As a teenager the most difficult (virtually impossible) thing for me to do was, say ‘sorry’. I considered that that word instantly made me small, and gave the other greater power over me. It undermined who I was, in some way. In order to express the fact that I had realised the error of my ways, I would escape into excuses and attempt to do things for others that I was hoping would please them. Of course, none of these ever worked.
Having matured (I hope!!), I have realised that it was not the word ‘sorry’ that made me feel small, but the fact that I was already powerless within, that was reiterated in the convoluted thought process. Today I have learnt the immense power of ‘sorry’. It has the power to mend, to heal, to set right, to release, to surrender and to accept. But more important than all of these it has the power to enhance the responsibility that each one of us has to take for our actions and reactions.
And this is what a powerless person cannot understand. My lack of inner power made me ignorant of what responsibility truly meant, for each time I heard that word, it sounded to me like ‘fault’ and ‘blame’. And these words would instantly bring up the reaction of blaming another and angrily disclaiming any part that I had played. Excuses were aplenty in those days of teenage upheaval.
Taking responsibility is not about donning the cloak of self-blame or laying it on the shoulders of another. When you can feel how powerful you truly are as a human being, you will not dishonour yourself by the always ready excuse ‘…but he said…’ or ‘….it was because she did….’. When you say or think thus, you are shouting out loud that you are a puppet and that the world at large has the freedom to pull your strings and make you jerk about clumsily in whatever way it wishes. Ooh, what an ugly picture that conjures up, doesn’t it? And, yet, my dear friend, so many are willing to go through this demeaning dance again and again and again. It seems as though they have only enough strength in them to blame another…and there is always someone and something to blame.
The power that you experience in every heart beat reminds you of your inner struggles and instantly makes you empathise with the private battles of another. This awareness is what saves you from being a weakling. It is not the presence of your personality flaws that makes you impotent, but the denial or intellectualisation of these, which results in a continuing exercise in trying to pull another down, sometimes slyly and subtly and sometimes in a pitifully obvious manner.
A powerless person constantly operates from a feeling of inner threat and emotional insecurity, and the perceptible power of another sadly does not spur him to find his own, but in fact, provokes him to tear holes in what he perceives as false armour. Envy, greed, humiliation, lies, manipulation and scheming are then the by-products of this.
Do not attempt to be what you are not. This futile endeavour causes so much turbulence that you have no time to discover the glory of your beingness. Internal unrest leads you to believe that perfection is the absence of flaws. No, my confused warrior, perfection is a state of beingness which sings hallelujah to the blemishes of joyous humanness. Perfection humbles, not humiliates. It is in humility that the power of ‘sorry’ lies. It is in fear of humiliation that ‘sorry’ is either abused as a tool of manipulation, or is altogether denied.
How will you know, my beloved friend, that you are growing in power? Instantly two important shifts take place within you. Your vision naturally and automatically turns inwards to see your perfection, as your flaws no more have the potency to make you feel underrated, but are unashamedly acknowledged and worked upon. The second wonderful shift is that the lips do not close themselves when the word ‘sorry’ has to be spoken. This word now acknowledges that both you and the other are divinity having the human experience, and there is no shame or guilt involved in this. This freedom releases you and others from blame, because you now know that in the fall lies your elevation, your flight to loftiness.
‘Sorry’ does not make you small and the other big; it raises both up to the height of the gods you are!