Monday, August 3, 2009

So Sorry

Daddy sent me an email this morning to say that while his houses growing up didn't have a lot of things (like electricity), they always had a floor. Unlike what I wrote in a blog last week. Oops. Sorry, Daddy.
A lot of milestones mark our growing up, but many of them are dictated by the calendar or the school system and really don't mark a specific jump in maturity. Those times when the light bulb goes on and we realize we just grew some are usually not planned for - and there is rarely cake to celebrate the moment.
Like the phone call I had to make when I was in my twenties to say, "I was wrong and I'm sorry" to a friend at church. She didn't dismiss me with a "that's okay." She accepted my apology, explained her position once more and then we moved on. We moved on to a better relationship and I grew up a little more.
Now most of you probably don't share this problem of mine - I like to be right. And I don't mind saying I'm sorry as long as everyone understands - I was still right. Mama told me one time that the words "I'm sorry" rolled off my tongue so easy because I rarely meant it. Ouch.
That jump in growing up, when I called my friend, came because I accepted that I was completely in the wrong. Believe me, I tried to find a way for me to be right. But when I willingly took on the mantle of being wrong and asking forgiveness, I laid to the side some immaturity and childishness.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry", a tag line for the movie "Love Story" from 1970 became a popular saying. A friends' older sister had a poster with it hanging in her room when I was in jr. high. After I spent the night there once, my dad picked me up and he saw the poster. In the car on the way home he said, "That poster is wrong. Love means saying you're sorry."
And I guess growing up means saying it - and meaning it.


John Fincher said...

I am reading a good book now called "Mistakes Were Made (but not by ME). It's about cognitive-dissonance - better known as self-justification.

It has to do with how we will lie to ourselves (and even alter our memories!), in order to not have to say they were wrong.

One of the best non-fiction books I've ever read.

Yes, it is indeed mature to say you were wrong. According to this book, some will send innocent people to the electric chair in order to preserve their self-image. Really scary stuff.

Kay Dew Shostak said...

Oh - sounds interesting and I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

Kay Dew Shostak said...

And John I was just remembering the time I sat with one of our kids who had been caught red-handed during 13 doing something wrong. The kid denied and denied, even though we had an eye-witness. I, having had self-justification worked out of me by my parents, understood this had to be dealt with. I finally told my child, "You don't understand. You will either accept resp. talking to me or I'll call Rob (youth min) and we'll go talk to the sr. pastor and if you still won't admit it, you're going into counseling. I will not back down or get too tired to see this through." Acceptance of guilt came pretty quick and then we did the whole facing folks and all. I've always been fascinated by this whole thing so I do have to get that book. I believe some of us come more naturally to lying!

Kay Dew Shostak said...

during 13, means when the kid was 13.

Rob said...

Glad he gave in. Wouldn't have wanted to get in the middle of that. ;)

Kay Dew Shostak said...

who said it was a "he"?

Rob said...

Nobody, I assumed I guess!