Bluebird Rising

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

Two Shifts in Perspective August 7, 2010

Sorry for the delay in a new post on here. This last week or so has been a time for family and reflecting on how precious life really is. And how, in an instant, it can be gone.

That being said, I have lots of things to catch up on in my world. You know, like things that can no longer be avoided. My bills need to be paid, my laundry needs to be washed, my cats litter box needs to SEVERLY be de-turded. And so, I will have something new and original for you in a day or two, when I get things in order and fully decompress.

In the meantime, I will give you two little things to think about that have been on my mind lately. Two little things that, should you be courageous enough to integrate them into your life, will make a difference. They are not original ideas, but they are too important to not pass on.

Your first task is to take a compliment. By this, I mean say “thank you” and then shut your trap. You are not to downplay the compliment, or ignore it, or avoid it. We are not taught how to do this well, ESPECIALLY us growing up in the land of Minnesota Nice. We have been programmed to believe that accepting a compliment is conceited. In Minnesota Nice culture, conceitedness is often equated with dirty dancing on the lap of the devil. But what if someone told you it was arrogant NOT to accept a compliment? Intrigued? So was I. Read the brilliant article @

Your second task will also take some work. I attended a training for work this past week, and one discussion turned into the mechanics of having to apologize to someone. Look, being wrong sucks. Having to admit that you were wrong in an audible voice to whoever is mad at you is torture. But maybe we shouldn’t be using the words “I’m sorry” at all. Because it’s not fair. Why is apologizing to a person you hurt not fair? Here was the theory.

Saying you are sorry really is only done for the benefit of the person apologizing. It is not at all proactive for the victim, who really is the one that is hurt. Ummm…?!?!?

For example: I’m Person A. You are Person B. You and I are having a discussion. I get annoyed with you. I call you mean names. You refuse to continue the conversation and storm away.

Now, I know that I am in the wrong. And so, later on, I come up to you and apologize. I mumble I’m sorry, I look you in the eyes as much as you’ll let me, and I’ll assume it’s over. After all, an apology was made, right? Case closed. According to me.

But I’m assuming that you accepted this apology. I never asked you if you did. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you just can’t accept it right now, or maybe you never will. Maybe you weren’t ready to talk again, which you think we need to do before you can make any sort of decision, and here I think everything is fixed. And you are even more hurt. And if you’ve ever been in ANY type of relationship, you KNOW that those feelings don’t just go away. The will lurk just beneath the surface, waiting for the day I forget (again) to take out the overflowing trash. (As a for instance :))

So instead of saying “I’m sorry,” we should be asking for forgiveness. It puts the control into the hands of the individual who was hurt, the one who deserves the time to come to a resolution on their own terms. Asking “can you forgive me?” also forces a response from the person, whether it’s a “yes”, or “not right now”, or “I need more time to think about it.” Not everything will be solved by this one response, but even a limited response will allow the (former) apologizer to gauge where the (former) apologizee is at in the process of their anger. It seems to jump start the process of reconciliation much more efficiently than an “I’m sorry.” Which probably wouldn’t hurt for me to say to you, but only AFTER you have forgiven me.

Pretty cool idea, huh?


2 Responses to “Two Shifts in Perspective”

  1. Well, thanks for the blog mention and I’m glad your pingback led me to your blog 🙂 Fun stuff here – PLEASE keep writing!


  2. Thank you for the kind words. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

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