Tuesday, March 26

Making Amends, Revisited .......3/26/13

 Things work better, when repaired. In my Left-Coastal
 thinking, I find this repaired bowl has a unique beauty. 
    It definitely has character.
The esthetics of kintsugi.Kintsugi (金継ぎmeans
 "golden joinery"  in Japanese, and it refers to the art 
of fixing broken ceramics with a lacquer resin made 
to look like solid gold.  Chances are, a vessel fixed by
 kintsugi will look more gorgeous and precious, than
 before it was fractured.  The same is true in a relat-
ionship with a safe, healthy friend.  After processing
 "ruptures,"instead of looking good, the relationship
       will be even more gorgeous.

     I'm featuring this post in the off chance that you were not a visitor 23 months ago.  Amends is different than apologizing, which is merely
uttering words. Amends is a source for enjoying emotional and psychological relief.  It also enhances the chance of restoring a ruptured relationship, much better than saying simply, "I'm sorry."
"Friendship is a plant of slow growth, that must endure many seasons of adversity, before it is worthy of that appellation."  Geo. Washington

    This has been an amazingly fulfilling, satisfying, wonderful week.  How have things gone for you?  It's rewarding, having the support of caring friends and family members.  I enjoy the growth that's possible when I place principles above areas in my personality that are vulnerable.

     Earlier today, I met with a dear friend I've known for more than 30 years.  I learned, as a result of our meeting, there are issues requiring correction in my relationship with his wife. They are matters that happened more than fifteen years ago.

      Yikes! Wow, even.  In such times, I like Goethe's perspective:

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
     This stormy subject surfaced, while spending time with my friend. I scrounged up the courage to discuss the issue, after we had lunch.  I was glad we talked about it.  I plan on taking steps to resolve it, leaving the outcome is in God's hands, not mine.  I've already gunked up the works.

Being Responsible
    Not only do I take responsibility for my behavior, I also focus only on cleaning my side of the street. This is true even if my part----in my biased perspective----created only one percent of the problem.  I take ownership and clean that portion, never minding that the other person is 99 percent wrong. This is making amends and does wonders to easing out of a stormy situation with another.

     The other person's response is irrelevant.  Expecting a positive reaction sets me up for disappointment.

      Also, I do not make amends for the other person's sake.  I do them for mine.  It frees me from the weight of guilt.  There is a key piece when dealing with an area where I was wrong.  I ask the person, "What can I do to make this right?"

      To their reply, I heed. I do their bidding, as best I can, if possible.  In most causes, taking restorative steps strengthens the relationship.  Like the pottery above, the mending where the relationship was fractured actually enhances it.

      We've discovered the added beauty to our relationship.  Now, we are beyond surface level conversations. We are real with each another. Our friendship is far greater than simply a title we give to those following us on Facebook.

      Having weathered the storm of adversity between us, we experience intimacy.  We've learned how to stand for ourselves (demonstrating our true values, through our corrective behavior) while not standing against our fellows.  Authenticity and integrity, qualities rarely enjoyed when connecting with others, is ours, when we make sincere amends.

      One caveat.  We don't take this action when it may cause injury to the person approached or others. "Others" includes us.  Sometimes indirect amends through changed behavior serve us best. This is where it's good getting feedback from my Balcony People beforehand helps.

Being Gentle Towards Myself, When I Goof
       I know it's crucial that I don't avoid doing what I can can, to right a situation, in order to spare myself discomfort.  That only creates more guilt and stymies my healing.  I'm comforted knowing that when I see an area needing growth, I don't need to berate myself. (For more about being gentle towards ourselves, you can read here.)   It simply reveals I'm getting healthier.  I see area of growth that I was unable to see before.

       Wow, life is good.  I'm thankful learning about amends heals an area of perception that was damaged as a child.  In my family of origin, it was frowned upon to admit mistakes.  I was punished when I confessed errors.
        I'm thankful, knowing now, that I am not what I do.  I'm loved by God and friends because of who I am, faults and warts included.  I am free to be myself.  Being courteous, considerate, kind and loving are the qualities I want reflected in my life.  Other than that, I'm free to be whoever I choose to be.


Vanessa Higgins said...

I wwrote about making mistakes today. I backed into a vehicle in my work truck. I felt so upset about my goof that my stomach started turning and I felt smaller somehow. I decided last night at dance class to let that go and celebrate the fact that no one was hurt in my collision. Crummy things will happen, we just need to stand tall and move forward.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

Today I am grateful...

1. I could be gentle with myself and HALT. That is HALT if you are H(ungry), A(ngry), L(onely) or T(ired). I was at a turning point in the day; tired, hungry and wanting to end the day early and head back to the office. But, I knew I should push through. I needed to take a break, get a coffee and a slice of Pumkin Bread, and plan my next steps. This calm in my company car, parked on bustling Geary Street near Union Square, helped clear my fog. I wanted to end the day well, and this helped me to do so. I visited two more chefs and called it a day!

2. I could ask a friend at work for some early morning help getting a late, rushed order together. He was happy to do so, and it turned an emergency into routine. The fish found its way onto the idling truck for that long ride to Sonoma, just in time!

3. I could arrive home at the same time my wife did. And, join her for a delicious grilled corned beef and cheese sandwich on whole wheat sourdough (she kindly cooked) and salad for an early dinner.

4. To exercise, shower and skip the nap to pen these gratitudes (though I'm dozing off now...)

Pablo said...

My dear friend, Vanessa,

I'm sorry to hear about your mishap at work. But, I love the attitude you took, regarding it!! I'm in total agreement with you. I made a mistake a couple of weeks ago. I needed to be gentle towards myself, too.

I appreciate the light you bring to this inn, with your comments!

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

Thanks for bringing up the HALT acronym. I'll post the link to what I've written about it here. It's title is: "An Antidote to Stress."

I'm deeply grateful for sharing your gratitudes, especially after an exhausting day! You may not have noticed, but in the comments under this post, I awarded you----today----the Attitude of Gratitude Inn Award for the Month of March.

Thank you, for all the good cheer you share with those who drop by and with me, the guy who works here. :->

An innkeeper who is more grateful because of your persevering contributions!

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.