When Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

“In this life, when you deny someone an apology,
you will remember it at a time [when] you beg forgiveness.”

— Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

There are times in our lives when we all do one of two things; we either act in a way which means we hurt someone and need to make amends, or someone acts in a way which hurts us and they in turn need to make amends.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that we really are a pack of ratfinks, apologies - or rather sincere apologies - tend to be rather thin on the ground. And for every time we do manage to mutter the words 'sorry about that', there tends to be a follow up of 'but it wasn't my fault'. 

I am not making myself out to be Saint Kate of the Immaculate Mea Culpa here. I am just as guilty as everyone else at finding reasons why my actions weren't really anything to do with my own nastiness or thoughtlessness - or sometimes sheer laziness of the brain. Much as I would like to think I am a perfect princess, I am well aware this is far from the truth, and sometimes the urge to say 'but it was because X did this, not because I didn't do this' grips the space between my brain and my flappy tongue and next thing you know the sorry becomes a slag off.

We also seem to be very bad - maybe it's an Aussie trait - at accepting apologies. I have noticed when I am genuinely sorry about something (and I will say this - I don't apologise to propitiate people, or to stop an argument, only if I am genuinely ashamed of my actions) - often those I am saying the big 'S.O.R.R.Y.' to will either shrug it off or even go 'whatever' and keep whinging about the same topic ad nauseam.  

This isn't gracious and it isn't fair. If you are still upset, say 'well, I am still upset, and it may take me a long time to work through this.'  Don't ignore the apology as if it hasn't happened. It takes a lot for someone (and I speak for everyone here, not for myself) to put their heart in their mouth and say 'I really regret my words/actions - please at least think about forgiving me.'

Saying sorry doesn't guarantee you forgiveness, and nor should it. Your actions stand. But bear this in mind; next time someone does something that really gives you a bit of a kick in the heart - and it will happen, because that's life - remember an occasion when you may have done the same to someone else because you forgot about engaging your brain cells.   

Think about their response to you, bad or good. 

And this time around... make sorry an easier word for both of you.  

It may even lead to a bit of internal peace just that little bit sooner. 

She Don't Like That Kind Of Behaviour

“There’s no map to human behaviour”

— Bjork

I am by no means a perfect person. I am so full of flaws it isn't funny. I am attempting, however slowly, to fix the ones that are fixable; but I am willing to accept that there is no such thing as perfection in humans (except for Alexander SkarsGod, but he is semi-divine so is therefore exempt from the rules of men).

And yet.

We give people the benefit of the doubt. Particularly those we love and care for and about - it's natural instinct. If they do something that disappoints us, we usually try to forget and forgive - or at least forgive - and move on. If we didn't do that, then we would be both highly hypocritical and probably extremely lonely, because everyone is allowed to stuff up. Give some latitude, receive some latitude - it usually all comes out somewhere down the line on the plus side of the ledger rather than the minus.

But sometimes there is a point where it's actually unhealthy to just keep saying 'It's OK. I know you didn't mean to do that - and you have apologised, so let's just move on'. Because either the action was intended, and therefore the apology is simply dust in the mouth; or by accepting said sorries over and over for various actions, one ends up enabling behaviours that should never have happened in the first place. 

Or sometimes... sometimes there isn't even an apology.

This may sound like a very serious and un-shoe like post, and yes it absolutely is. But when you realise that through allowing too much benefit of the doubt you are actively hurting yourself emotionally, then something has to give. And I think that it's important to admit that and not bottle it up. Because for me, that's when I start getting mean and that ain't pretty. Think Linda Hamilton in Terminator Two (but with better shoes) and you probably get the picture.

The Ice Queen Cometh.

Almost without exception, when I write a personal post like this, I get phone calls or messages from those close to me saying 'are you OK?' - and normally I say 'yes, you're reading too much into it - I'm just expressing what everyone thinks, but doesn't necessarily put into words'. But this time; well, this time it is about me. And it's not OK. I am angry, and fed up, and tired. I try to live by the maxim of 'give more than you take' - but sometimes people run with it a bit too far, and take without giving anything back.

Like James Reyne, who for once was intelligible when he was singing, I don't like that kind of behaviour.

So don't be so reckless.

Because it will not make me throw down my guns.

It will make me pick up my pen - which is, as we all know, mightier than any sword.

Or semi-automatic.

And you will well and truly learn where I stand.