Saturday, October 15, 2011

Here ye, here ye

I can be a little bit of a jerk sometimes. I don't do it on purpose, nor am I usually conscious of what's going down until it's too late. Dang, man. As soon as I figure it out, that I've transgressed a boundary, behaved badly, or if I've in some minor way tried a pick a fight, I am very good at offering apologies.

You would think that, in this way, I would learn from the experience and move on. The other person almost always accepts the apology which means the episode is over. But no. I worry, I suffer, I flog myself (mentally) because somehow or another I believe I should have behaved perfectly. I should ALWAYS behave perfectly! Sometimes I am downright obsessed with guilt in the aftermath of what are truly minor transgressions even though, these days, I'm hardly ever really and truly mean. It's ridiculous actually because when other people behave without perfect aplomb towards me, I tend not to take it personally. I shrug it off and move on, but when I've snapped at another, bloody hello! You would think I had committed murder.

In Chinese medicine, small misbehaviors indicate an internal imbalance. The self-righteousness I was prone to earlier in life? The Sufi acupuncturist says that was due to lung heat. What a concept, hey? It's not a terrible character flaw, it is simply heat in the lungs. I don't even know what that means, but I like it, the idea that for those of us who mean well, small slips in civilized behavior can be treated with needles, moxa and/or herbs. Chinese medicine is no-fault medicine. I love that!

In addition to the end of my willingness to listen to complaints about weight, I'm adding a second decree: I'm going to stop apologizing. I mean I'm going to stop over-apologizing. When I'm an ass, I owe a sincere apology. It's important to pay attention, learn from the experience. But then, I will move on; I will cease and desist with apologing over and over and over again in an effort to redeem myself in the eyes of the person I offended. As if it's up to them! My goodness.

I got into the habit of apologizing after I left the witchy community. At the time it was a Really Good Habit because while I was involved in magic, I was a total bitch on a regular basis! I'm a lot nicer now. Time to break the annoying habit of over-apology, yes? I say YES.

If this post was offensive to anyone, I apologize. Once only, but sincerely. Onwards and upwards. Happy Saturday, y'all.


ellen abbott said...

oh god, Reya, those first two paragraphs, you could be talking about me.

The last 10 years or so I've tried to become more mindful and suffer less guilt. If I can forgive others, I ought to be able to do the same for myself. Especially when it's not intentional. I never intentionally try to hurt someone.

It's a perfection thing. Things used to have to be perfect I thought to be good. It's been a life long work for me. to recognize the perfectionism thing in all parts of life. Not just in my work but my relationships and even housekeeping. It caused a lot of misery. I have finally stopped trying to fix every flaw. I can live with flaws in other people and now I can with myself.

Steve Reed said...

Reya, it's hard for me to imagine you offending anyone. But we all have our moments! I think maintaining a healthy ability to apologize is important, but healthy is the key word. :)

Whitney Lee said...

Me too, I tend to over analyze any mistakes I make...though I'm far better at not over apologizing (too much pride?). I always view my actions through a much harsher filter than I view anyone else's. Is this just a primarily female trait or is it the norm for a perfectionist? Interesting to contemplate.

I love both pictures. You've captured the color and weather mood of the last few days here!

C.M. Jackson said...

I do the same thing--it is generally when I amoving too fast or at the end of my energy when I just say what is on my mind or give an opinion that is less than diplomatic and not necessarily needed....I apologize and stew for days about my actions....glad to see you are giving yourself a break and I will try to do the same...

Cyndy said...

What a perfect pumpkin!

I tend to have an over-inflated sense of guilt. I used to regard it as being mature and taking responsibility for all of my wrongdoings as well as for things that weren't really my fault, just in case they actually were my fault. Because I'm thorough that way, hahaha! I've come to realize that my tendency to apologize too much is a coping mechanism which frequently backfires - it often feeds the guilt instead of relieving it.

And sometimes it makes you seem more guilty to others than you actually are, because why would you apologize for something that isn't really your fault? (I ask myself) Sheesh!

So I've been working on that too.

Reya Mellicker said...

Or it just annoys the person you're apologing to. What a total waste of energy!

Val said...

as ever i find myself nodding and agreeing x

Elizabeth said...

What a super post.
How we were all brought up to apologise like mad all the time.
I'm so sorry, sorry, sorry.
Say sorry.......
grovel, grovel grovel.
I'm quite consumed with shame and misery if I think I have upset someone. I think they won't love me any more.
Great writhings of misery.
How you do manage to come up with super important topics..........and super duper photos.
The pumpkin is splendid.
Isn't PUMPKIN as super word? ----and worth lots and lots in Scrabble too.
Happy weekend.


Will you brave NY again before too very long?

Reya Mellicker said...

Pumpkin is one of my very favorite words! Indeed grovel grovel. For heaven's sake.

Mama Zen said...

I do this, too!

Linda Sue said...

Like Ellen and like you- I never intentionally try to hurt somebody or make them feel badly- My speaking has
tourettes, I swear. Things just fly out of my mouth- no filter...Honest but , honesty is sometimes uncalled for...Honesty is sometimes a tiny skirt in a room full of prairie dresses....I usually say sorry immediately and mean it, let it go- if the offended person keeps my transgression for ammo then that becomes their problem.Then I get all huffy and think "if you are offended then I say job well done". I am such a biotch!

Pauline said...

Where do you suppose our ideas of perfection come from? Life is messy, it's chaotic, it's often cruel (in human terms), but it's what we've got. Why can't that be perfection?

Reya Mellicker said...

There's always a yearning to transcend, yes? Part of our strange psychology. I'm also thinking that living in boxes makes us believe life can be orderly. Ha ha aha ha ha ha ha.

tam said...

I tried to leave a comment here a day or so ago. My Blackberry did not cooperate. I wanted to say that
I forgot who it was who made this excellent suggestion: try to replace every apology with a thank you. Whenever you feel the urge to apologise, see if you can convert it. So: I had the impulse to apologise for falling so behind in reading your blog. Instead: thank you Reya, for posting so consistently, and for always having on your page just what I need to read at the moment when I visit here.