Don’t say it if you won’t be it…

February 8, 2016

“Saying sorry and being sorry are not the same sorry.”  (Unknown) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

sorry1In some marriages the phrase “I’m sorry” is used more often than the phrase “I love you.” Those marriages don’t usually last long. Saying “I’m sorry” is easy. In fact Brenda Lee had a hit song titled, “I’m sorry”. Saying “I’m sorry” over and over for the same actions may not be the description for insanity but perhaps for insensitivity or an indication that you are uncaring about the feelings of others. The hard part is being sorry; because that requires that you think about and accept responsibility for your actions or hurtful comments. It also means learning something from the mistake that you made and hopefully doing something to insure that it doesn’t happen again.

The phrase “I’m sorry” is used to cover such a wide spectrum of transgressions that it has become diluted and less meaningful than the situation may call for. Saying “Oops, I’m sorry” when you’ve just knocked over a glass of water or pop and doused a friend or date is not the same as the “I’m so sorry for your loss” to a grieving widow at a funeral or saying “I’m sorry” to your spouse when you have just been caught cheating on them. The sorry that you’ll need to be in all three cases is different, too; ranging from embarrassed to feeling empathy with the sense of loss to remorseful and regretful. “Sorry” has become sorry 2a throw-away that we toss in to situations without making the personal investment of actually being sorry.

Maybe if we said instead, “I’m an idiot” or “I’m an uncaring ass” or “I didn’t care about how you would feel” or maybe “I didn’t think before I said that” or any number of more descriptive phrases that might be appropriate to the occasion we would be more honest with the other person and with ourselves. I don’t think you’d do that more than few times before you changed the behavior that is causing you to have to say I’m sorry in the first place. The movie Love Story contained a scene with the famous line, “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Unfortunately that line has become perverted into a means of not really apologizing for the wrongs that too many married people have committed. I would submit that love is really being sorry, if you have to say it.

So the next time you catch yourself tossing the phrase “I’m sorry” off to someone; stop and ask yourself if you are really sorry and how you are going to act sorry about it. Are you going to do something for or with that person to make it right? Are you going to change how you act or what you say in the future? How are you going to be sorry?

sorry 3Maybe of you start of each day and pause to think about not doing things that you’ll have to say “I’m sorry” about you’ll have a better day and you’ll spend a whole lot less time saying and being sorry. But, then; maybe you don’t buy any of this and will just go on being the way you’ve always been – you’ll probably end up sorry about that.

Get out there this week and try harder to not do the things that you might have to say that you are sorry about; however, if you do have to say it, at least own it and mean it.