Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Weird Stuff I Think About

I’ve never been that great at saying “sorry.” I don’t mean the sarcastic “sorry!” I don’t mean the offhand “sorry” because you bumped into someone. Those small, accidental blips make for easy apologies. It is the big one’s I struggle with. The fighting sorrys. The offensive sorrys. The sorrys that feel unfair and filled with injustice. While I may feel horrible, every emotional nuance of that word raging through me, self-loathing sinking in, I sometimes can’t get that one out of my mouth. It is a strange paradox: I believe in the power of the word. I believe in meaning it when you say it. I believe it is one of the most important words we frail and faulted human beings utter. But I’m not always the best at saying it when I’ve really, truly messed up. In spite of what I know, swallowing my pride, my hurt, my offense can be very, very difficult. And I hate that fact about myself.

Last weekend I taught the lesson in Sunday school. It was about a lot of things, but what stood out to me were the sections about meekness. I’ve thought a lot about meekness lately. As a culture, I think most believe meekness is not an attribute to be valued. In fact, meekness spends much of its time mistaken for passivity. But I think that meekness is much different than being the doormat. For one thing, the response of meekness is consciously decided upon, it is an active state of being. Passivity requires nothing beyond sitting back and feeling victimized as life happens TO you. Meekness requires turning the other cheek. It requires forgiving, apologizing, letting go of one’s hurts, one’s pride, one’s own ego. It requires apologizing even when it doesn’t feel fair or just or easy. It requires actively putting the needs and emotions of another before your own. And, oh, how painfully impossible that can be!

I mean this jabber more as discussion-starter than as a complete and absolute thought I have. This is all more of rumination and meditation going on in my little head. These days it seems as though my life runs in winding circles of unanswered, incomplete and unsettled. This post is more about the things I want to improve upon. So what do you think about all of this? Are you meek? Do you swallow your pride? How does one say sorry for those big goof ups? Even harder still, how does one say “I forgive you” and mean it completely? And does anyone feel like they’re improving at any of this stuff? Because lately I feel like some of my weaknesses will never go away


Rie Pie said...

I can say I'm sorry so easily, and really mean it. Saying I forgive you is not in my mental capasity. I have a really hard time with letting some things go. Stupid things. I'm sorry I can't, for now, and hopefully the future can help me with my meekness.

Jen said...

Ooh that subject has been on my mind lately. I think I can say sorry okay. Until someone makes me REALLY MAD! Then it's a different story.

And I always struggle to know at what point to draw the line between meekness and passivity. I think I improve as I age, but sometimes drawing the line causes conflict and drama, which I detest. Ugh.

Pride is the bitterest pill.

H.K. said...

Saying sorry for me can go both ways. Some days it's easy and some days...very hard. It's as if I have to use my hands to help my mouth say the words!

But in order to preserve the peace, I usually just say sorry
even if I don't mean it.

(found your blog on mormon mommy blogs)

Alice said...

Sorry is a hard one. Sometimes it seems to come easy, other times not so much. I wish that wasn't the case for me. But I am working on it, and probably always will.

Meekness. Something that seems to be a fine line. But should it really be? I know that in recent months I have definitely gained a greater appreciation and awareness of being humble and meek. As I admire that attribute in others I resolve to be better. The world needs more of it.

Anonymous said...

Meekness is a difficult one. For me sorry is sometimes not the hardest part, it's the forgiveness part that is the killer.