I’m Sorry

“May I speak with you in private?”

“Of course”, I said.

I hadn’t seen this person for years. I was delighted by the re-appearance. And, now, I was curious – why had I been singled out so intentionally?

Then, in a straightforward telling, she explained her part in a communication dis-connect that took place 3 years ago. And, not only was she heartfelt in her remorse, she pledged to make it good the next time.

I thanked her, on all counts, and hoped that she would go easier on herself about this.

And, then we parted ways. I drove home. Hours later, I was still marveling at the exchange, and, what I feel it embodies…

Trust
Respect
Repentance
Humility
Directness
Simplicity
A desire for wholeness through forgiveness

I could go on.

This, I think, is what it looks like to live in relationship, and to live well with oneself. To be both responsible to another and to oneself.

To willingly become vulnerable for the good of the relationship, and for one’s own peace of mind. To be right-sized with someone else, and within yourself, meaning, not to exaggerate or minimize the harm or the apology.

As my life would have it, opportunities to make amends have certainly come along for me. I know what it feels like to be on that side of the table. Sometimes these apologies were for hurts I knew, or suspected, I inflicted. Sometimes they were amends for damage I’d done and was completely oblivious to, but thankfully did not deny when they were made known to me.

It puts me in mind of this…that we are all culpable, and therefore in need of both forgiveness and forgiving. That we can sometimes be completely out of touch with the consequences of our words and actions, and therefore need awakening. That we require others in order to really know ourselves and to continue our process of becoming.

Amen.

About Soul Intention

"Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with...desire. What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality." from The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. Paraphrasing what Gerald May has said, in his book Will and Spirit, spirituality is our experience and interpretation of our relationship with the Sacred. The intent of this blog is to explore for myself, and to invite others to explore with me, just what is it we do with our desire? What is our spirituality? Mine has been shaped by many things...in my formative years, by the Roman Catholic church. In the last decade, by the 12 steps. Most recently, by the Episcopal Church. And, always, always, by the sense that Nature helped to reveal the Great Mystery, of which we are all a part. So, my spirituality includes concrete practices, like the Steps, as well as probing more philosophical matters. I was certified, in January 2011, as a Spiritual Director by the Haden Institute. During those 21 months of study, which included a broad range of topics from Celtic Spirituality, to the Christian Mystics, to Jungian Depth psychology, I was given the space and time to ponder my own spiritual journey, hear about others' paths, and benefit from participation in an intentional community. My hope is that this blog can engender a similar conversation. Peace, Paul
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