May 4, 2010

Q&A: The Role of Apologies in LOA?

Last week I asked Good Vibe U folks their take on the role of apologizing in deliberate creation
The conversation arose when my coach quoted Abraham in saying that “Source doesn’t apologize.”  (She was late for a session and curbed a natural – and anticipated – apology for it.) 
Which made me wonder, if Source doesn’t apologize, then why do I find myself uttering the words “I’m sorry” so often and so easily?  Is that something I should be more conscious of?  Is there a better vibe to reach for in those situations?
And then I thought you all might help with the insights on this topic. 
Is there a better way to accomplish what we’re intending when we apologize?
One person said it’s just our “stock answer” that we give out of habitual social conditioning.  Another suggested that if it feels better to say it, then why wouldn’t we? 
Nancy had a fascinating story to share about her experience with it, and Carol quoted wisdom from Byron Katie that spoke to the reasons to skip the feeling of “sorry”: 

  • “If I don’t have pain in me, I can see you as you really are.”
  • “If it’s all about me than I’m not really hearing you.”
  • “When you’re clear their pain is not your pain, you’re available to be there for them. You’re not afraid of their pain, because it’s not yours. It’s not about you. That’s compassion.”

What’s your take on this? 
Do you notice a dip or a rise in your vibe when you apologize?  Does it depend on the circumstance?  And is there a role for apologizing in powerful deliberate creation?
And how would you handle it when someone didn’t apologize for something that you thought might be warranted?  That one could potentially trip me up, I suspect.  (Like, Russ’ apology goes a long way toward helping me let something negative go.)
As usual, I’m looking forward to your take on the vibration of apologizing and its role in Law of Attraction!

  • встроенная мебель на заказ « О чем говорят блогеры says:

    […] Good Vibe Coach пишет: The twitter incident you mentioned reminds me of something else from Abraham–someone in the hotseat was describing making a harsh joke to someone in order to make his point, he then asked, “It’s okay to gave fun like that, right?” Abe replied, “It’s always …. The solution is to be aware of what we are projecting(our energy)…to give ourselves data to actually decide if the data is inline with what we want and also within our guidelines of who we are and what we want. … […]

  • Holy hannah, Jessica!!
    THAT’S what I’m talking about!!
    (Total goose bumps right now!)

  • Jessica says:

    I just wanted to add a positive personal outcome from this post! Soon after reading/posting, I heard of some news of a person passing away (too young and unfortunate circumstances). I felt sad and empathetic for those who were close to this person. I was tempted to say something generic such as “Sorry for your loss”… but it didn’t feel right so I figured I’d tap into what I REALLY meant…
    “I wish you many comforting thoughts in your time of loss.”
    It felt AMAZING to just say what I was really feeling and what I would rather hear/know if it were me. Authentic care. Simple and loving. 🙂
    Thanks everyone for another great shift!!

  • You are so easy to love, Annettey Busghettey! 🙂

  • Annette says:

    The best apology I ever gave was met with confused blinks followed by laughter and warmth. I had NOT said something (which made me feel like a coward) when he got yelled at for something I did, and that was added to by not admitting it to the yeller afterwards. I felt so strongly about it that I went (with tears in my eyes) and stated my feelings to the person I thought I should have defended. He wanted to know why I thought he needed defending! It taught me that my inner guidance system is strong, and while defending someone (or something) isn’t always necessary, being true to yourself IS.
    But when someone EXPECTS me to apologize for something, I feel small. Probably goes back to the ‘do this thing and I will reward you with acceptance’ that Abraham talks about.
    It feels best to me when I express concern for an action or inaction when I come from a place of compassion instead of guilt or shame.
    Those expressions usually lead to a much better understanding of myself and the other party, and we get on the same page from an equality stance.

  • Suzie Cheel says:

    @Jason I appreciate the correction 🙂

  • John Rymer says:

    Yes I agree…everything that you do and that you create is perfect! Perfect in the aspect that it’s in accordance with the energy that you are projecting. Now…it may not be what you prefer..or desire. The idea of looking at everything as perfect is beneficial in that it allows you to “accept” the situation and not judge it. That’s another hamster wheel within itself. What the challenge knowing what energy you are projecting…becoming aware of that what you create is not only perfect within your creating structure but also perfect in the sense of it being what you desire. We are here to experience…and if we are here to do that..then why not what we want in accordance with our guidelines or beliefs? Choice ia all powerful…whether we know what we are choosing or not. The shift is thinning the veil so to speak…and we are becoming more aware or our awareness is expanding to see the bigger picture of ourselves. Part of that bigger picture is knowing our energy and what does it. The way we project it and our perception of that energy. All is perfection but what do we want to do with that perfection??

  • Er, I meant Suzie!

