The biggest lesson I learned this year will be one I will be practicing over and over for years to come. Apologizing has never been something I have thought of as particularly hard. Although I don’t always love admitting my mistakes I can often time recognize when I have hurt others and apologize.
This has not always been true for my kids. Of course if I did something obvious, like bumped into them by mistake I could apologize. But for deeper hurts I didn’t always want to recognize them, I have some more understanding as to why, which I will share in the New Year but for today I’m focusing on the lesson.
I have made mistakes as a parent, we all do. Some of my mistakes have been more glaring than others. Some of my mistaken have taken me years to see.
A couple years ago the relationship with one of my kids was pretty strained. I was really concerned with the direction it was taking. I was concerned so I started talking to some trusted people in my life, did some soul searching, decided to go on a retreat and when I came home I made a decision that something needed to change, I knew it had to start with me.
I wanted this relationship to change and part of me really wanted this kid to change. I felt like I was working hard to be the best mother and this kid wasn’t appreciating all my efforts.
After the retreat I decided to get some help and start working with someone weekly to see how I could support this kid better in changing their approach. Over time I saw I was the one who needed to change my approach. I realized this kid was not behaving in ways that frustrated me on purpose, they were just doing their best, just like me.
As I began to learn more I realized that at times I was modeling really poor behavior. Sometimes it was behavior I would get aggravated at my kid for doing. I saw how I had messed up. I never meant to hurt them, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
So this year has been the year of apologies. I have acknowledged (and continue to acknowledge) to this kid (and my other kids) how I have messed up, how I have been wrong and how I can set a good example by apologizing for my past mistakes with the intent of doing better.
It hasn’t fixed it all but it has paved a road to healing. It has helped this kid see that even though in the past I may have tagged them as bad, that I do not believe they are bad. I also see how working to find a place of understanding has helped everyone in our family.
So as I head into 2023 I am only more excited at all the growth and change ahead. I look forward to all the apologies I will be able to give because it only reflects my own growth.
One last thing, I will be changing my sign off. I was very specific in choosing “respect and gratitude”, because I respect the hard work you are doing every day showing up for your kids and I am grateful to you for the work you do on strengthening your kid because it means a better world for my kids. None of that changes.
But I will add “Namaste”, which means “the soul within me see and honors the soul within you.” I learned this word and it’s meaning in college. I had a favorite Professor, Warren Dalhin who thought it to me and I fell in love with it the moment I heard it’s meaning.
As we continue our weekly journey of growth together I want to acknowledge and honor the beautiful soul within you.
Wishing you a wonderful New Year full of love, hope and deep connection.
With respect and gratitude.
Ivy Larson says
What a beautiful post Mirsada! I know if everyone is brutally honest with themselves they can admit that a sincere apology is NOT easy. I think part of the reason for this is because at the core we are all one and whether we consciously realize it or not, when we hurt someone else (& ESPECIALLY our children!), we are really only hurting ourselves. I think what might make a sincere apology so challenging for all of us is that when we apologize to someone else we also have to apologize to ourselves—& most importantly we have to Sincerely forgive ourselves. I have found on my spiritual journey that forgiving others is actually far easier than forgiving myself. Your post made me think long and hard about why this might be and I think it’s because loving ourselves is truly the hardest thing —& so we are not easy or forgiving of ourselves. And yet, as spiritual leader Wayne Dyer always said, you can’t give away what you don’t have—so until we can discover REAL love for ourselves we can never really give our fullest love to anyone. This ties right in with what spiritual leaders like Eckhart Tolle and Sadhguru say, that the greatest gift we can give to the world is to awaken to our divine nature…which of course is love. I learned this lesson loud and clear in 2022, 2 days before my dad transitioned—it’s a long story but my dad had not spoken to my sister in over 20 years. I don’t even know who was at fault but neither one of them would apologize. But just before my dad crossed over the last request he had was to see my sister and apologize. My dad was one of my greatest teachers and his final lesson to me was that ego is the root of all human suffering and In the end love is all that matters. Let’s all take a lesson from an old soul and learn to love and forgive ourselves and one another NOW and not on our deathbed. Time is a thief, but love is for eternity 🙏❤️