Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Acknowledge, Apologize, Amends, Repeat

Sometimes I can be an idiot.  And sometimes by being an idiot I can do such stupid little things that can really impact relationships.
Take this weekend for example. I was coordinating an event and had asked a friend to help out. She has an expertise I do not, so being the smart, intelligent woman I think I am, I asked her to provide her expertise for a portion of this event. I had every intention of paying her. Every intention of asking her ahead of time what I should set aside for payment. Instead of following through on my intention, I let it slip in between the other details of getting things ready.

Then Saturday came, again with the intention of making sure my friend was paid for her expertise, and excellent work. And still my brain let go of this very critical item. It occurred to me after the fact, too little too late.

I hate it when I feel someone has taken advantage of me. It rubs me completely the wrong way and can get in the way of relationships. I try to not be that person and it shamed me to know I had been that person this weekend. If I felt that way, how much worse did my friend feel?

What do we do when we realize we hurt someone and put our relationship on the line?

I don't know about you, but I worry about it and often let it fester, forgetting that the quickest way to initiating resolution is to acknowledge, apologize and make amends where amends can be made.  I don't know if it's human nature to dwell in that space where I know I've done something wrong and hurt someone to the point where all I can see is the worst case - she will hate me; there's no way to make it right; how can he ever see past this - but this is what I do. Have done it ever since I can remember. Maybe it's the writer in me, telling myself stories about what's happened instead of seeking the truth of the situation. Maybe it's my lack of confidence that whispers to me that once trust is broken it can never come back. Maybe it's my own past experiences raising their ugly heads. Regardless, it's not all about me and by staying in that negative space, the worry and actions become just that - all about me.

So last night, as I thought about my friend and surrounded myself with my issues, I stopped myself and what I needed to do became clear as crystal. I got over myself and decided to do what I needed to do - acknowledge, apologize and make amends. I have to trust now that when my friend says everything is okay, that everything truly is okay. And I need to take this life lesson and remember that when working with anyone, make sure expectations are discussed up front so everyone is on the same page. I know this. I live this in other areas of my life. I let myself forget this in the busyness that became my life as I was coordinating this event.

I would like to say I'll never forget again. I can't make that promise, even to myself. I can say with absolute conviction that I will be more intentional, especially when engaging the services and expertise of people I care about.

Acknowledge. Apologize. Make amends.  It doesn't always resolve issues and sometimes trust does need to be rebuilt. Or our picture of a person needs to be refocused so we can see past the hurt.  Owning up, being sincere and attempting to right the wrongs is definite movement toward reconciliation.  So are those two simple words - I'm sorry.


  1. Anonymous2:45 PM

    I liked this. I will try to remember it in the future.


  2. It's one of those things I need to continue to remember. It sucks when I forget but remembering not to get caught up in my crap makes things better.