  • Woo! What a great discussion… 🙂
    @Susan: Thank you! Much love to you!
    Just to clarify what I intended to get across:
    At times in my life, an apology was perfect and DID help myself and others FEEL BETTER. Which is (as Nancy said) the point.
    I’m clarifying that I personally have grown and the apology now FEELS WORSE than viewing everything as perfect, un-damaging, and un-hurtful, and expressing that view.
    I invite others to give my current way a try if it suits them.
    I am in no way judging others who find apologies to feel great, and in fact encourage them, I have been there.
    I personally do not label apologies ‘as reinforcing the hamster wheel,’ – to me they may do that in *some* cases and may help everyone *feel better* in others. I view them as perfect as I view everything 😀
    The ‘hamster wheel’ view proposed I see as perfect as already it has reinforced how good I feel about my current stance, and it’s inspired discussion, and I’m sure it got other people giving thought and energy towards sorting out their personal feelings and views on apologies. :D)
    Alright, it’s time for me to put this awesome chat on the back-burner, rock on everyone 🙂

  • John Rymer says:


  • John Rymer says:

    An apology is a camouflage…its reinforcing victim energy and also discounting…if an apology is making you feel better(getting rid of guilt?)…then you will reinforce the hamster wheel in both or all individuals involved. Addictive behaviors make people feel better…but what is it really camouflaging?

  • Yes, Nancy, I would agree that’s the point. (To feel better.)
    Which is why we won’t all come to the same conclusion on this, I suppose. In fact, that’s why my apology habits might not even be consistent on a day to day basis – sometimes what feels best might change!
    Thanks for pointing out the obvious (as MissyB did earlier) through all of this. Much appreciated.

  • Nancy N says:

    I also think the line “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” was the dumbest thing to say.
    However, my practice when someone is upset with me is to question my motives. If I am coming from a place of love then I let myself off the hook because the problem is not with me. If my motive does not measure up to my standards then it is an opportunity for growth. Or an AFGO as Geneen Roth puts it.
    Unlike source, who is pure postive vibration, when humans screw up. an apology works to bring things back into balance.
    What joy there is in figuring this all out! If an apology makes us feel better, isn’t that the point?

  • Wow, John, this puts it in a whole new light for me: “it’s a reinforcing of the victim energy..’Oh I have done this to you…you poor helpless person…'”
    I can say this much – after this conversation around this topic, there is no way I’ll be apologizing the same way I used to – if at all!! lol
    Thanks for pitching in, everyone.

  • John Rymer says:

    My take on it is this: Saying your sorry is saying first of all “I have done something wrong”…it’s a discounting to yourself and also…and also ….and also a discounting to the other person…it’s a reinforcing of the victim energy..”Oh I have done this to you…you poor helpless person”…denying that they create their on reality. I believe we all attract into our life situations and scenarios and people that are in direct relationship to the energy that we are projecting. We don’t make others’ choices but we do attract those choices to us…to give us insight to the energy we are projecting. The solution is to be aware of what we are projecting(our energy)…to give ourselves data to actually decide if the data is inline with what we want and also within our guidelines of who we are and what we want. There are no accidents!

  • Suzie Cheel says:

    Thanks Jason yes I would agree and it is a wonderful feeling to be this way, I now as i love me more and as you say know we are divine. I like your reference to NDW too- eliminating the words we use. I know that the words we use and the thoughts we think are what raises or lowers our vibes 🙂
    I will continue the manifesting process, thank you

  • There’s a saying Neale Donald Walsch shared recently, which feels relevant to the discussion:
    “Mastery is not measured by the number of terrible (or hurtful) things you eliminate from your life, but by the number of times you eliminate calling them ‘terrible’.”
    The idea is that…
    Every time we label something as ‘hurtful’ as opposed to labeling it something more like: ‘the perfect manifestation of life that is meant to mirror us and help us grow’,
    …we are stepping away from mastery.
    This is related to why I prefer not to apologize, and why I prefer to guide others towards the same.

  • And the discussion just keeps getting better!!
    woo hoo!!

  • JG. says:

    “Love means never having to say I´m sorry”. It took me some time to appreciate this. Love means never to hurt. But it is true that we as humans sometimes hurt other people.
    Also, loving someone who has hurted us means to forgive and that maybe they do not have to be or say “I´m sorry”. But still, sometimes it is helpful to do so. Acknowledging pain -in ourselves and in others- is a grat way to get over it. And empathy is a great way to realize how much we are One.
    I think it is always useful to beware of ego trips (“Source never says I´m sorry… so, Why should I?”) But then Source does not resist… Does it?

  • @Susie: I love it 🙂 And I already see you as like me. You are! 🙂 We’re connected, the same, and the fact that you’re even talking/posting about this demonstrates fantastic manifestation of what you desire, wouldn’t you agree?
    To no longer feel the pull or need for apology comes from knowing we are all divine, everything is perfect, every theft, every rape, every murder, as well as every compliment, blog post, and bit of praise. Every single person on this earth is beautiful and perfect and fulfilling their purpose.
    There is a magic universal principle involved:
    Life allows free choice, and life allows us the power to create with our choices, and this is true.
    At the same time, life provides no “good” or “bad” choices. Life provides no “choices to apologize for” or “choices not to apologize for” — every single choice contributes to the tapestry of our world and to people’s stories, and there is absolutely no need to apologize for them. Taking that one step further, if there is no need for thoughts of apology, we are free to spend our moments thinking empowering, life-supportive things.
    At least that’s how I see it 😉

  • Suzie Cheel says:

    I was initially drawn to Kim’s response:
    “Ultimately, an apology is a story. One that we make up to ’self-justify.’ Now why would we feel the need to do that? Only if we judged ourselves as ‘wrong’.
    I feel that I’m sorry is an automatic response that maybe I know I do say without really thinking- Am I thinking about me or have I upset the other person.
    I like Iyabo bringing in the meaning from her tribal Yoruba background. Seems to me to have more meaning
    and then there is Hoopoponono!Thanks Debbie for sharing your practise of this.
    I want to be like Jason- so does the need to no longer feel the need to apologize or say you are sorry come from having high self-esteem and truly at peace within?

