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October 29th, 2019
Actions always speak louder than words.
Our language, our speech, the promises we make - all of these are a mere conceptual realm. And as much talking as we do, it’s always action that speaks louder.
One oft-used phrase that we retreat to can be quick to lose it’s meaning:
In relationships of all sorts, it’s possible to get stuck in a sort of habit of saying I’m sorry, over and over.
And like anything else repeated, it often loses it’s meaning.
Unless, we act upon it.
The action that corresponds to ‘sorry’ is a little counter-intuitive.
There’s much in western culture and history to push us in a direction of punishment, but punishing one’s self as the action stemming from I’m sorry does not make amends.
The answer is more counter-intuitive.
I’m sorry certainly seeks to clarify something about the past but it has nothing to do with moving forward.
I’m sorry is about the past.
Making amends is about the future.
Making amends requires moving forward with actions that are in line with the ideas we share with the people we care about.
It feels intuitive to say sorry because there’s no action we can take to affect the past. Often it ends here because everything is in the past. But just as we try something different after failing to achieve something, the next step is a creative one.
Making amends is about building a future. Not just merely talking about it or bemoaning the fact that it was thwarted by past mistakes.
It’s a practical exercise as much as it is a healing one.
And this separates it from the usual stereotypical option of flowers, or a gift, which are rarely practical and almost always indulgent in some way.
Looking at the action of making amends as a practical contribution to the future forces it to be considered under a far more thoughtful light.
It’s not just a guideline for making amends, it’s the basis for contributing to the health of any relationship.
donating = loving
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