a commitment to not do whatever it was that you were sorry for in the first place ever again. That's how strongly I feel about this admonition.

I do not want to just hear these words, I want to see action and follow through with this statement every time. You should mean what you say and say what you mean at all times possible, and expect the same respect back.  Do not let others mislead you with these words that you've wanted and deserved to hear, only to have the offender repeat their bad behavior over and over again. In this, these words have absolutely no meaning and you are, at some point, now responsible for allowing this cycle to continue and the pain that ensues because of it.

When my children were very young, teaching them how to properly apologize was of the utmost importance to me (among many other things). After their obligitory "I'm sorry" was spoken, I had them explain, out loud, to what they were sorry for and to promise not to do whatever that was again. Yes, it took quite a while for it all to stick, and I knew it would be a process; but I knew that it would eventually turn into sincerity. I knew that it would make them a bit more empathetic and trustworthy.

In closing, I would just like to reiterate the magnitude of this phrase, "I'm sorry". I would like you, dear reader, to be a bit more mindful when using it yourself and to not accept anything less from those around you who speaks these words to you. Be blessed and be kind.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Never in a Million Years"........

Who has not said these words: "Never in a million years" (or something to that effect), only to find themselves a few years later in that very position they had denied previously? Life has a funny way of putting us directly in the path the unexpected/unforeseen in the most inconspicuous way and before we know it, we're there looking back and scratching our heads as to how did this all happen.

Some of these declarations come from fear, others from denial or ignorance, and the most unfortunate ones come from sever judgement of others' circumstances. On the other hand, there are the ones that come from a place of great hope and chance which should serve as a constant reminder that good things can come around, even at the most difficult times.

I can look back in 5, 10, or even as little as 3 year intervals in my life, so far, and site a multitude of examples. I am quite sure that you, dear reader, upon reflection, can do the same. Life's changes, twist's, turn's, and sometimes even detours, can take you to places in which you have either previously denied or never even dreamed of, both good and bad. There could be places you've never thought of living in or visiting, jobs you could not of imagined doing, or people you would have never thought would be such an important part of your life.

In mentioning the positive we must not forget the negative: the illness that comes from seemingly nowhere, the sudden death of a loved one, the loss of your job, home, and/or savings. Your assumptions about your future can be undermined at any moment. Taking a left turn when you were supposed to head right, or visa versa. None of us are immune to any of these adversities, nor are we unworthy of the blessing that come our way.

Please be advised, dear reader, that you had better be very careful to judge the ones, in the current unfortunate circumstances they have found themselves in, and say "never in a million years" to yourself. Because life has an interesting way of playing a good game of irony with those who shake their fingers in the faces of the unfortunate. A quick example: A mother of a daughter (at any age) should never ever judge another mother's daughter who has become pregnant at a young age. Shame on those who do, because you never know, no matter how good of a parent you may think you may be, what will become of your own daughter. If anything, that mother and child need your love and support, not your "I told you so's".

Enough with the negative; my main intention in writing this post is to show you how to show yourself the power of hope in the face of great challenge and to be able to look ahead by looking back in order to know that you don't know what may lie ahead, and that life can be a series of unexpected surprises and journeys..

I will leave you with this: "Never in a million years" did I ever think that I would be a blogger in any way, shape, or form. I had had preconceived notions about the blogging world and therefore denied it. Well, I guess I was wrong, and here I am with you. Many blessings and happy trails forward for the next million years!