  • Ha! I like your habit, Jason, to invite others to re-think their “apology” as well!

  • We-ell… I’m late to the conversation, *and I’m sorry :P*
    Actually, I agree with Byron Katie, Abraham-Hicks, Source, and the rest… and I personally haven’t apologized for anything in 3 years and it feels absolutely fantastic to do, and to share.
    Also, when I catch someone apologizing to me, as often as it feels right and inspired, I encourage them NOT to be sorry, and to simply make a change. I am calm, stable, and connected to source and the actions they perceive as damaging to me, I view as perfect. I share this view, let them know I see them as perfect, and commend them if they feel inspired to change because of the whole thing, and if not, keep on rockin’.
    Thanks for the chance to share!

  • debbie says:

    I use “I’m sorry” quiet a bit when I recite the ho’ponopono prayer:
    I love you.
    I’m sorry.
    Please forgive me.
    Thank you.
    I used to use the prayer when I was in conflict with others (I’d repeat it to myself while thinking of them) but then realized that the person I really needed to say those four things to was myself … because it’s my thoughts and my own vibration that created the situation (or conflict) to begin with … and when I heal, the whole world I co-create heals with me – because I manifest. So when I am being unkind to myself by believing a thought that isn’t true and shuts me off from source, I say those four sentences to myself and then reach for a better feeling thought. And when I want to plug into feeling better and being grateful, I say only the first and last sentence and go into my own version of rampage of appreciation.

  • I can appreciate your technique, Debbie. Your flexibility with it is in an inspiration to the rest of us to do the same – find what feels best to US and go with it.
    Good work!

  • Nice to know you’re part of the energy of this conversation, Shauna! Thanks for checking in!

  • I am SO enjoying the discussion here, as usual. Jeannette, your readers are always an intelligent and articulate bunch, and what I love most is the opportunity for intense and effective introspection, spurred by the various well-articulated viewpoints. It’s all so growth-inducing…for the people here, and for our species, I believe…and I appreciate it!
    Big hugs,
    ~ Shauna

  • That’s what I was thinking, Maree-Anne. (Why Source doesn’t apologize.)
    Which made me realize that’s fine for Source, but out here where I often life outside the vortex, apologies may be appropriate. lol
    If in using them, though, apologies keep me OUT of the vortex, I might want to rethink the habit.
    This is interesting conversation! Thanks for it, everyone!!

  • Maree-Anne says:

    I think Source never says sorry because source is always in the Vortex and it never comes out of it, & when you are in the Vortex you don’t do things that you would be sorry for nor can anyone do anything to you that you would need them to be sorry about. Source never judges or condemns or feels regret.
    So it makes sense to me that because you would be vibrating at your highest self level within the vortex you would have no access to these feelings of regret or hurt because these are feelings or emotions that are not in the vortex or at the higher vibratory end of the emotional scale.
    It is possibly a good indication of where you are on the emotional scale or in relation to your vortex if you feel someone owes you an apology or you offer one to someone else.
    Saying sorry seems tied up with all those false premises of Judgement of self or another, in a way it is a representation of ‘conditional love’. For me to feel better or for another to feel better one of us has to change what we are doing by saying sorry, and showing regret. It just goes to show how much the learned society expectations influence our concepts especially the religious notions of things like forgiveness from God and confession and unworthiness to be in God’s presence the notion of atonement is all tied up in the belief that saying sorry somehow makes you or someone else feel better. Strange how we can convince ourselves that we feel better if we take responsibility for how someone else feels?

  • Carol, you always bring such great stuff to this conversation! Love this Abe quote: “It’s always alright … if your motive is to uplift.”
    SUCH a difference!

