While regret and guilt are useless emotions as far as spiritual growth is concerned, expressing an apology that acknowledges we know how another feels is valid and healthy.
In the excerpt from my novel tonight, the reconciliation of Eric and Anne has been initiated, and it begins with an “I’m sorry.” If not confessing regret and guilt but rather showing sympathy and understanding in a negative interaction, then those simple words can be powerful.
Oh, don’t forget it helps to have love providing the foundation to those words. Just don’t put the two phrases together: “I’m sorry I love you.” That doesn’t help much!
That evening, Anne arrived home to find Eric sitting on the deck. His computer sat on the table next to his chair. The evening was warm and the sun had dipped its toes below the horizon, producing a luscious palette of red, pink, and orange through the lacy, scattered cirrus clouds.
She hadn’t really paid much attention to Eric recently, but her visit with Kathryn Frank led her to steal out the door and try to catch a glimpse of Eric’s expression. Kathy is right. He’s not mopey. He’s happy, content.
Eric noticed her. “Hey, Anne. I didn’t plan on eating together. I got your message you were meeting one of your engineers for drinks. Figured you would have something to eat.”
Anne stared at him. How could I not have seen this. I created this chasm, not him.
“I wouldn’t have expected you to have anything, Eric.”
“I hope that’s not another veiled comment about what a big disappointment I am to you.” Eric didn’t move out of his chair, nor did he take his gaze off of the setting sun.
“Eric, no, not at all. Listen, can we talk without the snippy hostilities?” Anne sat down next to him.
Eric smiled. “Anne, I would love to do that. I hate not being able to share anything with you. That’s not a relationship. And I made it all worse when I moved out of the bedroom. No matter how I felt about your words and responses to me, that was a stupid move.” Say it, Eric. “I’m sorry.”
Anne’s focus was now on the sunset, turned slightly away from Eric. “You’re sorry? Do you have any idea…” Anne’s shoulders wretched and tears streamed down her cheeks. “…how much I wanted you out. I didn’t even want you in the house, let alone the bedroom.” She sobbed now.
Eric stood and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. “Shhh. I think it’s safe to say we have both screwed up in our relationship. Anne, I don’t want this to continue. I care about you, about us.”
Anne composed herself but left her head resting against Eric. “Eric, I care about you, and no matter what’s happened or how I’ve acted, I love you.”
“I never stopped loving you, Anne. I think neither of us were willing to accept that from each other. That has to change. In fact, a lot has to change if we want our lives to be different. No change in our behavior, no change in our relationship. I want us to be happy.”
Where sympathetic understanding and love exist, happiness has a chance. That should be one of our primary pursuits in life. Notice, too, that for happiness to actually be experienced, it must be accepted.
Sometimes we have difficulty accepting good things like love and happiness because Ego tends to process those expressions in ways that cause us to resent them or to deny ourselves because we are unworthy. Both of these reactions and their corollaries are generated by Ego when anger is involved.
I am worthy of all the love and happiness I’m offered. So are you. Accept it and be inspired by it, know peace from it, and create even more.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!