Tag Archives: Communicating with friends

How to Apologize and Why It’s Important

ApologizingEarlier this year I sent an apology note to someone. He appreciated it but said that he didn’t understand since the hurt he caused had been so much worse. I explained to him that my apology wasn’t really about him. It was a part of my forgiveness process. I promised myself that I would step into 2016 lighter, with a lot less baggage and with a clear heart.

When I was much younger I would write what my big sister, Adrea, and I called cleansing letters. They were long, detailed and dramatic. Each letter, filled with prose and poetry, required time and energy that would’ve been better spent working on material for publication or for the screen. This morning I give thanks for grounding, healing, emotional and spiritual maturity. Don’t get me wrong, I am an entrepreneur so some of those letters still might make the cut for the HBO special in my head, but my priority now is my own well being and truth. I am powerful. I am not a victim. I no longer beg for others to see their wrong doings.

Being accountable for what transpires in our lives is also a critical part of understanding forgiveness and apologies. *Sometimes we play a role in the experiences we attract. Be clear about the other person’s actions but be honest with yourself about how you may have participated.

I’ve been gangsta’ about my inner-work, emotional and energetic healing. This is not by choice.  It is a necessity. Stress and anxiety manifest as immediate physical symptoms in my body. After years of naturopaths and doctors, healing diets, hypnotherapists, acupuncturists, bodywork specialists, herbalists, spiritual counselors, energy healers, traditional priests and priestess, I have the data. My research has proven this to be true time and time again so I started this emotional cleansing. Guess what? As a result, I am also experiencing less illness.

Walking in the light, focusing on the light, practicing random acts of kindness, inhaling love, exhaling gratitude, dancing in forgiveness while honoring your boundaries will attract more goodness and abundance into your world than you can ever imagine. Choosing to love and be love is a daily choice. It is not easy some days especially for a drama addict in recovery but for me it means less pain in my body, fewer symptoms to worry about and good sleep.

When others feel your light it creates a safe space for apologies and authentic communication. (Note: this also creates space for love and gratitude to be shared with you as well!!) I learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work. I made a few notes from my experience with receiving apologies and wanted to share a few things with the world. Here goes:

  1. Make sure you’re ready to apologize. It’s not effective if you’re not able to fully own up.
  2. Focus on yourself and your stuff. Do not use your apology as a place to point out the other person’s wrong. Let them do that and be prepared for them not to own up to anything. Sometimes sorry is not enough and things will never be the same so focus on you.
  3. Be clear about what you are apologizing for.  You may need to rehearse it in your mind. I wanted to apologize for ___________, _______________ and ____________. I could have handled it differently. I was not being responsible and I did not honor you.
  4. Share what you have learned, new insights about yourself or life and the reasons why you will never do it again.

Being humble, vulnerable and transparent are important parts of the apology. Doing it without an expected outcome is also a healthy part of it because the apology loses its power when we have too many expectations attached to it. Remember it is not about shaming yourself but about empowering yourself through love and truth so you can lighten your load and hopefully contribute to the other person’s healing as well.

December is an auspicious time or at least that is how I have always viewed it. I do “spring cleaning”, set goals for the new year and give voice to my gratitude. My new year momentum starts in November and I ride a wave until it hits. The world may be in chaos and filled with all sorts of tragedy right now, but we control our inner-world and can choose to be filled with peace. Happy Healing Fam.

I thought about posting Ginuwine’s “I Apologize” but Abiah’s “Sorry” seems like a better fit. Check out this incredible musician and his latest release:

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Learning to Speak Grow(n)

Like a toddler waddling the room reaching in the air for the right words, I find myself humbled by recent life experiences.  Each growth moment has demanded that I –umm—grow. The expansion has required a fierce commitment to transformation not only of myself but of each and every one of my relationships. This is giving new meaning to the phrase grown and sexyMouth out of service

I am not learning to speak French or Wolof so there is no Rosetta Stone to help me through this phase.  I am not learning to speak in public so a speech coach won’t do.   I have, however, benefited greatly from a circle of spiritual teachers.  Some of them trained practitioners while others are friends who have taken time to listen my story and share an experience or an insight.

Over the past 10 days I’ve had four conversations that in previous years would’ve been categorized as awkward, tense and would have fallen into the column of not happening.  Learning how to speak, to honor what’s most present for me without worrying about the outcome has been liberating.  It’s less like a toddler streaking around the house naked and more like a grown woman standing without clothes on, in front of a mirror appreciating and celebrating her own body with each of its imperfections.

As I vented and processed with two different girlfriends I realized the way these women cosigned my pressing the mute button on my own voice.  It’s what many girls are socialized to do. We’re taught to be quiet, to not rock the boat and that the truth is not nice. It’s also way too easy to succumb to playing the victim. Meanwhile my male friend insisted that I needed to speak up and out and directly to these people in my life who were out of integrity.  I also needed to give voice to new boundaries.  He challenged me to do this as a way to de-clutter and detox my mind.  In two instances I initiated communication by picking up the phone, and in two others divine order created the perfect ‘random’ meetings.

What’s the payoff of my  staying silent? I wouldn’t have to go through the growing pains and I could sit with the familiar, but I’ve found that the reward for walking through the difficulty is that I get the satisfaction that comes with honoring both my voice and my vision.  The uncertainty of how it will unfold is part of the adventure.  Sometimes moments like these are indicators that a relationship has come to an end, but in this case it wasn’t about endings.  I’ve preserved  relationships with people I care about, who love and care for me deeply and who are sharing the journey with me for purposes much greater than ourselves.

Indeed there are definitely times when it’s better to let things work themselves out and not give energy to them, but discernment is key.  Our gut will tell us the difference. I am finding that the more often I exercise these muscles of learning to speak, the more grown I feel.  I’m not sure if sexy is the word to describe my elation, but damn I’m feeling good inside my own skin.