  • Iyabo,
    I like what you said here: “If I hurt your feelings or do or say something to you that has a negative reaction in you and I know, I will apologize. My apology is my way of saying, “I want to co-create miracles and awesomeness with you. I did not intend to generate hurt or pain. I wish I could take that back. Is there any way I can help? Please can we move forward by turning this incident around and making it a plus for both of us.”
    The twitter incident you mentioned reminds me of something else from Abraham–someone in the hotseat was describing making a harsh joke to someone in order to make his point, he then asked, “It’s okay to gave fun like that, right?” Abe replied, “It’s always alright to have fun… if your motive is to uplift.”
    I think that applies to the person’s criticisms–doesn’t sound like their motive was to uplift, it sounds like they were trying to answer a question that wasn’t being asked …and to use loa as an excuse to be unkind.
    They obviously don’t know you at all, or how many people you inspire and uplift everyday–and how much you and your work are appreciated. It sounds like a classic case of what they said being about them and not about you. (I know you know that, but I felt like saying it anyway :))

  • Wow, what a great habit with your daughter, Jessica!
    It makes me wonder what other LOA savvy parents are teaching their kids along these lines …

  • Iyabo Asani says:

    Couple of thoughts: This is where understanding another language might help. In Yoruba, my trial African language, if you do something “wrong” to another person, you literally say, “Please do not be upset with me.” Whereas, if you accidentally step on another person’s toes, you say, “my sympathy.” We have translated “my sympathy” into the English equivalent of “I am sorry.” Also, saying “I am sorry” meaning “I am a sorry-assed so and so” is purely an American colloquialism. I do not even think that the English use it.
    I will say this, though. On Twitter, one day, I said something about my mojo being off and I had gotten it back. Well someone responded and said something to the effect that most of my tweets are a story about my mojo being off and to check myself and figure out why my mojo kept being off. I felt this person was trying to teach me or correct me in a public way and she informed me that I was asking to be offended when I wrote a tweet like that. She took no responsibility for her harshness in her public tweet to me. She felt, I was totally responsible for what I had attracted and I was quite offended.
    One of my concerns with this conversation in this blog post is how some LOA folks never take full responsibility for their actions. They step on people’s toes along the LOA ladder and tell you how you attracted it to yourself.
    If I hurt your feelings or do or say something to you that has a negative reaction in you and I know, I will apologize. My apology is my way of saying, “I want to co-create miracles and awesomeness with you. I did not intend to generate hurt or pain. I wish I could take that back. Is there any way I can help? Please can we move forward by turning this incident around and making it a plus for both of us.” That is what I mean when I say, “I am sorry” or “I apologize.”

  • Jessica says:

    I love everyone’s comments, especially Kim and Dana!! Thanks!
    Lyabo, I was just thinking about sorry in terms of empathy when I got to your post! I understand what you mean, and glad you had the reference to another language, that helps.
    From a very young age I as saying sorry for every little thing. I don’t know if I was taught this, or not, but I do equate it to having many shame based feelings. As if everything in life was my fault. Not only was I taking responsibility for my own actions, but everyone else also! If someone ELSE bumped into me, I’d say sorry as if it were me who wasn’t paying attention! I’ve made conscious efforts to curb this over the years, and has left me with a negative feeling of the word. I am uncomfortable and dislike it when others say sorry. They say sorry for themselves, not for me, so it just places expectations on me to accommodate them and their feelings. It is often “empty”. So I LOVE all the ideas of just saying what we really mean! I wish to find these words in the moment when I’m feeling empathetic, but don’t want to say “sorry” because I’m not actually sorry, just empathizing with someone’s pain or loss.
    On another note, I didn’t teach my child to say sorry. I generally feel that kids don’t actually feel sorry because they don’t know how their actions have affected another person- they are learning, as we all are. It was better for me to just ask my daughter questions about how she felt, how her actions made other feel, how she could do things differently, etc. This has worked out well and my daughter does say sorry, but on rare occasions, when she really means it. I didn’t want to shame her into feeling bad for her actions, only learn from them so she could choose to do something different, if she felt it important to do so. So far this is working out great! She is kind to people but honors herself and her own needs equally.
    Thanks everyone for the great discussion! 🙂

  • Iyabo, I like that your practice of apologizing is very empowering for you (and the other person, it sounds like).
    And I will add that I never interpreted any of your tweets as an invitation to offend. lol
    The language take on this is VERY interesting. Thanks for sharing that – it’s super insightful about how we engage this habit!

  • That’s got to be a powerful start to improve our relationship with apologizing, Michele, regardless of where we end up with it.
    I like being more conscious about using it when it really counts, rather than as a knee jerk reaction to inanimate objects. (Didn’t realize till you posted this that I apologize to furniture when I hit it with the vacuum.)
    And the thought that an apology CAN shift negative into positive is good reason to not just automatically be done with it altogether.
    Thanks for pitching in. Always a pleasure to hear from you!

  • I used to apologize to the couch when I bumped into it. “Oh, sorry,” I’d blurt, as if the couch had feelings I had hurt.
    When what really hurt was my knee… and my soul.
    Because every time I said, “I’m sorry”, I reminded myself that I was a sorry-assed fool.
    I was using “sorry” reflexively, without an iota of thought, too. Which made the word mean nothing.
    So, I stopped random apologizing and saved my “sorry” for real moments when I had hurt someone else. Which made the words much more powerful.
    Recently, an old friend who had said some hurtful things which had ended our relationship contacted me via Facebook. It had been five years. And her heartfelt apology, and recognition of her actions and their impact on me – it cleared the brush, got the elephant out of the room, and made space for us to see if we can find the threads of our friendship again.
    To me, that’s where apology is most appropriate. Used sparingly and meaningfully as a technique to clear the negative and shift into positive.
    — Michele

  • Thanks, Kathryn. Checking out the video now …
    And MissyB, you’ve got a gift for keeping it simple. Much appreciated!

