Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sorry, so sorry

Love means never having to say you're sorry.  A line from the novel and 1970 film Love Story starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. It is said twice during the film. I guess the point being that if you really love someone, all is forgiven, there is a silent understanding, a mutual truce, an umbrella policy always in place.

I happen to agree more with John Lennon who said, "Love means having to say you're sorry every fifteen minutes."   I don't care if you are in love, in like, or have no feelings one way or another for the other person.  There are times that your actions will require a "sorry."  Sorry, but I hate the scent of that candle you bought, please throw it out.  Sorry, I didn't mean to say those things in front of your co-workers.  Sorry, but I gently bashed into the back of  your car with my car.

There are different levels of sorry, just like different levels of love.  You can love a friend,  a pet, a song, a movie, an entire food group, your parents, your children, your siblings, your spouse, all a bit differently.   Now, if you eat the last piece of dark chocolate that I had secretly hidden in the cupboard, that requires only a small dose of sorry, you forget to tell me my hair appointment was moved to a different time and I end up missing it, a bigger sorry, and, the oh, sorry, but I don't think this relationship is working any longer, well that  requires a pretty big sorry and then of course years and years of therapy on the recipients part.  But you've said it, it is out, and everyone can move on.

"I'm sorry." Why are those two little words so difficult to say? It must be because we have to admit we messed up, we were wrong, we hurt someone.  We look foolish.  It is so hard for us to say sorry and mean it that Hallmark had to make it a bit easier by developing an entire line around the apology.  For a mere $2.95 they can say it for  you!  But if we can issue an honest apology it works wonders towards mending our damaged relationships, dissolving our anger and resentment, soothing our shattered ego and can make it a bit easier to heal a broken heart.

Sorry is of course only as good as the sincerity with which it is delivered.  You must first honestly regret your actions, take responsibility for them and be willing to remedy the situation.  And this sometimes takes a lot more effort than uttering the simple "s" word.  That old "actions speak louder than words"  Hello?? 

There are a lifetime of sorrys ahead.  Not that big of a deal.  It is what we have to do, because invariably we will all do things that will require the forgiveness of others.  So for now, if I have hurt or offended anyone, and at the time of this writing, still have not apologized, I am now extending my sincere blanket "sorry" to you and I hope it will be accepted.  (No, I am not practicing Step 8 of the many 12 step programs nor have I joined any anonymous group, such as alcohol, drug, overeaters, overspenders, oversleepers, overshampooers, etc. - but like Earl, I am simply reminded that I might be in need some good karma points and have missed a sorry here and there.

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