I’ve recently been teaching my daughter about saying sorry.
She’s a two year old spit-fire with quite the temper and there have been several occasions in which she is knowingly does something mean or wrong.
I’ve been trying to have conversations with her about apologizing.
I realized I wasn’t being very thorough with her about his lesson because she often times refuses to apologize or does so in an extremely harsh and rude tone: “I’m SORRY mom!”
These little struggles showed me that even for a little two year old…apologizing is extremely hard. At her young age, she already knows it’s very uncomfortable, humbling, and more often than not she would rather run to her room and throw a fit before being ready to say sorry.
But it made me look at my own life…and my own “apologizing” habits.
Since I’m teaching her this invaluable lesson of apologizing…I better be half way decent at it too.
But I came to realize…I suck just as bad at apologizing.
I avoid it.
Sometimes I throw a fit before I’m ready to go through with it.
And…I hate to do it when I know it’s the most needed.
It’s easy to say sorry when you accidentally bump into someone at the grocery store, but it’s a million times harder when you know you have deeply affected someone and hurt someone.
I get scared and tend to revert to little notes…which is still sincere, but I need to focus on meaningfully apologizing face to face so I can model to my little one what it looks like.
Because a true apology is much more than simply saying “sorry”.
It’s a humbling experience, and it must be sincere, and it must come with the intention of making reparation. The apology implies that there is a lot of work that will be done long after the words come out of your mouth.
And maybe that’s why people have such a hard time with confession. Our world has watered down what it means to apologize. We’ve watered it down to a simple “sorry”.
I love and hate confession.
Confession forces me to be humbled…to stand in a line in front of other people so they know I messed something up…and then have to verbally say it out loud (and own it)…and be sincere, and then agree to a penance (which is a form of making amends)…and then agreeing to do everything in my power to not let this happen again.
It’s kind of intense.
But the freedom that is experienced afterwards is like none other.
So as I start teaching my daughter about apologizing…I guess I ought to start doing the same.
If you need me, I’ll be in the confession line this week…