  • MissyB says:

    This is when I wonder whether everyone else thinks too much as well as me ! Sorry is such an ambigous term really.
    So I’ll go back to what I said on GVU. If it feels good to say it, then say it. Saying sorry releases us from negativity just as much as the reciever sometimes. But as past experience has burnt me, expecting others to say it is just setting us up for an emotional fall.

  • Karanime says:

    If you say you’re sorry to the Universe, you’re taking responsibility for manifesting whatever situation you’re apologizing for.
    Which can quickly turn around an unpleasant situation.

  • Greetings!
    Here’s a link for Abraham responding on the latest Mexico Cruise in January about he concept of forgiveness – so closely related to apologies.
    I am really opening to the notion of not having anything to forgive (or being forgiven for) because Inner Being doesn’t condemn, so why would I spend my precious time doing so? I’d rather be exhilarated, I think. 🙂

  • Ah, Carol, this is perfect!! “Source doesn’t forgive, because Source never condemns.”
    I know it’s not about apologies, per se, but it sure helps connect with the perspective where it’s not necessary to judge, define or label.
    And the quote about regret has me thinking, too.
    Thanks for the resources, Carol. Much appreciated!

  • Ray says:

    You cannot fix, change or improve anything. If you are in the moment and you feel like saying your sorry, so be it. The only thing you can change is yourself and how you percieve things to be. I used to think I needed to ask everyone else for their advise, now I get centered and I respond. There is no right or wrong. Judgement is the key, Judge not lest ye be judged, and with that same judgment ye will be judged. I choose not to judge, when possible, define or label. Sometimes I just can’t help it because of past filters, habits or patterns. I don’t want anyone judging me, do you? It is your call.

  • I love your question– “Is there a better way to accomplish what we’re intending when we apologize?” I agree that’s maybe the key—being clear what our intention is (politeness, empathy, responsibility, etc.) when we say “sorry”, instead of the word just popping out by default or because we think it’s expected of us.
    I really like the suggestions Kim made for other things to say…
    “I would do it different now. (reflective; less judgmental)
    I didn’t understand. (Open to learn)
    I know this now.”
    Hmm and here are a few Abraham quotes that seem closely related:
    “Regret is one of the lowest and most resistant vibrations that exist because not only is it a feeling of powerlessness, but it is a feeling of powerlessness pointed right at me. In other words, I messed up my life in a very powerful way and I can’t do anything about it. It’s that combination of powerlessness and self depreciation that is very crippling.”
    and “Source doesn’t forgive, Source because never condemns.”

  • Karanime, that feels like you’re hitting the powerful part of ho’oponopono, which is the piece I was missing with it.
    Good food for thought! Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  • Oh, Helen, that’s a zinger! A social convention that reinforces our desire to feel superior!
    I know that’s not exactly how you said it, but if ever there was incentive to question the habit, that does it for me!
    Thanks for posting!

  • helen says:

    HI all I have been hanging around here for awhile and this is my first post. Having read all these responses really makes you think about why you say sorry or expect others to say sorry to you. I have come to the conclusion that it is to prove that you are either superior in some way that is they are wrong and you are right or that you are so down and judging yourself that you actually give a rip what someone thinks of you and you say sorry to them. It really is a social convention that is just like all those thoughts we practice that we don’t even realise form our beliefs and keep us beating the drum of negative aspects that do not create the best lives for us. This is such a great forum for making me think truly think – what is it I believe about this or anyother issue, thanks for bringing clarity people!

  • Nice reminder, Ray. Thanks for it.

  • Ruby says:

    To add to the above, I am a asthang yoga trainer, and one of the 1st things my guru told us during the training was to always remember , its not your place to change others / force information on to others especially when they dont seek that information. She always told us that the pupils always find the master, not the other way around…
    so to that extent, if someone is not ready to understand the vortex, not matter what you say or do, they wont!

  • Ruby says:

    Dana, well spotted… yes a lot of people who expect an apology wont know what the vortex is… so how do we guide them back into the vortex? into a place where it all feels good…?
    Vortex – let’s remember its a jargon, and the word will only be understood by people who have read about it or people who are taught about it…
    Just like, ‘derivatives’ or ‘beta performace’ used in the stock markets.. lol!
    So if i were talking to a person with no idea of these jargon, I would use simple sentences and help them understand / realize how a beta performace is measured, why it is measured and what impact it has on their investments… 🙂
    just like the above, if someone doesnt know about the vortex… can we not guide them using different sentences, hearing them out, being there for them ?? till finally they are in a place where they ‘feel better’ ie; they are back in the vortex!
    🙂 I agree this is a great topic…

