03 Jan Marcie’s Mindfulness Moment | Saying Thank You Instead of I’m Sorry
Have you ever had a lunch date with a friend who showed up late…then proceeded to apologize for the next ten minutes—hoping to make it all better? While you were waiting for them did you sit in judgment wondering what was more important than meeting you on time? What is it exactly that you need in such a moment? Is it really an empty “I’m so sorry for being late”? How about your other friend who unloads her concerns and worries on the phone for an hour and then says, “I’m sorry for dumping on you!”? How does that feel after you’ve lent your heart and listening ear? What is it that you’d rather hear at that time?
I made a pact with myself a year ago to quit saying “I’m sorry” in these situations; instead I try to find a way to be grateful and to say thank you. For example, if I am running late to a gathering when I do arrive and greet my friend I say “Thank you for waiting for me; I know your time is valuable, and I appreciate your patience.” If I’ve spilled my heart out to my friend then I thank her for being available, open, and supportive, for giving me honest feedback or just holding space for me to vent. Doesn’t this approach resonate better with you than the string of apologies?
Switching from the words of self-judgment or punishment in thinking that we have “wronged” our friend to those of gratitude in honoring the true friendship that we cherish can create the connection that we are striving to achieve. The result of gratitude based exchanges between two people are exponentially more loving, tender, authentic and pure. The receiver feels appreciated and seen for their compassion, while the giver is accepted and welcomed for who they are, thus helping to increase their bond and nurture their relationship. I encourage you to consider adjusting your perspective the next time you’re running behind and greet your friend (and yourself) with grace and gratitude.
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