Monday, March 27, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Accepting The Apology

      Don't dilute an apology by saying, "It's okay," just to lighten the experience.
 Allow
the apology to stand.



This month I am nurturing the ability to give and own a heartfelt apology.



  Often when someone gives me an apology I find myself telling them that their behavior was okay. It is reflexive and said without thought. In that moment I am discounting their courage and my own self worth. Even if the behavior was not truly offensive, I can learn to be gracious and say, "Thank-you for your apology."




  These lessons on the heartfelt apology have opened my eyes and given me new vocabulary to use in my interpersonal relationships. In the past I have been egotistical in thinking that I have little to apologize about. I am more humble and appreciate knowing how to proceed with caution, but with determination. 






To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Embrace


      The word embrace is related to my 2017 word, nurture. To embrace means to accept and support something willingly, and willingly is a very important adverb. Willingly indicates our heart is involved. Since embrace reminds me of encircling, I recall a passage if scripture which I love.



    O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! 
                                                                             2 Nephi 4:33



  To be encircled or embraced with his power, like a robe, fills my soul with comfort.

   In the opposing corner is the encircling power of the adversary. His embrace is a very poor substitute for God. To embrace this power willingly soon chains us to him and renders our will null and void. 



And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction.
Alma 12:6

As for me and my house I hope we continually nurture and embrace the righteousness of God. 



 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for more than two years and I really enjoy the talented writers 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Why Won't You Apologize?

"If neither foes nor loving friends
     can hurt you,
 If all men count with you,
     but none too much..
Rudyard Kipling

Unfortunately, Mr. Kipling, if you can't be hurt and no one counts too much, you are truly not connected. Having loving connections does come with a price. Sometimes those we love will hurt us and they won't ever apologize. But why?




  1. To offer a sincere apology you need the inner strength to allow yourself to feel vulnerable.
  2. Shame can signal us to protect 
  3. Shame can bring denial and self-deception
  4. Defensiveness may crowd out the truth

   If your relationship is important enough you may need to step onto higher ground, not to show that you are better than the other person but to bring healing that you may not get from the wrong-doer. I think of the Prodigal Son who dismissed his father and wasted his inheritance. His father began looking for him to come home right after he left. Why did his father not demand restitution? Because, his son had not diminished him as a man of God. His father was still whole. It was the son who was diminished by the actions he took. His son needed the healing and his father would go out to meet him.

"Sometimes the process of apologizing is less about insisting on justice and more about investing in the relationship and the other person's happiness."
Harriet Lerner


This month I am nurturing the ability to give and own a heartfelt apology.






To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friend

“Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” 

-C.S. Lewis


My friends from childhood are hard to remember. Two come to mind and with their memories come two important lessons I learned from them.


1. A true friend feels like an equal


Glen lived across the street. I loved playing in the gutters with him after a large rainfall. We made little paper boats and we tried to run with them along the street, not a particularly safe pastime. We both got new bicycles and had training wheels at the same time. I was frightened to let my father remove them so Glen kept his on until I was ready. 

2. A true friend is aware when equality is threatened


Joy Ellen saved me from feeling left out in Jr. High. She was loyal and we spent countless days together and even more hours talking on the phone. The shiny lacquer on our phone rubbed off due to hours of use and due to my sweaty hands.  Her dream was to own a horse. That was impossible since she lived in a cul-de-sac of door to door houses. In our junior year of high school we both tried out for Madrigals, a very small choir, and she did not make it in. I found out I had been selected when the older group of singers kidnapped me from my bed one morning and took me to breakfast. Joy Ellen was not there. Our relationship suffered from this upset. I was aware but felt helpless to comfort her. I stopped talking about what my singing group was doing and that lack of openness made a rift which was never filled. In her senior year her family moved to the country and she got her horse. But our friendship waned. I still feel I should have prevented the schism by being more compassionate. 

“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend” 
-Albert Camus




 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for more than two years and I really enjoy the talented writers 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Nurturing Monday- The Mischief of Defensiveness

    If you criticize me my defenses will rise up.


  Defensiveness is mischievous in the sense that it plays havoc with our ability to hear and understand. If I am to nurture a heartfelt apology or become a heartfelt apologizer I know I need to develop some resilience in combating the armor I put on when I hear critical comments from others. 


   I didn't realize that in defensive mode I am primarily listening to inaccurate and exaggerated information to fight back with a rebuttal. This limits my ability to understand. It is alright to stop the conversation and explain that I need time and space to be receptive.

"I want to listen. I want to hear. I care deeply about what you are saying. I see you are hurting. Here is what I am going to need to be able to hear you."

 Another day, another venue, after a potty break, whatever I need to let down the shield that is blocking my understanding.

 


    "Defensiveness is the arch enemy of listening. 
     Defensiveness is the arch enemy of connection and intimacy.
       It's impossible to give an apology if we can't move 
                                                      out of the defensiveness."




     These learning notes are from the class Heartfelt: A Course on the Power of Apologizing on Courageworks.com

This month I am nurturing the ability to give and own a heartfelt apology.





To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Abandon


“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” 
Benjamin Franklin

So, I'm taking another online class. My daughter groans when I announce that. She claims that I will be spouting off new vocabulary with all new definitions that no one understands. True, but I come out of each class with new insight and  willingness to abandon bad behaviors. This month my class is entitled, "The Heartfelt Apology".




     I plan to nurture a better way of saying "I'm sorry". I also plan to abandon some habits that de-rail my good intentions.

  1. Don't use the word but after I'm sorry
  2. Don't use an apology as a bargaining tool
  3. Don't over apologize to avoid criticism 
  4. Don't apologize expecting an outcome


  
  Sometimes abandoning limiting behavior is easy when we understand why we do what we do. Other times God eases the way, softening our hearts. The word apologize does not seem to be in the Kind James version of the scriptures. But a synonym "repent" is the main course in all the meals God serves.



 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts.

Jacob 6:5


 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for more than two years and I really enjoy the talented writers 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Whimsical Writing Wednesday- Empty and Still

“You must not ever stop being whimsical.” 

-Mary Oliver, Wild Geese





   Today is Wednesday and I write whimsical pieces on Wednesday. Whimsical means playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way. Though my prompt from AnnDee seems serious I will chase down the playfulness of being empty and still. 


  During an eyes open meditation the other day, I quite fell in love with my kitchen corner in the dark. The house was very still and empty of conversation, uplifting or otherwise. I don't usually meditate with my eyes open but I was trying to be still with only the noting of visual stimuli. I measured the different gradations of dark to light, black to dark brown, dark reddish brown, tan, cream to white. Shapes became visible. There were squares, triangles, circles and rectangles and shadows created by those same shapes. The clock ticked a steady 60mm which made me just a tad sleepy. The emptiness from the steady noise in my mind, assessing, analyzing, justifying seemed to place me in the tableau as merely a dark shape. I had time. Time to be. 

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?