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Good point, but what do you do when the other person is not only not in the vortex, but doesn’t know what the heck the vortex is? “Honey, I can see you’re a little out of the vortex there. If you’d just get back in, we’d all be fine and I could go on doing as I please and being selfish.” (Yes, I’m teasing, playing around and judging a little, but not you, Ruby, just the idea of this.)
    I suppose you’re right, though, in theory. If you’re in the vortex, you don’t meet with negative experiences and you recognize when even things that would otherwise seem bad (to not vortextual people) are actually working in your favor, kind of like the way Jeannette broke up in the vortex.
    To many, that might seem a little like someone has lobsters crawling out of their ears. You’ve got to meet them where they are, but I so follow you. We are taught we’re responsible for another’s feelings. I distinctly remember being told as a child, “Now go apologize. You hurt his feelings.” I also still say, rarely, “You hurt my feelings.” When I say that, it’s pretty serious. Like Jeannette, I need love at that point, but am I making someone else responsible for my feelings, and am I also in their business about what they should do or how they should treat me?
    Lots to think about. Neat topic.

  • Dana, the idea of Source seeing us as “so darn cute” when we’re stomping our feet at something we’re mad at cracks me up!
    Your post is making me feel some enthusiasm for better finding the love when an apology is on the tip of my tongue – in case there’s a better way (I can find) to express it.
    Should be interesting!
    Thanks for chiming in on this one, Dana. 🙂

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Wow, Kim, that was an amazing response. Leave it to you to go right to the root of the words. Words are your playground!
    I think you’re right. We do “justify” ourselves or “defend” ourselves, or we at least try to alleviate any negative feelings we have about the situation. Maybe that’s why I didn’t apologize at work. I didn’t have any negative feelings about what I had done. I was rather proud of my work. 🙂
    The flip side is what you’re saying about apologies from Russ, Jeannette. When we feel hurt by someone particularly close to us, we want their love. So maybe what Kim said is right. I love you may be the fastest way there. However, as I said, people have different love languages. If you show love in a way they don’t receive it, then the message doesn’t come through.
    I know exactly what you mean. Nothing feels better than to know David loves me, even if we’re fighting, and often the fastest way to get the love I am wanting in that moment is to love him and think of all the reasons why I do. It can be tough in relationships if you’ve had a “fight”, but I always walk myself to that place because, in my case, I’m very lucky and I have a wonderful man.
    Anne, I remember someone else explaining the elements of a proper apology on some show once, maybe Oprah or Dr. Phil. LOL! They said the same thing you mentioned. Sometimes your apology is just a plea for the party you offended to feel bad for you and let you off the hook. Instead, you should make it about them and apologize for what they’ve experienced at your fault, and not justify, defend or tell them how bad you feel. It’s better to take the, “You must feel…” approach, rather than say I feel awful and then they immediately have to console you.
    Finally, I think of Communion of Light and the way they talk about how we humans demonstrate our emotions. When we’re angry or sad or stomping our feet, they simply think we’re so darn cute and gosh are we doing a great job of demonstrating our displeasure. For us, it’s a GPS system that tells us we’re out of alignment. If we’re feeling bad for what we did or didn’t do, perhaps the question should be what are we wanting? What would we prefer? Maybe we could tell the other person a new story, Jeannette, in the form of an apology. “I would prefer that when we set a coffee date, I remember and am on time.” “I want to have great coffee dates with you, and I will be there and on time from now on.” Or maybe it’s more like, “I want to do _____, and I want to not have to feel bad for it.” It’s a very good starting point, anyway, for both parties involved. What do they both want in that moment?

  • Ruby, thanks for the inspiration to take an even closer look at the situations that bring me to an apology, and how it feels when I do.
    We’ve got some common ground, I think!
    Looking at this has made me wonder why I think it would make someone else feel better for them to know that I’m sorry or feel bad in some way for some reason.
    It is a curious habit, isn’t it?!

  • Ruby says:

    I thought about what i felt before & after I apologize. Why did I feel the need to apologize…?
    A constant theme emerged for me… i always felt the need to apologize becoz either I thought I caused pain to the other person, or I felt guilty for feeling (good) as a result of my actions (when society demands that those actions are wrong)or to avoid further friction with the other person.
    So bottom line, I apologize for the following:-
    1) I thought I am responsible for others feelings.
    2) I was in conflict between how I felt and how everyone else expects me to feel!
    3) When I didn’t want to deal with a situation.
    Jeanette, I apparently apologize for no reason!
    The source “Is” it has no good/bad, positive/negative… and therefore cannot feel ‘sorry’ for an action…
    I think what we are trying to do with saying ‘sorry’ is to walk the other person out of the ‘negative emotions’ that they feel and bring them back to the vortex.
    So isnt the above more important than saying the words ‘I am sorry’?

  • When Abraham said Source doesn’t apologize, I didn’t hear that as arrogance. But if I knew a person like that – ha! I can’t say I’d interpret it the same way!
    What if we never taught our kids to apologize? I wonder what that would be like … how would we be different outside of our social programming?
    I used to think after the dogs finished fighting, when one would lick the other’s wound, that it was a way of saying sorry, no hard feelings. But then I read that it’s what the pack does to keep pack members healthy. There’s no feelings associated with it – it’s just an old survival mechanism.
    I am sure appreciating the conversation around this! Thanks for contributing to it, Darliss. Monster avatars and all.

