How groovy sweet is the idea that love means never having to say we’re sorry? While a Love Story scene touched my romantic heart as a child, in practice, not saying “I’m sorry” leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and lost opportunities to deeply connect with others.
When dashing Dave and I were first married, we bought into the “less is more” when needing to say sorry. As in, we didn’t say “I’m sorry” enough, or at the right time, or in a way that always worked. It seemed our efforts to make things right were random, willy-nilly, unsatisfying. Then we had a child who, at four years old, definitely didn’t feel she should ever have to say she was sorry for yelling or breaking stuff or for poking her baby brother in the eye. Dave and I got to work problem solving.
We came up with a 6 step plan that the whole family could learn and implement to make amends. Even a little kid.
1. Make amends as quickly as possible.
2. Show remorse. Show real regret for the mistake.
3. Take responsibility and say, “I’m sorry (no IF) I ______ .” Describe mistake in detail.
4. Describe how you will make things right. Avoid stopping at “I won’t do it again.” Pay for the broken vase.
5. Ask for, but never demand, forgiveness. Patiently wait.
6. Hug, give a hand shake, smile or find another way to move on positively.
Also, when someone asks us, “Will you forgive me?” the answer is always, “Yes.” It may take a few minutes to collect oneself, time alone in one’s room, or a walk around the block (let the person know you’ll be back shortly), but the answer is always, “Yes”, because in the context of family life, and in love, there is no room for grudges. We all make mistakes and we need forgiveness.
Step six is my favorite. It is within this step that trust is built within relationships. We all know the pain of making a mistake and admitting to it. We all know the pain of being hurt by another. When two people in pain meet in forgiveness, we’re relieved and comforted. Go on, love means saying you’re sorry.
Do you say you’re sorry? Do you forgive readily? Do you remember Love Story?
Have a great week! ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc
PS Thanks for the inspiration for this post, Pam 🙂