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Filtering by Tag: sorry

I’m sorry.

Jamieson Van Loan

When you hurt someone without malice, through actions unintended, it is quite possibly the worst feeling, especially for an empath. This past week I did just that. As I preach being and sharing love and compassion and empathy, I sorta feel like a fraud. Here I am constantly trying to be the kindest and best version of myself and through my own actions, I hurt someone I care deeply about.

Typically when you hurt someone accidentally, your tribe says but it’s not your fault or you didn’t mean it, that’s on them, etc, etc. But at the day’s end, this person is upset and hurt and rightfully so. That pain needs to be acknowledged. We are all allowed to emotionally react to situations in our own way. Regardless if you would react in that manner or think their reaction is valid or not, it is not up to you. If someone feels justified in their emotions, your job is to acknowledge them and lay the foundation for an open nonjudgmental discussion.

We should always feel all the feelings. Own them. Express them. Swim through them. I think a lot of the time when we do or say things that hurts another person, our auto-response is defensive. I know in my past, I’ve gotten angry at other people’s hurt feelings. Having responses like “grow up” or “don’t put that on me” or “that’s your issue” or anything that dismisses someone’s emotions is not only the immature response, but it creates more unnecessary drama. It has taken me a lot of self awareness to see the other person’s pain, acknowledge where it is coming from, own my part in it and apologize and hopefully gain forgiveness and move forward.

The caveat to all this is that your emotional reaction should not be used as a way to trigger a negative response. When we are hurt, we instinctively want to make our assailant the target of pain. We want to use words to bring them to our level of suffering. We try to trigger them and gaslight them, reacting from the most primitive part of our brain. You hurt me, therefore I hurt you.

This is where emotional maturity should kick in. Either a space needs to be created for the anguish to subside before a discussion can be held or the victim needs to realize where the hurt is originating and be able to relay that in an evolved manner. When you boil down hurt, it almost always comes from a place of fear. It can be fear of reliving your past, fear of connection, fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of heartbreak and so forth, but typically hurt overlays fear.

When you can step back from a situation and peel away the emotional layers to see what is subconsciously happening, you tend to have a more peaceful and respectful approach to the situation.

This should be all our ultimate goals in relationships: to genuinely seek the place where your friend, family member or partner is coming from, make the time and space to understand, or at the very least, respect their position and then cultivate a mature, hopefully solution-driven, conversation surrounding that.

I understand that in the heat of the moment, this is rarely the case, but it should always be our goal. And like all emotionally mature goals, this takes vulnerability. Being able to put your guard down, dive deep into your self, listen and respect a human’s entire past and current stance- it all requires serious work. Because we don’t show up to any situation without our personal baggage. Own your baggage and respect others.

What I learned this week is that my actions do not live a vacuum and I should be more vigilant about how I behave or speak in this world. I have also learned how to set aside my own opinions in order to better understand where my loved ones are coming from. Most of all I’ve learned to accept humility more.

If my fave one, who I hurt, is reading this, please know (again) how sorry I am. Please find forgiveness and acceptance of what cannot be changed. You are loved.

To everyone else: be mindful of how you carry yourself because you never know if your actions or words are hurting another and if they are, be understanding and modest in your approach and sincere and kind in your apology.

Vulnerably yours,

Own your regrets and move on...

Jamieson Van Loan

We all have regrets in life. Even those of us who think they don’t, they do. I used to be that person who always said “I regret nothing- everything in my life has brought me to this exact moment in time, precisely where I should be.” And that is true. To an extent.

All of the beautiful moments, the hardships, the tears, the laughter, the right or wrong decisions have brought you to this specific space. And I’m hoping this email finds you in a gloriously grateful space this morning.

But there are also moments in life we wish we could re-do or articulate in our best manner. You know these moments. When you’re brash and impulsive and say or do things without truly thinking it through. Last week, I was infuriated with my bank because my account information was stolen and abused for the second time in three months. I yelled. I lost my shit. I was a lesser and, quite frankly, embarrassing version of myself.

This is why apologies exist. Saying “I’m sorry” is owning your regret. It is saying, I behaved in a manner beneath me and I wish I hadn’t caused you to feel that way, please accept these words as acknowledgement of my deep regret.

The most important part of an apology is to know it’s true starting point. Are you apologizing for self relief or relieving the pain of the victim? To apologize in order to alleviate your guilt or just throw a band aid on a situation is not a true apology. When you use the powerful words, “I am sorry” your gesture must come from the purest and most vulnerable part of you. True apologies are never easy. They require humility.

And yes, I did apologize to my bank peeps.

Now do we have to constantly live with or analyze our regrets? Heck no! That does nothing for true living and staying present. But it also does not make you less of your amazing self to admit to regrets and wrongdoings. Admitting to and owning them followed by a retraction or apology and then releasing and letting go completely, is the healthiest way forward.

People who say they live without regrets are possibly better equipped to compartmentalize their wrong choices but more accurately, they probably create a dissonance between actual reality and personal reality.

 Actual reality is the current state without outside biases. Perceived or personal reality is the current state through your own projections.

We see the world as we want to see it. So if telling ourselves that we have no regrets is what our defensive mechanism or ego needs for survival or happiness, so be it. 

My point to all this is to take ownership of your poor choices or behaviors in life, apologize for them and move on. Quickly. Do not let issues linger. Do not shove them under your secret regret rug. This life is made all the better by finding the courage to be humble and own your mistakes. This brings you the freedom from the past and the ability to be more present. And being more present should always be your ultimate goal.