  • Darliss says:


  • Darliss says:

    Bwahahaha! I’m an alien! My avatar isn’t working today I guess. LOL

  • Darliss says:

    What does “Source doesn’t apologize” actually mean?
    If it is an attitude adopted with arrogance, it probably comes from a place of insecurity.
    I think this is closely related to the discussion of humbleness from several weeks ago and recognizing the value in ourselves and in others even if they are different than we are.
    We can only do what we can at the moment. Even if it doesn’t meet up with someone else’s expectations, it is still our best. That is not something to apologize for.
    However, if we break a commitment, even inadvertently, we can acknowledge, without excuse or justification, that we didn’t do what we said we would do, because the person we made the commitment to is as valuable as we are.
    If someone shows up late and says, “I am late. (Statement of fact.) I know you value your time. (Acknowledging the gift you have given to them by waiting.)Thank you for waiting.” They have not apologized, but they have acknowledged that they see that you are as valuable as they are and it is much more likely to build relationship than separation.
    As the Maya say, “In Lak’ech” – I am Another Yourself.

  • Anonymous says:

    What does “Source doesn’t apologize” actually mean?
    If it is an attitude adopted with arrogance, it probably comes from a place of insecurity.
    I think this is closely related to the discussion of humbleness from several weeks ago and recognizing the value in ourselves and in others even if they are different than we are.
    We can only do what we can at the moment. Even if it doesn’t meet up with someone else’s expectations, it is still our best. That is not something to apologize for.
    However, if we break a commitment, even inadvertently, we can acknowledge, without excuse or justification, that we didn’t do what we said we would do, because the person we made the commitment to is as valuable as we are.
    If someone shows up late and says, “I am late. (Statement of fact.) I know you value your time. (Acknowledging the gift you have given to them by waiting.)Thank you for waiting.” They have not apologized, but they have acknowledged that they see that you are as valuable as they are and it is much more likely to build relationship than separation.
    As the Maya say, “In Lak’ech” – I am Another Yourself.

  • Ha! “The stupidest line I ever heard.” You’re cracking me up, Dana!
    I like how your apologies are made in terms of action – making up for what you didn’t intend or after re-thinking something.
    I also appreciate your point that led me to the conclusion that Source is Source and we are human. Maybe sometimes apologies are appropriate when it helps us feel better.
    Thanks for weighing in on this one, Dana. You have a gift I am grateful for in keeping this stuff real.

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Excellent question, Jeannette.
    I just apologized right before coming here and it felt good to do so. I would say if it feels good, then it’s the right thing to do.
    I have also experienced a shameful apologizing where I was shamed by another into apologizing, and that never feels good. In fact, I refuse to be bullied into that sort of situation, so I lost a job when I felt that something I did was in fun and my co-workers felt it was disrespectful. My boss, while screwing up his face trying not to laugh at what he thought was hilarious too, demanded that I go apologize. I did not. In fact, I refused to. They then voted and I was out. I guess for me, in that situation, being fired felt better than apologizing when I knew what I had done was in pure jest, the kind of ribbing the vary people I ribbed had done to me for five years, and apologizing to them would have been purely to grovel to them and beg for my job. It’s kind of funny, because I had apologized many times in life in situations just like that, but that was the time I decided you know what? Screw that, I’m not saying uncle.
    Apologizing for being late for a call? Well, I’d say that sometimes there is unnecessary apology that can just draw attention to something that would otherwise be trivial. I have heard that too much apologizing can make you appear less than confident with clients, for example.
    Then again, there are quick apologies for trivial trip ups. Oops, sorry, and then you move on immediately.
    I’ve read a ton on relationships, and I consider myself somewhat of an expert in them. 🙂 I have read that everyone has a different love language and everyone has a way they they like to resolve things. For some, no apology is necessary. For others, an apology is necessary and it better be from the heart. And yet for others not only do they require an apology, but it’s important to them that the apologizing person demonstrate corrective action after they apologize to show the offended person that they meant their apology and truly validate the person they offended.
    By the way, I’m the latter. It’s all about how we were raised. How did our parents apologize? How did they make us apologize to our siblings or grandparents or company or friends when we made a mistake? My parents must have taught us to show our apology by action, because that’s how I like mine.
    Interesting topic and something to think about.
    Remember the movie line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry?” I always thought that was the stupidest line I’ve ever heard, and must have been written by someone who is narcissistic. Love doesn’t mean you have permission to hurt, offend or violate the boundaries of your loved one or anyone else and then shrug and keep going. It’s a two-way street where we may have a need or a valid reason to do a thing and it may bother the other person, and those things can be negotiated in a way that meets the needs of both parties involved. If they can’t, then the relationship won’t work for those two people.
    I come back to if it feels good to apologize, then do it. If it makes the other person feel good, all the better. If it feels bad, then ask yourself why. Perhaps talk to the other person about why it feels bad to apologize. If it’s a trivial issue, who cares if you say I’m sorry or not?
    As for Source not apologizing, I guess we’re all connected and we are Source too. Everything is perfect. Everything is happening for us, in our favor. However, that doesn’t mean we are not human and we don’t have feelings. Feelings make us apologize, or want apologies.
    Tonight I missed an appointment with a friend for coffee. I totally flaked. She didn’t have my number because she lost her old cell phone. She waited an hour for me. I never showed. I felt horrible when she got home and reached me. (There’s the feel bad…because I perceived how she must have felt sitting there waiting for me, alone at a table in an establishment). I apologized and it felt good to do so. (Here’s where Byron Katie may come in. Did I apologize because I was in her business and assuming how she felt? Did I do it because I was trying to make myself feel better? All I know is I’ve been stood up and it doesn’t feel good most of the time, so I imagined she had experienced that feeling.) I also invited her over for a night next week, to make it up to her. (My style of apology.) She was so nice about it, and as it turns out (it always turns out), she needed some alone time and was able to make a nice list for herself that she’d not had time to do, and I weeded my flower beds and played with my dogs, enjoying the sunset. We both agreed it worked out perfectly and we’ll meet next week.
    Oh, and I’m sorry this is so long. 😉 Tee hee

