Why Genuine Gratitude Wins Over Urgent Apology
Over breakfast one Friday morning, a friend and I discussed our children’s immediate need to apologize. While I love a genuine apology, everything I say does not require an “I’m sorry.” Rather than rushing to ask for forgiveness, why not see things through gratitude’s lens? Looking at the world with an honest, grateful heart will fill your bucket with positive energy. Isn’t it better to create positivity instead of urgently apologizing for our perceived wrongs?
A Parent’s Job
My job as a parent is to raise kind people who can function within the parameters of society. To do this, it’s necessary to correct, remind, and sometimes full-on nag my children about the ins and outs of life. It is my purpose to tell them to brush their teeth, shower, pick up their laundry, and put away their shoes. I hear apologies repeatedly when I remind them to do a task or correct their behavior. Momma is not seeking an apology. All I desire is a change of direction. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry my backpack’s on the floor.”, why not try, “Thanks, mom. I’ll grab it now.” A small shift of focus makes a huge difference in the spiritual energy surrounding a task.
Gratitude vs. Apology
The apology centers on the idea that I did something wrong and wish to make amends. It is full of negative connotations. Do I want my children singularly focused on their faults? Absolutely not! No person is perfect. We all require assistance, redirection, and clarification. Gratefulness says I see you are trying to help me do better, and I appreciate it. We all desire and need to improve. Gratitude keeps the spotlight on the present. Asking for forgiveness aims all our attention to the past.
Our spiritual energy stays healthier when we center on the here and now. It is impossible to redact an action that took place in the past. Regardless of the intensity you put into trying, history cannot be changed. No time machines here! Wasting power on wishing things were different, does not serve a purpose. Instead, learn from your behavior so that you can make changes in the moment. Let your spirit serve where it matters, in the here and now.
Adults Need to Be Grateful Too
Children are not the only ones quick to apologize. Focusing on our mistakes is an epidemic of sorts, and declaring our remorse is the remedy. But is it? Of course, our actions have consequences, and missing a procedural step at work causes problems. An apology may be appropriate but follow it with appreciation. Moving forward, you will be more aware of the steps in the process and less likely to make the same mistake. Be grateful for the intervention and move on. Don’t hold yourself in the past because no response can be made there. Life happens in the present.
Gentle Reminders for Everyone
Next time you have the urge to apologize quickly, take a minute to pause. Is it appropriate to ask forgiveness? Or instead, can you thank someone for helping you make a correction? Are you apologizing because you expect to be perfect in all things? Perfection is not reasonable. Stay in the moment and be grateful for the opportunity to progress. Gratitude in the present wins over an apology for the past.