Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm Sor...

I don’t know how, but I just ended up there. You know, the times when you just feel agitated in your own skin. No reason. Actually no reason whatsoever. None. But I was there. I guess I had decided that I was not in the mood to have a good time.
The drive through heavy traffic and a solid downpour did not help. Neither did the cool temperatures which bordered on wanting to freeze the rain on the road, or just keep you nervous enough to think it was. I was brooding over the fact that the Japanese steakhouse we love had no reservations. None. At least that was what I was told. My family wanted to take me out for my birthday dinner. We did not plan well enough to make reservations, so we could either drive the thirty plus minute drive to stand in a lobby and wait on a Saturday night at one of the busiest social hubs in our city or make another selection. Did I mention it was Saturday night?

 We had our kids with us, I don’t drink, so the wait to me seemed excruciating in my current disposition. Votes were cast to make the trek and take a chance to get seated and I lost; sorely I may add. My wife “helped” me drive the whole way. Thankfully she was there to point out my lack in driving skills. I darkened.

Deeply I know I was being “drug” along (aside from it was my birthday being celebrated) because we all enjoy the restaurant. My kids like seeing the “show”, and we always enjoy our meal. I guess I wanted to be right more than I wanted to be happy. Right about what? Who knows. I wasn’t.

I spite parked. You know where you park further away than necessary, and walk in the torrential rain to get wet enough to have bitching leverage. It seemed like it was a mile. I dropped the family off at the door prior. I walked alone. Idiot.

We had a great meal, a great time, and cheesecake for dessert. Nope, I couldn’t admit it. I was prodded through smiles and taunts to admit it, as they knew I knew I was being irrational. I couldn’t. Not yet.

Eventually as I evened out, blood sugar raised and a good night’s sleep, I apologized for my juvenile behavior. It was met with a simple nod, and life resumed as another day progressed. I am better at apologies than I used to be–mainly because I make them now.

I used to balk at the apology as I spent many of the initial minutes or hours hoping to find another person to harbor the guilt. I didn’t want it to be me. It was you, it was the traffic, it was the world, it was the price of bread, but anything to hang the blame of behavior upon as I did not want to have to say I’m sss... Damn. (The word is “sorry.”)

I used to hope apologies were the ultimate reconciliation. That they would absolve behavior; wipe it away to be forgotten. I found I was trying to control how others digested the events or my behavior. It is not up to me how people receive the apology, only that they hear it.

Like blowing on a dry Dandelion tuft of seeds, we are compelled to release the seeds of apology hoping they will take root in the sometimes obstinate ground of forgiveness. We can only control the gesture of the release with integrity of our intent intact. How or when the apology takes root is not for us to decide. Our sincerity seems to be the nourishing waters that will leverage a hearty harvest of the seeds of apology we release.

As I am able to make amends and apologize for my past deeds I realize it is reconciliation for an account that may need closed. The balance must be brought to zero before I can walk on. I find that waiting to reconcile my behaviors only adds interest to my human debt. In times past, I thought that time heals all wounds; all is forgotten. Not necessarily. However, even tardy amends can dissolve the scar tissue.

I have made amends to those in my past I thought I could just ignore or avoid and it would be water under the bridge–water under my bridge anyway. In some of those amends I got the scathing response I feared. However, I found the pain of the undesired response was lesser than the not knowing or projecting my fears upon the unknown and the harboring of a spiritual debt unpaid.

I can make amends now as I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot control how someone receives my words. I can only control my sincerity in releasing them. Withheld amends are a burden that gains weight. I offer them now to those whom I have wronged, harmed, or owe them to not because I want off the hook as much as it is simply “right”.

As long as my heart remains in the right place, my odds of recovering from life’s little hiccups are greater. I just need to make sure to keep my head in the right place or the view never changes.

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