  • Kim, you never cease to amaze me.
    (And I never say never.) lol
    Wow – a tone of defense and justification! No wonder Source doesn’t apologize!
    I love that you shared alternatives here. This response you shared deserves to be a post all on its own.
    Huge insights and transformations happening with it! Thank you, Kim!!
    PS – your comment is also making me wonder what I get out of it when someone else apologizes to me. I guess I’ve been misinterpreting it as an expression of love. Because there have been times when Russ apologizes, but it doesn’t feel like there’s any love in it, and it means nothing to me. But when he says it with genuine love, all is forgotten. Sounds like it’s the love factor that I’m really wanting, which surely there are much better ways to express that than in the form of an apology. Hmm.

  • Kim Falconer says:

    Hi Everyone! I love this topic! I missed it at GVU!
    There is so much conditioning around saying ‘I’m sorry’. Just think of how we were told to say this as children–say it and mean it! The results could be an acquittal–‘say you’re sorry and then it will be all right.’ It made me think about what an apology really was:
       /əˈpɒlədʒi/ Show Spelled[uh-pol-uh-jee] Show IPA
    a written or spoken expression of one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another: He demanded an apology from me for calling him a crook.
    a defense, excuse, or justification in speech or writing, as for a cause or doctrine.
    (initial capital letter, italics) a dialogue by Plato, centering on Socrates’ defense before the tribunal that condemned him to death.
    an inferior specimen or substitute; makeshift: The tramp wore a sad apology for a hat.
    But the word origin is even more interesting.
    1530s, “defense, justification,” from L.L. apologia, from Gk. apologia “a speech in defense,” from apologeisthai “to speak in one’s defense,” from apologos “an account, story,” from apo- “from, off” (see apo-) + logos “speech.” The original English sense of “self-justification” yielded a meaning “frank expression of regret for wrong done,” first recorded 1590s, but it was not the main sense until 18c. The old sense tends to emerge in Latin form apologia (first attested 1784), especially since J.H. Newman’s “Apologia pro Vita Sua” (1864).
    Ultimately, an apology is a story. One that we make up to ‘self-justify.’ Now why would we feel the need to do that? Only if we judged ourselves as ‘wrong’.
    Which I have done. Last week I came home in the dark and accidentally caught a green tree frog in the door. I was very sorry. I blamed myself for being unaware and felt stricken with remorse that I hurt this creature. I said a lot of sorry’s. It didn’t help me much. I’m sure it didn’t help the frog.
    When memories come up that are painful, and remorseful, I again feel the ‘I’m so sorry’.
    In a world where all is accepted and nothing is considered good or bad but simply ‘experience’, apology has no place. There is nothing to defend against. Yet we are raised (I was raised) to see the binary opposites of good and bad and to ‘say I’m sorry’ whenever on the bad side of the scale.
    There must be better words because the apology is a band-aid. It doesn’t fix, it covers up.
    What can we say that would be a better match to the vibration we are after?
    I love you. (Always cuts to the chase. . . oh, is that Freudian?)
    I would do it different now. (reflective; less judgmental)
    I didn’t understand. (Open to learn)
    I know this now. (Honest with emphasis on growth)
    So glad to see you! (when 1/2 hour late for lunch . . .)
    What do others think? Do you have words that reflect a better feeling place, more honest or more awareness?
    This is such an great topic, Jeannette!
    Which reminds me of what Captain Jack Sparrow would say when we think an apology or judgment would be forthcoming. ‘Now this is interesting!

  • This is a distinction that could be very key for me in unraveling this whole knot, Anne. Thanks for this!

  • Anne Observer says:

    While many of us have been conditioned to the habit, saying “I’m sorry” is not an apology. Rather, it is a statement about our own feelings. And what difference does that make if we are trying to apologize? It is a statement in the guise of apology, but taken literally it is really a plea for sympathy.
    It is possible to say for example “I apologize for any inconvenience” and be sincere about it without saying “I am sorry” and thereby focusing the conversation on your own feelings about the matter.

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